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Once upon a time there was an engineer/hobbyist named Terry Hitt who stumbled upon an eBay deal by a cable TV company. It seems the company was in the process of massive replacement of their settop boxes. The old boxes were salvaged of anything apparently useful. Among the things left were hundreds (thousands???) of display units consisting of 4 seven segment displays on a board with a chip and a short cable. The cable company had no idea what to do with them and offered them for sale by the pound. So ... Terry wound up buying 50 pounds of them. Two weeks and a lot of bench time later, Terry had figured out how it worked. It was really quite simple once you figured out the chip was an SPI machine, just send 32 bits, 8 bits (one of them a throwaway) for each display digit.

Terry's company is Hitt Consulting which is the "HC" in "HC4LED". Requiring only a simple SHIFTOUT command with two I/O lines (Data and Clock) and optionally a third line to enable/disable (alternately it can simply be grounded), the HC4LED became a big hit. Pretty soon there was code for Parallax BS1, BS2, SXB, and Propeller, Picaxe, various PICs (ASM and BAS), AVRs, Arduino, etc. Sparkfun got ahold of some and they began selling them as well is Hitt Consulting.

And then the well ran dry. If you look about the net you will find any number of HC4LED web pages pointing to the "no longer in stock" webpage at Sparkfun as well as the no longer registered some of them loudly lamenting the absence of this neat little unit. Well ... lament no more! Terry found a carton with a little under 200 just over 250 more of these units. We made a deal and they are now for sale here, while they last.

I want to spread them around, so no bulk prices. For now I will sell up to three four units per order.

  • I have worked over and enhanced the datasheet I am continuing to work on it, the latest revision is dated Wed, 17 Mar 10 at 1627 hours
  • There is an open download directory with all of the HC4LED code I have found on the net or been sent by Terry.

HC4LED unit with cable. Currently available units have only the single ended cable soldered to the PCB .

There are  257  NO  units currently available. I have 30-40 units that failed my initial testing for one reason or another. I will be looking at them next weekend. I expect 10-20 of them need nothing more than First Aid to the cable soldered to the board.

Qty = 1

Qty = 2

Qty = 3

Qty = 4

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