Schematic diagram for scanning backlight

NOTE: This is a very old article.
Newer article is Electronics Hacking: Creating a Strobe Backlight.

This is a simplified schematic diagram for a home-made scanning backlight driven by an Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform.The Arduino monitors the VSYNC signal (input-lag compensated) and executes a backlight scanning sequence, using ultra-short strobes of super bright LED’s per segment. This greatly reduces motion blur. For the brightness required for ultra-short strobes, reels of LED ribbons totalling thousands of LED’s will be used instead of individual LED’s.

Note: This is a draft diagram. It may be missing some supplemental components (e.g. resistors at MOSFET gates).

EDIT: This is a very old article. Please see Electronics Hacking: Creating a Strobe Backlight for current information.

Arduino scanning backlight is viable

Positive comments have been received about the viability of my Arduino scanning backlight project on the various discussion forums, and from industry professionals including from John Carmack of iD Software on twitter!

Mark Rejhon @mdrejhon
@ID_AA_Carmack I’m researching home-made Arduino scanning backlight (90%:10% dark:bright) using 100-200 watts of LED’s.…

John Carmack @ID_AA_Carmack
@mdrejhon Good project. You definitely want to find the hardware vsync, don’t try to communicate it from the host.

(Link to this tweet on twitter)

EDIT: Project is now published at: Electronics Hacking: Creating a Strobe Backlight