Displaying Text, Graphics, & Animation

Quick Tour Guide

How many different ways can messages be shown?

Most programmable signs offer a variety of message entry and exit modes or special effects. The most common display mode is the ticker tape mode made popular by stock ticker displays. Other popular display modes are hold, flash, scroll, roll, wipe, twinkle, sparkle, snow, spray, spin, starburst, turn page, shrink, explode, switch and interlock.

What's the difference between displaying text-only versus graphics?

Text-only applications can be accomplished with signs with as little as one line of text. Graphics require more height to accurately display logos and animations. Graphics look best when the sign is at least 24 pixels high.

How is animation created in an LED sign?

A graphic is a pattern of pixels, often displayed in one position, such as a company logo or an identifiable product, such as a car or light or shoe. An animation is a sequence of graphics that have been designed to operate together to give the illusion of motion, such as a walking shoe, or a moving car, or a light turning off and on. Most signs will display both animations and graphics. Some signs have animations and graphics built in. Other signs require that you insert the animation or graphic in your message and transmit the animations and graphics to the sign when you transmit your messages.

How are animations and graphics programmed into a sign?

Some sign software provide graphics and animation design capability. Other signs accept the output of graphics design programs, such as Paint Shop Pro or Animator Pro. The sign keyboard can also be used to design dot patterns, although this is somewhat tedious and the work is vulnerable to being lost by a careless programmer or operator. It is advisable to use a computer to compose graphics. Then you can save your work in a disk file.

Is it possible to display time and temperature?

Most signs will update and display the time, if you include a Time feature in your message. Outdoor signs will also display the Fahrenheit or Celsius temperature. A temperature sensor is provided on a long cable. It is important that you position the temperature sensor out of direct sunlight and away from any heat generating sources, such as the sign itself, or building surfaces that heat up in the sunlight to avoid displaying the incorrect temperature. Signs that display temperature provide a calibration feature that allows you to correct the temperature up or down by degrees if necessary.