Vb_driver - a variable brightness upgrade for older grids

I’d be into this, for an original 128. UK-based.

Heres a shot of what the new driver looks like installed.

the programming header can be removed to allow fitting to 40h and greyscale editions. the series editions can leave it on but it can interfere with some exposed vias below it causing button presses. i have slipped some non conducting paper under a couple of mine whilst developing the firmware.

thanks for the overwhelming response everyone. very happy to finally share this project with you all. which i was reluctant to do for fear of letting people down if it wasn’t possible to achieve the performance needed.

whats next?
I’m designing a test jig to program and test devices before shipping. pressure fit pogo pins etc. otherwise its rather difficult to test these without soldering them on to the grids.


I should have mentioned in my previous post. I’m interested for my 128.

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this looks like a less daunting soldering job than I thought :slight_smile:

I am, personally, still counting on @okyeron for my installation needs. :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

This mod makes me really happy. The hope of breathing new life into a grid that, far to often (currently), sits on a shelf…


This is awesome!! just wanted to encourage the idea of a varibright grayscale128. that would be a dream come true for me.

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Very interested for my gs128! Located in Tokyo, Japan.

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Interested in 2 for a monome kit logic board + drivers to drive a 128 grid that is currently running off 2 x arduinome shields.
Based in Auckland.

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walnut 64 grid for chicago/USA !

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8 x vb_driver Portland, OR–for a monome512


I’m very interested! i’ve got a gs128 and i’m in seattle, WA. I’m comfortable with basic drag soldering jobs but just to get an idea of what i’m getting myself into—what package size are the small resistors on that board? smallest i’ve ever done was 0402 but that was rough.

If i don’t destroy my gs128 i’d be down to throw my hat in the soldering services ring!

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They are 0402.

But I will build the drivers using solder stencil and paste. So you only need to solder them in place of the old one.

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I’m v interested in upgrading my 40h and my walnut 256

Based in NYC. perhaps an upgrade party?


I would like to get this update for my walnut 128 :slight_smile:
I am located in the Netherlands.
Is it possible to send the parts?

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Yes, these will be shipping internationally. Fully assembled and tested.

Only need to desolder the MAX7219 and solder vb_driver in place. Then update firmware on main logic board with DFU programmer.

very nice, would you like to let me know when and how shipment/payment methods start? :slight_smile:

lovely! have older gs64/128 and 256 to do the mod, 7 of those board will be good for me

Interest in upgrading my gs128.
Thank you for your efforts

from the first post in this thread

they are not built yet.

realistically, ordering and shipping will be at least two months away.


Just to be 100% sure, is it an upgrade that can turn a 4 step varibright in a 16 steps varibright?
It looks like from the picture in the first post.