How to Program an LED Scrolling Name Badge

By John Yarbrough
These flashy attention-getters are easy to program manually or with software.

LED scrolling signs have given way to miniaturized versions that often serve as novelties and flashy attention-getters. With the push of a few buttons on the backside of the badge or with the use of programming software, you can have your name or message scrolling across one of these badges, too. Many models of these scrolling name badges share common components. Often, one brand is simply the rebranded product from another manufacturer. This means that the processes for programming these badges remain relatively the same.

Manual Method

Locate the message number you want to program. There are usually multiple messages that can be programmed into the LED scrolling name badge, typically eight or 16. With the badge turned on, press the "Switch" button to take you to a message number each time you press it.

Enable the "Edit" function. Press the "Input" button on the back of the badge to reveal the first character.

Program your custom message. The "Flash" button will let you select the letters from A through Z, numbers, symbols and the letters a through z. The "Speed" button will let you go in the reverse order. Pressing the "Switch" button will let you add a space, while holding it for three seconds will delete a character. Holding the "Speed" button for three seconds will quickly shift you between uppercase to lowercase letters. After pressing the "Input" button to program a character into the message, repeat the programming process until you're done. After you're finished with your message, either leave the name badge alone for 10 seconds or press the "Input" button for three seconds to program the message into the badge.

Software Method

Set up the hardware. You'll need to use the serial port on your computer for the supplied cable. The infrared module to interface between the computer and the name badge plugs into the other end of the cable.

Open the programming software. The software will have to be installed on your computer from the supplied CD before programming the badge. Once the software is installed, you may open the program. The software will verify the correct hardware configuration and take you to the programming screen.

Create your custom message. When the program loads, you'll see a screen that shows the input box for your custom message. Simply type your message in this field. You may also customize the scroll speed and the flash frequency. When you are done customizing your message, choose which message number this one will be and click the "Save" button. Repeat this process until you've customized all the messages you want.

Write the messages to the LED scrolling name badge. Position the infrared receiver on the back of the name badge so that's directly in front of the infrared module that was set up earlier. Click the "Downlaod" button to program all the messages to the badge.

Things Needed

  • Instruction manual
  • Programming cable
  • Programming software

About the Author

John Yarbrough has been a freelance writer since 2009. He has published online works on eHow with an emphasis on electronics, home improvement and other technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University.