In addition to offering cool LED modules, Sure Electionics also offers a nice Demo / Driver board to go along with them. The only bummer is that the driver board needs a Windows Java program to run if you want to send text to it, to be displayed.
I did some backwards engineering and looked through the design documents, and was able to come up with a couple of Linux programs that let you display text using you computer. It is actually a really cool board and it looks like it is all based on a PIC microchip and could easily be reprogrammed. The PCB board has the traces for a clock, temperature sensor and wireless connection, so it was clearly meant to be added on to.
The board communicates with a computer over USB using a CP2102 USB to UART Bridge. The great is that most newer Linux kernels have driver support baked right in. That means that when you connect the board to your computer, it just shows up as a serial device.
To send Text to the board you need to send it through the serial port ( ttyUSB0 ). Before doing that you have to send the command for write mode. To send text to the first bank of up to 4 boards, you send “0xFE,0x47,0x01,0x01”, followed by 16 characters. You have to send 16 characters, even if you have less than 4 boards or else it goes screwy. All of the scrolling has to be done in your program and you simply change which 16 characters are currently being displayed.
I have my code up on GitHub