Last week I had for you a demo of the retro-tech TIL 311 hex digit LED display; this week it's the HP 5082 7300, a very similar display, but with some important differences.
The most obvious difference is that the HP display has its pins arrayed across the top and bottom of the digit, where the TI display has them on the left and right sides. The HP arrangement makes it easier to breadboard a display with the digits right next to each other, though for any permanent installation you're going to have a custom PC board or sockets, so this probably is not much of a difference in the long run.
Physically, the two display modules are about the same width, but the HP is about 1/8" shorter. However, the emitting areas of each display are about the same size.
In the HP display, the individual LEDs are a bit larger, probably due to the fact that they're square rather than round. This makes the displayed digits seem more "smooth" and less "pixelated". It makes a difference, and I prefer the legibility of the HP displays.
The most significant difference is that the TI display will display hex digits A-F, whereas the HP doesn't; it's decimal digits only. (There's a special version of the HP display, the 7340, that will display hex digits.) If you input 0xA (10 decimal), the HP display does a "lamp test" in which it lights up every LED except the decimal. If you input 0xD (13 decimal), the HP displays a "minus sign" for negative numbers. If you input any other hex digit, the HP goes blank.
In the video, you can see that I've used the same breadboard and Arduino nano, and have simply wired the HP displays (on the right) in parallel with the TI displays (on the left).
I bought 16 of these HP displays. I only wanted eight, but on ebay the smaller lots actually cost more per digit than just biting the bullet and buying a lot of 16. (The total with shipping was $83 - ouch, but I really love these little guys.) The seller actually had an original blister pack, but it was so old that the glue holding the backing paper onto the plastic blisters had come undone, and when I received the package, most of the displays were rattling around loose in the box. No harm done, though, as they all look and work just fine.
I'm hoping that somewhere down the line I can find a batch of the hex-capable version of these displays.
Next week I hope to have for you a demo of the MAN2A, a 5x7 LED grid with individually addressable pixels. (Cool!)