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This is a config file reference. Click for instructions.

This page is reference material which explains every setting and option for this section of an MPF yaml config file. See the instructions for config files for formatting and other details. See our guide to config file examples for more examples of real configs in action.

Valid in
machine config files YES ✅
mode config files NO 🚫

The rgb_dmds: section of your machine config is where you configure the settings for physical RGB DMDs (dot matrix displays). You only need this section if you have a RGB DMD connected via USB. If you have a mono DMD, configure that in the /displays/rgb_dmd section.

If you want to show a virtual RGB DMD in an on-screen window, you configure that as a display widget with a dot filter. You don't need to use this rgb_dmds: section to do that.

Note there are no height and width settings here. The pixel size of your DMD is determined by the size of the source: display which drives the content for this DMD.

Here's an example:

    width: 128
    height: 32
  smartmatrix:  # name of this DMD which can be whatever you want
    hardware_brightness: .5
    fps: 25
    gamma: 2.5

Note that this section is called rgb_dmds: (plural). Just like "switches" and "coils" and most everything else in MPF, this is a section that contains all your DMDs. Now since this is a DMD, you probably only have one, (though MPF can support as many as you want), but it's important to note that you add a rgb_dmds: section to your config, then under that you add an entry for a specific DMD (which can be whatever you want), and then you enter one or more of the following settings:

Optional settings

The following sections are optional in the rgb_dmds: section of your config. (If you don't include them, the default will be used).


Single value, type: number (will be converted to floating point). Default: 1.0

Brightness value multiplied in software (as an OpenGL shader in MC). Using hardware_brightness is preferred if your hardware supports it.


Single value, type: string (case-insensitive). Default: rgb

Channel order of your rgb dmd. Change this if colors are swapped on your hardware. Any order (such as rgb, grb, brg and so) will work.


Single value, type: integer. Default: 30

How many frames per second this DMD will be updated. Note that some RGB DMDs cannot handle the full 30fps, so you might have to dial this back to around 25 or so or else the DMD won't be able to keep up and will get behind.


Single value, type: number (will be converted to floating point). Default: 2.2

Sets the gamma of the DMD. See /displays/rgb_dmd for details.

Note that the default setting of 2.2 will probably be ok, though if your RGB DMD does its own internal gamma correction, you'll want to set the gamma to 1.0 (which is effectively disabling it).

Note that gamma is closely related to brightness (below). You'll probably want to adjust both of them together.

Gamma setting is important!

We can't stress enough that setting the gamma for your DMD is important for making it look right. So click the link above and make the adjustment. It's a one-time thing.


Single value, type: number or template (will be converted to floating point; Instructions for entering templates). Default: 1.0

A brightness multiplier for the DMD (because RGB DMDs are crazy bright). Note that brightness is closely related to gamma (see above). You'll probably want to adjust both of them together.

Also note that you can use dynamic values here if you want to do math or use settings to make this configurable.


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

Specifies whether every frame is sent to the DMD, or only changed frames.


Single value, type: string. Defaults to empty.

Name of the platform this DMD is connected to. The default value of None means the default hardware platform will be used. You only need to change this if you have multiple different hardware platforms in use and this coil is not connected to the default platform.

See the Mixing-and-Matching hardware platforms guide for details.


Single value, type: string. Default: dmd

The name of the display (from the displays: section of your machine config) that is the source for this physical DMD. Whatever's on the source display will be displayed on the DMD. If you don't specify a source, MPF will automatically use a source display called "dmd".


Single value, type: one of the following options: none, basic, full. Default: basic

Log level for the console log for this device.


Single value, type: boolean (true/false). Default: false

Set this to true to see additional debug output. This might impact the performance of MPF.


Single value, type: one of the following options: none, basic, full. Default: basic

Log level for the file log for this device.


Single value, type: string. Default: %

Name of this device in service mode.


List of one (or more) values, each is a type: string. Defaults to empty.

Not used currently.

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