1N4007 will do. But it looks that something else is at fault... you remember that there were some cold solder points in the flip dot boards... flippy behavior can come from that...
...yep c) somehow got skipped... - ignore
regarding b): the module has on-board resistors to pull the data and clock lines up. the resistors are 10k resistors. My comment is: if you would have multiples of these modules on data and clock lines, only one should have resistors connected and all others not. And when multiples are connected, usually the driving device is at one end at the wires - where also ground is connected and power is fed - and the last module - on the other end of the wires - would be the module with the resistors. If more than one module keeps the resistors on, the pull-up force becomes with a certain number of modules too strong to be pulled down for any of the devices.
ok understood! :)
i've got only one module... i keep in mind to remove the resistors (not on last) if i need to chain modules.
I do not work with flipdot matrix for this project (too deep, too expensive, no more flipdot module on sale :( ) just a big 60mm led matrix, with a ldr to adjust brightness and a pot for speed scroll text.
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