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Author Topic: LED controller  (Read 8729 times)

deejayry

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LED controller
« on: March 20, 2007, 12:24:14 PM »

Ok, so i've just ordered a Mcubed big NG fan controller, i've got my brand new enermax cs-718 case and on it is the big fan control dial, which is now redundant, so i figure i'll use it to dim my case lighting, i think i've decided on using all LED lighting, mainly due to the fact i can create some nice effects. the plan is to use a load of triclolour leds on several different chanels. I'd like to be able to create the following effects if possible;

continuous (one colour)
continuous (blend through colours)
Flashing (one colour)
Flashing, Colour 1, then colour 2  and so on
Chasing & flashing
and maybe if i can manage it, chasing and blending at the same time

I've had a google for "RGB led controllers" ect,  and have only managed to find controlers that use a channel of individual red, green and blue leds. so can only produce 1 colur at a time.

Anyone know of any diy controler ideas that might do what i want,

Oh i forgot to say i want to be able to controll overall brightness of the leds with the dial on the front of my case, i'll change the pot to somthing more suitable if need be.
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deejayry

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 02:43:26 PM »

Ok i've done a load more research in to possible controlers, and i think i've found the most versatile one.

There are a few different options on the site, the whole lot is open source so might apeal to some of you. Have a look at www.rgbled.org and for more detail its worth having a look through the forums. there isnt an awfull lot of info on the main pages

My setup will be in two parts. firstly there is the main controler (tiRGBLED) which is capable of controlling 10 RGB leds (basicly the controller has 30 channels) i expect eventually i'l be using two of these controllers one for the front pannel and one for the interior of the case, but at $70 for the kit its not exactly cheap, so i'm looking for ways to use 1 controller for more leds. the main issue is the controller has a limited current so can only really handle a 20ma led per channel.
Each board is commanded by a RS232 datastream so can be made to do sound to light, change colour according to other system parameters such as temp, fan speed, Anything really provided that the right bit of software is made/used

the second part of the kit, is the most impressive part, most probably the most expensive, i've not worked the prices out yet. its known as the "sequence programmer" basicly its full of commands that can be sent to the main control board. but rather than the computer making these up it enables the user to controll it by the means of 1 rotary encoder, 2 push buttons (one of which is normally built in to the encoder) theres the option for up to 8 external triggers that can work either way (+5v or gnd trigger) A +5v pad is provided on the board for these. However the boards for the "sequence programmer" are not avaliable to buy, you have to etch and print your own 2 sided boards.

As it stands the only software i've found is a java prog which incedentaly i cant get to work on my computer, you can allways go back to basics and send the commands using hyper terminal or similar.

I've now decided to throw the front mounted pot in the bin, and fit the rotary encoder in its place.

i thought it would be a cool idea to make the whole case flrash red if anything gets too hot. otherwise the lighting will be either running on a pre programmed sequence or somthing more real time, such as sound to light.

one of the 8 triggers will be connected to the case open switch and tell the whole system to display white when the case is open so things can be seen more clearly.

As soon as i buy the bits i'll get a bit of a project log on the go.
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symphonicpoo

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 07:01:15 PM »

deejayry,

You really got some great ideas for a project, i can't wait to see your progress. just thought I would chime in cause the past few months I've been working on something kinda similar.. Im planing a really large system of RGB leds and controllers to put throughout my house, all linked together.

I basically am building my own controller cause I didn't find a design prebuilt I liked. I did come across the same site you did, the rgbled.org and they do have some cool products but are kinda expensive. I'm using AVR microcontrollers and the particular one im using Atmega48 is pretty darn cheap, it runs under $3. with a few other parts it is able to control 24 leds... so 8 independent rgb led clusters...

It can only power a few milliamps like the controller you are talking about but this is easy to overcome by using MOSFETs.

In case you haven't come across these links I found when doing research of my own I thought I'd help ya out:
http://tearsoffire.org/twiki/bin/view/Projects/PicGloGlobe
http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/rgb.htm
http://www.artiswrong.com/neo/
http://www.bitrot.de/ledlamp.html
http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/11/27/pic-based-serial-controlled-rgb-led-pwm-driver/
http://www.semifluid.com/?p=11
http://www.petesworld.demon.co.uk/homebrew/PIC/simplergb/index.htm#Note_about_Fading
http://home.mindspring.com/~phil.ray/smartLED/

Hope any of this helps!
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deejayry

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 01:17:13 PM »

Well i've got both board built and fully working now and i've gotta say i'm very impressed with the whole setup, the only problem i've had is the red diode in one of the leds has failed, i've had them on a hectic red flashing sequence for 2 days and no others have failed.

Heres a few pics. i'll try and get some video when i've got some nice sequences written.


tiRGBLED 10 led controller after assembly


Both Sequencer an tiRGBLED controller in operation on test bench, optical encoder on the top right.


Another shot of tiRGBLED in operation


Sequencer detail shot

Currently with the sequencer i have the following modes.
ON/OFF mode - uses the encoder push button to switch all leds on or off
Sequence mode - uses the encoder to scroll through the different sequences, push encoder button to select.
Hue mode - uses the encoder to adjust hue of all leds
Saturatuon mode - uses encoder to adjust saturation of all leds
Brightness mode - uses encoder to adjust brightness of all leds

I've written about 6 sequences, all of which are pretty simple but i'm getting the hang of it now so i expect to have some interesting stuff soon.

I also found a winamp plugin which i had running for a while before i had built the sequencer but unfortunatly it was released a long time before the sequencer which was only finalised a month or two, The winamp plugin doesnt include the @10 prefix in the data it sends, which tells the sequencer to pass the data through to the controller, hopefully it will get fixed soon.

I'm going to be buying some 1" x 1" acrylic bar which i'll cut in to 2 lenghts about 8-9" long which will be drilled for 3 leds each and 4 other lenghts to go in each corner of mobo tray area drilled for 1 led each. before i fit the leds i'm going to have each piece sand blasted to diffuse the light. The two longer lengths will go each side of the front mesh area on the front of the case, hopefully being able to give a nice flowing rainbow effect.

symphonicpoo: i can agree with you on the cost issue with the rgbled.org stuff i've found it cheaper to buy the componants myself only sourcing the board and the PIC from rgbled.org I've been looking in to buying in a pic programmer and getting a few pcbs made localy to hopefully reduce costs. Since finding this project i've also decided to work on a bigger network of led lighting. Once the computer is finished the next phase is the lighting in my bedroom with a 3 channel controller


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urgannagru

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 05:58:06 PM »

mmm... tasty bread(board) :)
It looks like you set that up really cleanly. I can't wait to see more.
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REK636

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 12:16:27 AM »

I wish could understand electronics to do somthing like that.
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deejayry

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Re: LED controller
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 01:09:32 PM »

Nothing new to report on the lighting project of late, been busy working on the wiring loom for the mini over the last week and probably will be for the next two weeks, but i'll updade when theres more progress.

I wish could understand electronics to do somthing like that.

To be honest theres very little you need to understand about electronics to build any part of the kit, the tiRGBLED board (and several others) is avaliable in 3 build levels, firstly you can buy the PCB and PIC chip only and source other components, you can buy a complete kit of parts to assemble yourself or you can buy a ready assembled and tested kit. The sequencer board isnt as easy as it has only had the one batch of 30 or so boards, therefore you'd need to get the boards made and source the componants and also program the PIC, there is a zip file you can download from the site that gives all details and firmware files needed to build any of the RGBLED projects.

i have very little knowlege of the componants used and since building the project still dont know much about the workings of it, as long as you can solder reasonably well, you read the instructions carefully and you take precautions against ElectroStatic Discharge you shouldnt encounter any problems at all.

Sourcing PCBs is now fairly easy on the internet with many suppliers worldwide prepared to build 1 off's or small batches. i admit it can be a little expensive, I'm considering getting a small batch of PCBs made in a couple of months for my home lighting projects, if you are really interested i could order extra for you.

I must note now that the RGBLED products were not designed by me, i take no credit for their designs and i do not (and will not) distribute to the masses, i may help out with the odd PCB or PIC and answer questions to the best of my ability but thats it, if you want to buy anything check out the website and forums first.


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