Digital/addressable RGB LED source?

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Digital/addressable RGB LED source?

Postby precious » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:29 pm

Does anyone have a trustworthy source of RGB LEDs? I need about 30 meters of addressable/digital strips. Hoping for 42 to 60 per meter. I know they all come from China.....do you know a trustworthy source?
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Postby Workinonit » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:15 pm

If you are looking for the HL1606 strips you can find them on Ebay for <$100 for 5 meters. Search for "dream RGB LED strips" or "intelligent RGB LED strips"
http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=dream+RGB+led+strips&_sacat=See-All-Categories
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=intelligent+RGB+led+strips&_sacat=0&_odkw=dream+RGB+led+strips&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

If you want the WS2801 chips sparkfun.com is the only place I know that you can get them but they only have 1 meter strips, but they are fast.
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10312
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Postby BBadger » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:44 am

You can get 1M strips for about $30/m at Adafruit. You can connect them together for longer runs. One tip with Sparkfun/Adafruit: if you see a product at one site, check the other to see if they have it at a better price.

One problem with the ebay Chinese strips is that many lack documentation. Still, the effort to reverse engineer them might be worth the cost.
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Postby Workinonit » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:26 pm

there is plenty of documentation on the strips out there... little google search will enlighten you. Lots of information about controlling them too...
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Postby Workinonit » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:22 am

Does anyone know where I can find a arduino library to control the TM1803 chip strips? Please contact me if you do!

Also looking to find 5vdc or 12vdc WS2801 1 IC/LED RGB LED strips supplier who can provide 5m strips. Thanks!
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Postby BBadger » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:22 pm

Nothing ready-made, but I did find the datasheet with the protocol. It shouldn't be too hard to code up. If you'd like some help I can code up an example.
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Postby capjbadger » Sun May 22, 2011 11:15 pm

Workinonit wrote:Does anyone know where I can find a arduino library to control the TM1803 chip strips? Please contact me if you do!

Also looking to find 5vdc or 12vdc WS2801 1 IC/LED RGB LED strips supplier who can provide 5m strips. Thanks!

I think I found what you were looking for:
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/32 ... alers.html

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Postby Workinonit » Mon May 23, 2011 7:59 am

capjbadger wrote:
Workinonit wrote:Does anyone know where I can find a arduino library to control the TM1803 chip strips? Please contact me if you do!

Also looking to find 5vdc or 12vdc WS2801 1 IC/LED RGB LED strips supplier who can provide 5m strips. Thanks!

I think I found what you were looking for:
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/32 ... alers.html

-Badger


Thanks Badger. I actually found a wholesaler a few months ago, Scott LED. For anyone that needs these strips, email to Scott Liu at info@scottled.com and Justin Eastman sent ya. I have been done over $6000 worth of business with this company and have had a really great experience with them. They were not even making these strips when I contacted them and got them specially made with one IC per LED. Think that is why they are now listed up there... Thanks for the help!

Here they are working! 16.7 million colors to work with. They are pretty incredible strips!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNehwAQ2DJg[/youtube]
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Postby capjbadger » Mon May 23, 2011 5:07 pm

Whoa... Sweet strip! Which chip are they using in them? What are you using to control the light patterns?

I've got a long term MV project in the works and I'm in the planning stages. Working out the lighting. Thinking some RGB LED strips to edge light some translucent plexiglass panes.

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Postby capjbadger » Mon May 23, 2011 5:23 pm

capjbadger wrote:Whoa... Sweet strip! Which chip are they using in them? What are you using to control the light patterns?

I've got a long term MV project in the works and I'm in the planning stages. Working out the lighting. Thinking some RGB LED strips to edge light some translucent plexiglass panes.

-Badger

Ah ha... I read the other thread... WS2801 and you're using an arduino as the controller. I wonder if it would be possible to control a strip with a PIC chip (since I already know how to program those) or do I need to finally bite the bullet and learn to use the arduino? :)

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Postby BBadger » Mon May 23, 2011 5:27 pm

You can use any microcontroller to control them. An Arduino is a good place to start (example code). For larger numbers of devices (strips), getting the data out to all the devices at a reasonable framerate might require more powerful microcontroller platforms such as Leaflab Maples or Beagleboards.

Edit: I'm sure you can adapt the Arduino code (it's just C code) to your PIC.
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Postby Workinonit » Mon May 23, 2011 5:39 pm

BBadger wrote:You can use any microcontroller to control them. An Arduino is a good place to start (example code). For larger numbers of devices (strips), getting the data out to all the devices at a reasonable framerate might require more powerful microcontroller platforms such as Leaflab Maples or Beagleboards.

Edit: I'm sure you can adapt the Arduino code (it's just C code) to your PIC.


The 20 arches are already working with an Adruino Pro 328 on each arch then communicating to the others with I2C.

I actually have a beagleboard and a beagleboard trainer to get the 5vdc for the strips since the beagleboard is only 1.8vdc on the pins. I just don't think I will have enough time to get it integrated into the project and have enough time to work on enough patterns for the playa. Not to mention it takes quite a bit of time to wire up power lines, bus lines, bend arches, build cross members, promote, do rewards for kickstarter, etc. I am soliciting help but it might just have to wait for version 2.0.
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Postby capjbadger » Mon May 23, 2011 5:42 pm

I must admit I'm cheating a bit with the PIC programming. The compiler I use lets me get away with no C at all and instead code in a form of BASIC. :oops:

With a little bit of reading up on C, I should be able to translate that example code (thank you) into the BASIC equivalent. I will most likely have to move up from the simple 8bit chips to control all the leds however. :)

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Postby Workinonit » Mon May 23, 2011 6:04 pm

capjbadger wrote:I must admit I'm cheating a bit with the PIC programming. The compiler I use lets me get away with no C at all and instead code in a form of BASIC. :oops:

With a little bit of reading up on C, I should be able to translate that example code (thank you) into the BASIC equivalent. I will most likely have to move up from the simple 8bit chips to control all the leds however. :)

-Badger


I am not sure how many lights you are trying to control, but with a limited number you should be fine I would think. But if you are trying for long strips of 160 LEDs like mine, as it stands right now about 50 percent of the processing power of the Arduino Pro 328 is going to sending data and simply clocking the line. If you need just a basic blank canvas snippet of code to get the WS2801 chips working on a Ardruino, let me know. If you can code BASIC then jumping to C is just figuring out the syntax for the most part.
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Postby capjbadger » Mon May 23, 2011 6:19 pm

Workinonit wrote:
capjbadger wrote:I must admit I'm cheating a bit with the PIC programming. The compiler I use lets me get away with no C at all and instead code in a form of BASIC. :oops:

With a little bit of reading up on C, I should be able to translate that example code (thank you) into the BASIC equivalent. I will most likely have to move up from the simple 8bit chips to control all the leds however. :)

-Badger


I am not sure how many lights you are trying to control, but with a limited number you should be fine I would think. But if you are trying for long strips of 160 LEDs like mine, as it stands right now about 50 percent of the processing power of the Arduino Pro 328 is going to sending data and simply clocking the line. If you need just a basic blank canvas snippet of code to get the WS2801 chips working on a Ardruino, let me know. If you can code BASIC then jumping to C is just figuring out the syntax for the most part.

Very true. I know programming logic. It's all learning new syntax. :)
Rough estimate at this point is about 42 total feet of LED strip, but really only 21 feet since the other half will be running the same data (like your vid here of the 2 strips running together).

I've played with the PIC to run a RGB LED to cycle through a simple color fade, but the PIC was doing all the PWM work. Sending data to another chip (on the strip) to do the PWM for it is something completely new for me. :)

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Postby capjbadger » Tue May 24, 2011 2:43 pm

That code snippet would be really helpful! :) Thanks
The more cross references I have, the easier it is for me to figure out a process. :)

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Seen it? Used it?

Postby Skankx » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:11 pm

http://www.del-lighting.com/rope_lighting.html

Has anyone used this site for lights. It looks too good to be true. 150 feet for only 120 dollars? I have a very large headed monkey I must light better this year. I just barely passed last year's night license and I really want to over-do the lighting this year...like...radically.

P.S. just got my invitation to bring out the monkey! :twisted:
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:44 pm

From what I can tell, if you're running 120 volt Ac, you can get it pretty cheap. 12 volt DC seems to be a good deal more expensive. $150 for a 12v DC string looks damn good.

http://www.1000bulbs.com/category/rope-light/

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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:53 pm

Ohhh... Due to the thread, I was thinking just LED light ropes. :oops:
A lot of these (and I think also the site you were looking at) are incandescent light ropes.

You can get half inch dia. incandescent light ropes for $60 and up depending on the color.

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Postby Skankx » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:46 pm

ahhhh...you're right...they are incandescent.... hmmm...bummer. 12v DC is what I'm going for as well. Looks like I'm not getting out of this one cheap.
I appreciate the input.
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Postby Workinonit » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:57 pm

capjbadger wrote:Ohhh... Due to the thread, I was thinking just LED light ropes. :oops:
A lot of these (and I think also the site you were looking at) are incandescent light ropes.

You can get half inch dia. incandescent light ropes for $60 and up depending on the color.

-Badger



I think this is what would work out better for you... a little more expensive at around $35 per 5/meters.
http://tinyurl.com/3kdgswu
They are 36 watts per 5 meters which is not too bad and you get to change the colors with a remote. You can get RGB repeaters to pass the signal on but will need to run a separate power source to each strip as I believe its either the impedance or resistance that becomes too much after a certain distance. You can contact me and we can figure it out unless of course someone reading this knows better than I. I have never done it before but...
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:43 pm

RGB LED: $2.13/ft
AC Light rope: $0.40 to $0.80/ft

Guess it really all depends on what effect you're after and how much you need. The ability to change color and run a few simple color change cycles (built in to the unit) is pretty cool.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J13di9dqW4c[/youtube]

You could run an inverter (DC to AC) in a pinch and run the AC light rope...

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Postby Skankx » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:27 am

The LEDs on ebay are exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying to stay away from anything that will draw too much power from my battery. I used a very small engine (190cc) for the weight of my mutant vehicle and geared it way down with a jack shaft leaving me with no extra power or space to install an alternator. My only option now is to charge my battery in the morning and pull as little power at night as possible. On the up side I can drive for hours on a quart of gas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/63609382@N ... otostream/
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Postby Skankx » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:36 am

The tunnel is going to be awesome! Great work so far, I'm really looking forward to the experience.
I have a clean slate with my "snow monkey" do you have any suggestions on lighting (keeping it within a 300 dollar budget)? also I will be making a skirt to cover up the frame....
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Postby dcr » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:46 am

Skankx wrote:The LEDs on ebay are exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying to stay away from anything that will draw too much power from my battery. I used a very small engine (190cc) for the weight of my mutant vehicle and geared it way down with a jack shaft leaving me with no extra power or space to install an alternator. My only option now is to charge my battery in the morning and pull as little power at night as possible. On the up side I can drive for hours on a quart of gas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/63609382@N ... otostream/

Which exact LEDs did you end up going with and what did you end up paying?
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Postby Skankx » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:24 am

I'm still pricing and looking for suggestions. I'll be buying either this weekend or next week. Last year I was still welding the shape of the arms and shoulders and STILL had to cover it two weeks before I left. My lighting sucked and if I had any other DMV Hottie inspecting it for night license I don't think I would have made it. I really wish I had more burners around here to assist me on these projects but that's never stopped me before. In the three years I have been going I've learned how to build almost anything but lighting is always the last thing I think about. That's due to the mechanics of the project always giving me hell. THIS year the vehicle is already running great and has highway rated trailer tires with brand new hubs so I'm finally able to focus on a good lighting design and have time to execute it. sooo....suggestions?
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Postby Workinonit » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:29 am

Skankx wrote:The LEDs on ebay are exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying to stay away from anything that will draw too much power from my battery. I used a very small engine (190cc) for the weight of my mutant vehicle and geared it way down with a jack shaft leaving me with no extra power or space to install an alternator. My only option now is to charge my battery in the morning and pull as little power at night as possible. On the up side I can drive for hours on a quart of gas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/63609382@N ... otostream/


The LEDs that I mentioned (ebay) are going to be perfect for your needs. They are relatively low power and depending on which color you choose will draw even less power. If you choose RED, BLUE or GREEN only one of the three dioded of the RGB LEDs are on so you will draw ~1/3 of the power. There is also a brightness option on these strips, so you can turn down the brightness to reduce the power consumption even more. Addtionally, you can cut those strips every 3 LEDs, so you can do things like run them around the eyes and then run a wire to the other eye. Then, if you can isolate the infrared sensors you could even potentially have different colors for different areas and be able to control them individually.

So for about $300 I am sure you can get about 100 feet of the stuff with 6 controllers. Try to get he ones without the power supply as you will save a little bit of money there and don't need the power supply since you won't be plugging it into A/C power (unless of course you want to plug it in a hardline when you park it or something).
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Postby Skankx » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:37 am

thanks guys, this is a huge help.
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Postby capjbadger » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:01 am

Oh yeah.. I forgot about the dimmer. I'm always playing with them at full power. :D

Now where the hell did that remote go..?

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Postby Skankx » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:36 pm

Well, I did it. $250 in LED lights are coming my way. I don't think I'll have any problems obtaining my night license this year. I decided to go with RGB because, let's face it, they're fricking awesome. I don't think I should have a problem with battery drain issues. I may add another 12v battery just to be safe (my dad's the shop manager for a local trucking company so I get my pick of massive, slightly used Volvo batteries from rigs/cranes)
Is there anything I need to keep in mind when installing the lights? tips? tricks?
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