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Thread: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    jshapard:

    Very interesting. Are you just playing a "canned" set of sequences or is this driven by a PC running Vixen (or similar)? If so, what's the transport protocol between the PC and the Arudino?

    Thanks.

    \dmc
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    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    [b]Christmas lights:[/b] [url]http://www.PacificaLights.info/[/url]
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  2. #82
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    I'm just running an Arduino, no PC. The arduino pins connect to the single (middle) control line of the GE Led strings, and power plus ground to the LED Strings (and Arduino) from one or more of the the power supplies that comes with the GE Led strings. It's about as simple a setup as you can imagine.
    When it isn't outputting to the LED's, the Arduino generates one of a variety of sequences written in the Arduino version of C++. You might call them canned, but some are pretty elaborate, with random variations, and I have one that various the led brightness according to sound level in 7 frequency bands using an MSGEQ7 chip. It might be easier to generate the sequences using PC software, but I wanted to keep the Arduino independent, to run in a lamp fixture (Ikea has nice cheap lamps that provide lots of interior space for the GE led lights). I have ideas of using a wifi connection so that the Arduino could run sequences generated on a website, but I haven't gotten that far yet.
    The only thing I can offer about transport protocols is that I've used standard IR remote controls to control the Arduino lamps, and because the IR software requires careful timing and interrupts, I avoided conflict with the GE light timing by using a $10 arduino clone (Ardweeny) to handle the ir remote. The mega that runs the ge lights just reads serial transmissions from the Ardweeny without any critical timing. The Ardweeny just becomes a controller for the IR remote reading hardware; it sends what it reads out its serial port and the Arduino mega reads it during its main control loop (which I try to keep running at 100hz to avoid flicker during fades).

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by jshapard View Post
    You might call them canned, but some are pretty elaborate, with random variations, and I have one that various the led brightness according to sound level in 7 frequency bands using an MSGEQ7 chip.
    I used the word "canned" to differentiate not between complexity but between synchronization with music and no synchronization with music.

    So, what I read from that last part of that sentence is that you've used the A to develop a color organ ... ?

    \dmc


    Best o' luck.

    \dmc
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    [b]Christmas lights:[/b] [url]http://www.PacificaLights.info/[/url]
    [b]uC/LED hacking:[/b] [url]http://www.dmcole.net/[/url]

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    Yes. Color Organ is amazingly simple to add to an existing led fixture using the MSGEQ7 chip, which outputs the volume of each of 7 different frequency bands. This uses 3 Arduino pins (2 digital, 1 analog). The arduino can then use these in various ways. Mine varies the brightness of 7 different color ranges bases on the volume of music in the associated frequency band--this can then be overlaid with whatever light routine I have going. But there are of course other ways you might "translate" the MSGEQ7 data into effects on the Arduino-driven leds. I got my msgeq7s for about $2 each on ebay, from seller green21century .

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    jshapard:

    Great. There are a lot of people who think hand-sequencing is better than a color organ, but it has always seemed to me that a good color organ would be a great substitute.

    So, theoretically, could you use two MSGEQ7 chips to get 14 frequencies (if there are enough pins left on the A)?

    Also: I suspect I'm not alone in thinking I'd like to see some video of this working.

    Thanks.

    \dmc
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    [b]Christmas lights:[/b] [url]http://www.PacificaLights.info/[/url]
    [b]uC/LED hacking:[/b] [url]http://www.dmcole.net/[/url]

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by dmcole View Post
    .... Also: I suspect I'm not alone in thinking I'd like to see some video of this working.

    Thanks.

    \dmc
    Not exactly the same thing, but perhaps close: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhd1Z...eature=related

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    You couldn't use two MSGEQ7s to get 14 bands, unless you did some additional fancy stuff with the sound. The MSGEQ7 has a fixed frequency response setup (the data sheet shows a graph), starting at about 60HZ for the first band and ending at about 15khz for the 7th band.
    I'll try to get up a video, but it will take some time (my only video-recording camera is elsewhere; I need to retriece it). But the youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhd1Z...eature=related) does give you the idea. Think about popping the globes off of those ge lights (they do just pop off with a bit of force) and arranging them in some orderly fashion inside a large lamp, like this $20 one from ikea:lamp.jpg (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80028552/).

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    There is a new LED strip on the market that is a better deal than the GE Lights (although maybe not as suitable for Christmas lights): http://www.rayconn.net/product2_deta...338475420.html. These come as one-meter strips containing 32 individually addressable rgb leds that don't require time-sensitive bit-banging. The manufacturer says it will sell less-than 50 meter "sample" quantities for $17.05 per meter, plus shipping. That's about $0.50 per node--but the nodes are spaced at just over an inch apart, which may or may not be what you want. They can be cut and spliced using solder pads between every two leds. If you used them, note that the built-in power and ground lines can only support about 3 meters each, so you need to solder on new power and ground leads at least every 10 feet. They are the same thing that a leading retailer sells for almost 3 times the wholesale price (no names; don't want to cause trouble for the manufacturer's sample sales). I have just tested them so far, but they seem to work well.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Planning for 2011 - GE G35 RGB LED initial design ideas & exploration

    I checked the website, and these use 5V, so they are not the 18xx chips. How much is the controller to run these? 10 ft between power is about 90-100 pixels.

    Still would be interested in knowing what chip is being used...any marking on the chips in the strip?
    Mark

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