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Thread: Relay or Another Device

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    Considering you can get a 16 channel tlc5940 for a couple bucks and a 4 channel dirkcheap ssr for $5, that's the route I would go. Will work on most standard arduinos. The only draw back of the dirkcheap ssr is its a low current channel (1amp I believe). But at a $1.25 a channel might as well go crazy and make every strand a channel

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    Quote Originally Posted by jdc928 View Post
    Considering you can get a 16 channel tlc5940 for a couple bucks and a 4 channel dirkcheap ssr for $5, that's the route I would go. Will work on most standard arduinos. The only draw back of the dirkcheap ssr is its a low current channel (1amp I believe). But at a $1.25 a channel might as well go crazy and make every strand a channel
    Where can I find a schematic for hooking up the TLC5940 and Dirkcheap to the Arduino?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    I'll add a schematic including the dirkcheap ssrs to the post I linked above soon, but for now you should be able to look up the arduino tlc5940 library and I believe there was a wiring diagram there. The only addition would be that each tlc5940 output connects to an input on the dirkcheap ssr. I'll warn you that the tlc5940 schematic can look a little intimidating at first glance but it's really just 5 wires from the arduino and then just the same lines daisy chained.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    FYI... I intend on designing a pcb to make this a whole easier. It will mist likely have 4 tlc5940 per board and an easy way to daisy chain up to 10 boards together. I'll also post the pcb file to the forum when done

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    Thanks for all of your feedback! So which relay should I use with what controller? Thanks!
    We can't clearly answer that question without you providing more information.
    Consider this rhetorical question; I want to buy a vehicle to drive to work. Which vehicle should I buy?

    Can you firm up your display design?
    Will you use RGB pixels? Regular light strings?
    How many channels do you plan?
    How many lights per channel will you use (to determine the electrical load)?
    How many will require dimming?
    How many just ON-OFF?
    Can you solder parts on printed circuit boards?
    Must it be fully assembled?

    I gave you some suggestions in post#5. But it is hard for us to know which direction you want to take your hobby. I can appreciate the bewildering options with this hobby, but since it is a DIY hobby there are many ways it can be done and they are not off-the-shelf items. Hence the lack of model numbers.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    Quote Originally Posted by LightUp View Post
    We can't clearly answer that question without you providing more information.
    Consider this rhetorical question; I want to buy a vehicle to drive to work. Which vehicle should I buy?

    Can you firm up your display design?
    Will you use RGB pixels? Regular light strings?
    How many channels do you plan?
    How many lights per channel will you use (to determine the electrical load)?
    How many will require dimming?
    How many just ON-OFF?
    Can you solder parts on printed circuit boards?
    Must it be fully assembled?

    I gave you some suggestions in post#5. But it is hard for us to know which direction you want to take your hobby. I can appreciate the bewildering options with this hobby, but since it is a DIY hobby there are many ways it can be done and they are not off-the-shelf items. Hence the lack of model numbers.
    I agree... My suggestion is purely based off the fact that original post mentioned using mechanical relays and the only additonal desire mentioned was to dim.. So I assume regular light strands and basic dimming. If your looking for rgb led pixel control, or anything other then dimming regular ol Christmas lights, definitely give us more details because the suggestions may be completely different.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    I am planning to have about 40 strands of non-LED lights.
    I might have a few strands of Adafruit's RGB pixels.
    I can solder and make PCBs.
    I want the capacity of 100 channels?
    I kind of want all of the lights to dim.
    Only one channel per light string.
    Any ideas of things I should make for the display next year such as arches?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Relay or Another Device

    Your non-led strands will imply AC SSR for control.
    Since your strand most likely consumes less than 1 amp, the dirkcheap AC SSR will do for you. Each kit (board+parts) will do 4 channels. http://diychristmas.org/store/product.php?id_product=65
    At this point in your design phase you have an AC SSR for each strand. 25 kits will drive 100 strings, where each string is a channel.

    The next decision is; what will drive the AC SSR? This can be an Arduino only, with limited PWM channels, perhaps only 16, Or some other controller board like Renard, which is popular here. I don't have a cost analysis to help you decide so give it some thought by investing how many Arduinos, or how many Renards your 100 channels require.

    Others may suggest more options.....

    Regarding your layout, that is your choice. There people who use arches, mini-trees, strands wrapped around a tree, windows, roof lines, etc. Look at some videos and see what you like to implement with your planned 100 strands.
    RGB will require a DC SSR controller, depending whether you have a "dumb" pixel string, or a "smart" pixel string.

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