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  1. #1
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    Default 128 Channel PIC Dimmer System

    This system is a PWM type of system so it will work with incandesant or LEDs.

    The baud rate is 115,200 bps and the I/C is running at 40 MHz.

    The system consists of:
    12 VAC wall wart transformer
    One (1) PC Interface
    Four (4) 32 Channel Field Modules
    Thirty Two (32) 4 Channel SSR's

    All 128 channels of data is sent to all four modules. The field modules identify their respective module numbers with hardware jumpers and only accepts the data it needs.

    The plugin allows you to run 1, 2, 3, or 4 modules. 32 consecutive channels are sent to a module. The user selects the starting channel of the 32 channels.

    The PC interface connects to a 9 pin RS-232 serial port on the PC. The RS-232 data is converted to RS-485 and sent to the field modules. Since the data is transmitted via RS-485, the distance of the cable between the PC Interface and the field module(s) can be a several hundred feet. I have not tested that yet, I'm working on testing ~ 150 feet.

    Below is a diagram of the architecture.


    Below is a picture of the PC interface.


    Below is a picture of the 32 Channel Field Module.


    The connections for the SSR's are right for Sean's SSR's.

    The system is capable of bi-directional communication.

    For those that are interested:


    Here is the bill of materials

    Here is the field module ExpressPCB file

    Here is the PC Interface ExpressPCB file

    Here is the .ASM file (for sourcing controllers, +5VDC turn on triac)

    Here is the .HEX file (for sourcing controllers, +5VDC turn on triac)

    Here is the Vixen plugin file (place the file in the Vixen plugins directory)

    Note: Be sure to get the latest version of ExpressPCB at www.ExpressPCB.com

    Edit: July 10, 2007 Added FGDIMMER_50Hz.HEX file
    Edit: August 13, 2007
    Added FG_SINK_50HZ.ZIP (ASM & HEX file)
    Added FG_SINK_60HZ.ZIP (ASM & HEX file)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by FireGod; 02-20-2009 at 11:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    If I have not said it before, great work. This is a really great looking system, and a great concept. If I was not already commited to the 64 channel Renard design, I would probably go this route. But on the other hand, I prefere all my control boards to be in a centralized location. Less water proof enclosures.

    This is a great design, and I hope it makes it's way into a few displays this year.

    Keep up the great work and development.
    David Scott

    If it aint broke, I got a bigger hammer.

  3. #3
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    So i assume with the information from the old forum that this requires 11vac or 240 (or whatever it is in oz)vac? If not, what voltage does it use?
    My sig is better than yours!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    So i assume with the information from the old forum that this requires 11vac or 240 (or whatever it is in oz)vac? If not, what voltage does it use?
    It uses a Mouser P/N 412-212104 wall transformer (found on the Bill of Materials referenced in the first post above). It is a 120VAC to 12VAC 1000mA transformer. The PC interface uses the 12VAC for the zero crossing signal and also rectifies it and regulats it down to 5VDC for the electronics.

    The Bill of Material includes EVERYTHING you need except the boards, SSRs, and CAT5 cables.

  5. #5
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    Revised the picture of the PC interface to show the 2200UF capacitor and the deletion of the adjustable voltage regulator.

    David Scott Caffey

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    David,

    Is there a document somewhere that shows what the serial protocol is? You described it at one time, but I'm having trouble finding it over the jumble at picdimmer.

    --

    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by P. Short
    David,

    Is there a document somewhere that shows what the serial protocol is? You described it at one time, but I'm having trouble finding it over the jumble at picdimmer.

    --

    Phil
    34bytes per module:
    sync char 85 dec (55h)
    module number (1, 2, 3,or 4)
    32bytes of data (100 dec (64h)= 0% and 200 dec (C8h)= 100%)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 128 Channel PIC Dimmer System

    Quote Originally Posted by FireGod View Post
    34bytes per module:
    sync char 85 dec (55h)
    module number (1, 2, 3,or 4)
    32bytes of data (100 dec (64h)= 0% and 200 dec (C8h)= 100%)
    Is the module number an ASCII character "1" to "4", or binary values (01h to 04h)?

    So turning off all the channels on module 1 would be (in hex):

    55 01 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64
    64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64 64

    Is that right?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 128 Channel PIC Dimmer System

    Steve,

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong but this is how I understand this....


    The data is transmitted via binary signals. I don't think it matters what you type into the terminal program as it will all be converted to binary signals.

    The data string that you have is correct. It matches the PIC code for the hardware UART interupts that FireGod sent me.

    Chris

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 128 Channel PIC Dimmer System

    Quote Originally Posted by g2ktcf View Post
    Steve,

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong but this is how I understand this....


    The data is transmitted via binary signals. I don't think it matters what you type into the terminal program as it will all be converted to binary signals.

    The data string that you have is correct. It matches the PIC code for the hardware UART interupts that FireGod sent me.

    Chris
    I think there's a little misunderstanding here about what you mean by "binary signals". I was just asking for clarity about what FireGod meant about sending a module number 1-4 as part of the protocol. That could either be the ASCII character "1" (which would be the binary code 31h) or a raw binary value 1 (which would be binary code 01h). Either would be consistent with the rest of the protocol and reserving 55h as the packet start byte. I'm assuming the latter case, though; I think it makes the most sense to me.

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