OpenRocket LED Controller

Now seems like a good time to write about the LED controller that I’ve been using for the last year or so. I based the Olympic Rings project on this controller, but there are several prior and subsequent project that I haven’t posted about yet (stay tuned for those). I originally designed the OpenRocket boardContinue reading “OpenRocket LED Controller”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #5

I’ve been distracted on other projects, but now I’ve managed to follow through on everything I proposed in Update #4. The v4 revision of the FidoLight board is now just a 4-channel constant-current driver, and all the control functions are now moved to a very flexible Distributed Lighting Controller (DLC) board that can drive twoContinue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #5”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #4

I’ve now received the v3 revision of the FidoLight PCB boards, and initial testing is promising. As you can see in the photo below, I’m now using all SMT components, including the pin headers used to mount the Teensy 4 MCU. That will allow me to mount the board directly to the metal enclosure (i.e.Continue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #4”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #3

After a 2 month hiatus to focus on other projects, I now have some progress to report on. FidoLight Summary A compact 10W RGBW spotlight with an intelligent driver that can be controlled via a multi-drop/addressable RS-422 serial bus. The driver board supports high-level lighting effect commands such as Fade <to color> <duration> . MicrocontrollerContinue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #3”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #2

[This blog entry was originally posted to Reddit in May 2021] Lots of progress to report on my development of an addressable, waterproof spotlight based on the Cree XM-L high-power RGBW LED. (Link to previous update). LED I’ve now received and tested these Cree XM-L RGBW star modules using a Sparkfun PicoBuck LED driver board. I initially testedContinue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #2”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #1

[This blog entry was originally posted to Reddit in April 2021] This is an update to my original post describing my plans to design/build an addressable LED spotlight based on a 3W Cree XM-L color module. There are three key challenges I’ve been grappling with: The lights require a weatherproof enclosure that is very small and unobtrusive TheContinue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: Update #1”

FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: The Beginning

[This blog entry was originally posted to Reddit in March 2021] For various art-lighting projects, I’ve been in search of a high-power RGBW (or maybe just RGB) spot/flood light fixture that is water/UV resistant and ideally has a SK6812 (RGBW) compatible serial interface. I’ve seen (but not tried) this 10W addressable RGB fixture, but it’s a bit largeContinue reading “FidoLight RGBW Spotlight: The Beginning”

Simple Multitasking for Arduino

Beyond Blink Without Delay If you’ve been building projects with Arduino-compatible microcontrollers for more than a few months, you’ve probably faced the challenge of orchestrating the timing of the processing functions for multiple switches, sensors, displays, LEDs, motors, etc. On your first simple projects, you probably got away with using one or more calls toContinue reading “Simple Multitasking for Arduino”

Logic Level Shifters for Driving LED Strips

This article will help you determine whether you need a logic level shifter circuit to reliably drive an addressable LED strip with your microcontroller unit (MCU) of choice. And after boring you with an explanation of why a level shifter may be necessary, I’ll provide some recommended options for implementation. Just to be clear, thisContinue reading “Logic Level Shifters for Driving LED Strips”