I bought a string of LED color changing christmas lights. I pulled open one of the bulbs and the driver is not marked at all. It is a 14 pin surface mount IC with a "line in 1" on pin 11, "line in 2" on pin 10, "line out 1" on pin 3 and "line out 2" on pin 4.
There are 4 wires from each bulb, +V, GND, L1 and L2.
The driver controls 3 separate LED's by completing the ground.
Sorry I'm new to this, so the terminology might be off. :) I also looked at the controller and there is no markings on the board or IC that controls the lights. When I power up the string from my arduino 5V i get a random array of colors (leaving "L1" and "L2" disconnected).
Not sure where else to start in determining the communication protocol or some library I "might" be able to use to control them.
some more pin info:
green - pin 2
blue - pin 12
red - pin 9
Not sure where else to start in determining the communication protocol
Get it working with your original controller and use an oscilloscope or logic analyser to look at the signals to try and work out the protocol.
Thanks for the response.. I can get it working with its original controller. Unfortunately this is a hobby I just got into so I don't have an oscilloscope or logic analyzer. Is there an affordable off the shelf product for someone who is just getting into this kind of thing? I will get on YouTube and start watching more videos. :)
Well reverse engineering a protocol it not a beginners activity unfortunately. Not only is the equipment expensive it takes skill to interprate what it is showing you.
After that you then have to write some code that will do the same thing. So I would try and get some experience with the hobby and think of this as a long term project.
Thanks for shooting straight. :) I'll put this one on the back burner.. maybe do a little more research to try to identify the chipset being used. Is it possible it's some custom built chip that might not be found in anything else and why I'm having such a hard time locating a datasheet for it?
Is it possible it's some custom built chip that might not be found in anything else and why I'm having such a hard time locating a datasheet for it?
Yep. Lack of markings is always a good indicator of that.
Or ... it's also possible it's a mass-produced chip that isn't sold outside China and the only datasheets are in Chinese.
I'm trying to get in contact with the distributor to see if I can track down any more information that way but having a hard time finding them, even. The box is marked "Endura-Right Lighting, LLC" based out of Weatherford, TX, but no luck finding any contact information or ANYTHING for those guys.
Mostly these are import companies that just buy stuff and ship it out. They have no idea what they are selling and no desire to know. They take the attitude of if it works like it should then there is nothing to be gained by knowing any more. It is likely that it passed through several companies before it got to you, each one knowing less than the previous one. They don't hang about because most of the safety markings are used fraudulently and they don't want to get caught.