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31  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: April 06, 2010, 01:01:14 am
Hi Franxoois,
The short answer would be yes you can, but you shouldn't.

I asked the same question a while back and someone with alot more experience in electronics gave me a good explanation of the reason why I shouldn't do it that way.

Instead I connected my +12V power source with one plug to the arduino and another to the led strip. Just don't forget that the circuit must share ground, otherwise it just won't work.

                +--- LED Strip ----+
Power -----|                          |----- Ground
                +--- Arduino ------+


Also I think you might have it backwards a bit. A 12V / 1.2 A dc power source does not shoot out 1.2 Amps it's probably the maximum rating for the power source.
Don't take my word for this as my knowledge of electronics is quite limited.

Good luck!
32  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: March 22, 2009, 02:20:08 am
In ancient times I belive going to IKEA on a saturday was used as a mild punishment for convicts.

Well there's absolutely no reason what so ever to buy the IKEA DIODER then. Costs nearly five times as much and is about ten times less bright.

Now that I have the Deal Extreme RGB LED strips I must recommend them aswell. Sure delivery wasn't that fast but still within two weeks.
33  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling RGB LED strip from DX on: March 18, 2009, 03:20:17 am
I had a bit of trouble understanding how to supply power to the ULN2003 at first. But I think I got it figured out. The ULN2003 will let the current flow through the ports 10-16 when they are triggered by port 1-7. Hence it will be placed AFTER the LED and ground. At first I thought I had to put the ULN2003 before the LEDs in the circuit.  
The 9th pin on ULN 2003 is only necessary when powering inductive loads such as motors.
 
This is the layout I came up with, please let me know if there are any serious flaws with it.
34  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: March 17, 2009, 03:56:24 pm
@MikMo
I bought one of those 1 meter RGB LED strips from DX as you recommended. Since I'm quite new with electronics I'd like to run something by you before I start trying to control it via the arduino.
 
Is it correct that the strip (1 meter with 30 LEDs) draws about 400 mA @ 12 V when all LEDs are full on? This is what I got when I connected my multimeter in serial with the strip.

If that's the case I think I will be trying to controll it via a ULN2003 each channel is rated to take a maximum of 500 mA and peaks up to 600 mA.
35  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: March 04, 2009, 01:28:01 am
Thanks for all the suggestions. I was really happy to see that the free shipping was world wide aswell. Makes the IKEA DIODER a bit pricy in comparison. However I think I will have to do some more digging on how long a DIODER is, how much it can illuminate and so forth.

@MikMo & macegr
You guys using the DX strips? How powerful would you say they are. If you put them on the floor close to a white wall, How much would you be able to illuminate using the strips?

@macegr
What is a ShiftBar?
36  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: March 03, 2009, 11:16:36 am
Thanks I actually knew of both those projects however for some reason I got stuck on the flickr page and didn't find the info I needed.
37  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Controlling IKEA's DIODER on: March 03, 2009, 09:39:41 am
Hi everyone,

I'm working on a little project where I want to color a wall with lights. The idea is to have the arduino control the color, intensity and perhaps some sort of pulsation of the lights.

I've already gotten this to work on a smaller scale so that is not the issue here.

The problem or question is how to make bigger. For this I intend to use IKEAs (yay sweden) DIODER light strips. Other than seeing examples of this on youtube I don't know if it will work. What kind of power DIODER uses and what not.

So the question is, have anyone successfully controlled DIODER with an arduino?
38  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 29, 2009, 06:41:19 am
I've been looking for the LDR on this device since I bought it this summer but I really can't find one. Although my experience with LDRs don't really go much further than the CdS I have in my component box. However the circuit is as you say pretty darn simple. But there is a big black blob on the circuit which I'm a bit curious about. I doubt it's a LDR since I can put my thumb on it and shine a light on it without anything happening. Could it perhaps be a diode?
The thing is the LED in the circuit lights up when it's dark, or if the solar panel is disconnected. Which leads me to assume that if the battery is getting charged by the panel either the battery does not emit any current or the led is turned off by the circuit.

On another note regarding a regulator. Could one say that the battery acts like a regulator?
39  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 29, 2009, 05:33:00 am
Thanks Ran for that extensive answer.
I did some measuring a minute ago using a really bright spotlight on the panel and got a voltage of 2.4-2.6 V and a current of 50-110 mA. However I should mention that I've kept the a protective plastic film on the panel so it might not get full exposure. I haven't tried with a resistor yet since I don't have a 50 Ohm resistor neither a 30 Ohm resistor (But if memory serves me right I should get about 50 from two 100 Ohm resistors in parallel, and 33.3 from three 100 Ohm resistors in parallel). Well I'll look into that later.

Thanks for the tip on the diodes aswell I'll be sure to pick some of them up in my next order.

However there is one thing I'm a bit puzzled about. That is when I connected the positive probe to the positive terminal on the panel and the negative probe on the negative terminal i got a negative voltage.
So my question is:
a. Did i connect my multimeter in the wrong way?
b. Could the labeling of the panel be wrong?
c. Some other reason as to why a solar panel gives out a negative voltage?

40  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 28, 2009, 01:38:38 pm
Ok, so basically I should use some sort of regulator if I intend to use something thats sensitive to high voltage and current?
41  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 28, 2009, 01:05:45 pm
@PaulS
I will in the summer when I will be using my project. Also we do have sun where I live. It's just that it's not as bright as during the summer and also I tend to be at work when it's up.

@TchnclFl
Ok so I won't get the max out of the panel unless i have a really bright sun then? But will I get a ballpark figure?
42  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 28, 2009, 11:34:28 am
Ok, so I basically have to wait for the sun to come by before I can get some decent numbers from the panel? If that's the case I would have to wait till spring or something smiley-wink.

And correct me if I'm wrong but to measure the short circuit current I would have to connect the multimeter positive probe to + and the ground/negative probe to - on the panel (just like measuring voltage).
43  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Get specs from unknown solar panel/cell on: November 28, 2009, 03:31:13 am
I have a few solar panels/cells lying around that I've gotten from a pack of solar powered garden lights.

The marking on the back of the panels say: Excell EXC53.5*53.5
However I'm not sure if the last "L" in Excell is part of the name or just a graphic part of the logo. The last "L" has two rays coming out of it. The numbers are consistent with the panel/cell size in millimetres.

Anyways I can't find any datasheets for the given info, so before I go fry anything, is there a way to get the absolute maximum ratings for current and voltage?

Any other tips that might be useful when working with unknown hardware would also be useful.

44  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Power the Arduino board from Vin with 12VDC on: November 11, 2009, 07:08:14 am
Before I kill myself troubleshooting I'd like to ask if it's possible to power the Arduino via the "Vin"-pin with 12VDC?
As far as I can understand this should be quite doable, but I'm quite the newbie and might have gotten it wrong.
45  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Getting +5V output from Sparkfuns FTDI BOB on: June 12, 2009, 05:26:52 am
Ah ok!
Thats even better than I hoped. That radio receiver I have shouldn't draw anywhere near 500 mA.

But just to be sure: Should I read the schematic as follows. VBUS voltage output goes through the 500 mA Fuse (F1) and to chip VCC (pin 20 on the chip). This pin is broken out to VCC (JP1-4) on the break out board. Which means it doesen't go through the chip it's just connected to it. I.e anything drawin power from this pin will draw power from USB and not from the chip.
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