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Author Topic: Controlling multiple LED strips wirelessly  (Read 1787 times)
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So I'm completely new to Arduino (and electronics). So new that I haven't even ordered one to play with yet! I'm just doing as much research to aid this idea I have in case I blow a load of coin on a project that's doomed to fail!

I want to create a portable lighting setup for a band to take on the road and setup themselves at gigs. A band member can change scenes by pressing buttons on a MIDI footcontroller. The idea is that there would be, say, 5 x LPD8806 LED strips placed at various points on the stage; hanging from the lighting rig, stuck to a guitar amp, wrapped around the drummers head haha.. etc. It would have this sort of effect.

Originally I thought to run the 5 LED strips via cables - which would be quite long making the setup problematic what with crew moving/setting up gear - I can just imagine someone tripping on one of the cables! So I've come to think about the feasibility of a wireless setup...

The picture attached is how I imagine this to work.

Each LED strip has its own receiver and battery pack (yeah, that's a lot of batteries). A computer can then send Arduino lighting changes, and Arduino relays these commands to the LEDs wirelessly.

Is this project feasible? Am I way off the mark? Too ambitious for a newbie?  smiley-red


* Arduino project.jpg (157.97 KB, 574x510 - viewed 244 times.)
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Do your LED strips have Wi-FI capability?

In your diagram you show an Arduino with WI-FI shield and just a WI-FI symbol going to two additional connections on your strips.

If, as I suspect, they aren't then you need to wirelessly enable them.

There are some cheap 2.4Ghz radios called nRF24L01+ that could be used. The low power versions are about £1.30 each from China and should work in a short distance environment like yours. You might have to consider and design for any electrical/RF noise in that environment though.

Maybe using something like ATTiny with nRF24L01+ and associated driving circuit, as a receiver unit for the LED strips, and then an Arduino with nRF24L01+ that takes your MIDI foot pedal input and sends to the receiver.

What kind of effects will you require? Just turning them on and off; single colour or RGB? Dimming via PWM etc? Pre-programmed lighting effects such as fading, rainbows, flashes, sound to light etc?

It's certainly possible, just dependent on whether you have the skills to do it and/or the time to learn and build.

I'm sure some other members will have different ideas too, as the spec you've given is vey loose at the moment; 'controller LED strips wirelessly from MIDI foot pedal'.
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Yeah sorry, excuse my loose specs! There's a lot that I'm still catching up with  smiley-sad-blue

I don't currently own any of the things required for this project, but from what I gather, these LPD8806 digital RGB LED strips are what I'm after. Each LED is individually addressable which means I could, and will do some pretty cool things! The kind of effects I'd want would be.. all of the above! I plan to program all my scenes in MaxMSP, which means a laptop is required on stage. This just makes the build less complicated for me because I don't need to worry about MIDI on the Arduino itself.

In my diagram I've got a wifi symbol before the LED strip because, well, I wasn't sure what might be needed there. As you suggested, in that place should be:
  • a transceiver (nRF24L01+)
  • ATtiny microcontroller
  • and a driving circuit.

And for the Arduino, just a nRF24L01+, like you said.

All these parts look super small (and cheap!) which is perfect! Electrical/RF noise is a concern - especially since at gigs you have a room full of people with phones in their pockets and bags!

Any other suggestions or directions to point me in?

Thanks for the help! Much appreciated!
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One of your other options is to use xbee for the wireless connection.  They are more expensive, but are much more robust.  Another option is bluetooth, but that is highly dependent on the range you are looking into.
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One of your other options is to use xbee for the wireless connection.

I did come across this but thought the nRF24L01+ would do the same job.

It might be wiser to start this project without the wireless feature and implement it down the track. Just means running meters of cable across a stage - but this might be better place to start for a newbie like me - the less parts and soldering the better!

I realise this could make the thread subject redundant - so I'd like to still discuss this wireless idea here.

Thanks guys! A mountain of learning has been done over the last 3 days!
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Dear,

Great project....
Did you have a sketch or how to?Perhaps this is working in Domoticz....
Like a WIfi light?
Only match cheaper....
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Heb een arduino ethernet met Solarmeter

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I would like to do this exact same thing.  Boff, did you ever get anywhere on the wireless control of multiple strips?  If so, would you mind describing how you did it? 

Does anyone else have any suggestions? 

 I've made a LED hula-hoop using LPD8806 and a sparkfun pro micro, but that's the extent of my arduino knowledge. 

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some one have a sketch foor the arduino..?
Whit the led software inside....?
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If anyone is still interested in a project like this, here is an example someone did (using Ethernet instead of Wifi). The ideas he used here should be applicable to your setup, plus Wifi if you do some tweaking. It doesn't look like a simple project for a beginner though you might be able to pull it off. Good luck!

http://hg.handverdrahtet.org/led-strip-remote
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Another tutorial/example with LED strip & Wifi:
http://learn.adafruit.com/wifi-controlled-led-christmahanukwanzaa-tree
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