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Topic: Arduino controlled led system. (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic


So, high everyone! I'm new here and to the whole world of arduino but I'm eager to learn!

So I'm here to get your opinions on my next project and hopefully get some questions answered.

My newest project: Arduino controlled led system.

What I am hoping to accomplish is a multi "zoned" led system for my car.
I participate in various things that allow me to use warning lights on my vehicle, some things are for a local government agency and some is for other things that involve police escorts.  Currently I have a cheap led flasher from China that I bought off of ebay before the foreign sellers started jacking their shipping charges.  The flasher came with 2 sets of lights with each set having 3 pods of 3 leds.  The flasher has 3 patterns, mode A is side 1 flashes 4x then side 2 flashes 4x, mode B is alternating flash (1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2?..), mode C is both sides at the same time.   These leds are amber and are mounted in the rear window.  Since getting the flasher I have added some white led strips in the grill and tied them into the wires for the other lights.
So I don't have many lights and would like to add more.  But real warning leds are expensive and I don't have a few hundred to drop into that. What I would like to do is have an arduino control all the leds around the car independently.  Attached is a map of the different "zones" that I would like to control.  The front and rear have two zones so the leds can have alternating flash patterns.  
There are a few goals I have for this project to be able to do.
1.      Individual zone control. (on, off, strobe, etc?)
2.      Preset patterns or modes. (zones 11+12 alternate, zones 21,22,23,24 on, etc?)
3.      Use a LCD display to scroll through the zones and modes.
Bonus Goals!!
4.      Use RGB leds and control each color channel in the zones.
5.      Have an additional zone for a traffic advisor (arrow stick).
So my first question is what arduino would I need to have this work?  The interior zones are just extra that I thought would be cool to have a glow from under the seats and dash.  So could I get by with an Uno or would I need a Mega?
I know others have driven high powered leds from an arduino before so that not a huge issue.

Thanks for your time!


Sorry for the double post, but I couldn't add the image in my first post :\


Not sure what the numbers mean in your picture.
If you can get by with 17 outputs (assuming you leave Rx/Tx free to give the arduino commands) and you are powering all those things with 12v, then you can have any arduino, even the clones, control 1 MOSFET per I/O pin as the simplest solution to turn power on/off to each zone.
If that's not enough zones, then you can write to a shift register and have the shift register control the MOSFETs.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.


The numbers would be the area of each zone.  I numbered them in the 10's, 20's and 30's so I know what area of the car is that zone without having to think about how I numbered them. 10's would be exterior zones and 20's would be interior zones.  I added the 30's as a last minute thing, but I think I'll just add them to them to the 10's zones.

If my research is right, I would use 6 pins for the lcd, and 5 pins for the joystick I want to use.  So that would leave me with 6 pins.  But if I use a shift register I can have more?

I think I counted the joystick correctly but I'm not 100% sure.

LCD  http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKAD15



Yep - simple way is define a shiftclock & dataout line for each zone, then shift out however many control bits you want per zone.

For example, here I shift out 16 bits (but are only using 9).
I used 74F374's because I had some and didn't have any shift registers on hand, and I needed something where I could monitor the code without having to watch it via the serial monitor.

If you want more than 3 zones, that can be accomplished as well. Write to one shift register, use the outputs to enable/select other shift registers that do the control you want.

Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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