Go Down

Topic: TLC5940 Woes (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic


Federico and I have been exchanging PMs, and it seems that we are both having troubles figuring out the modifications to the TLC5940 library found in this post. Would anybody care to explain in a bit more detail? Thanks.



The thing is, I already have 0.1?F and 1.0?F SMD caps across Vcc/Gnd for each chip, but they are very tiny. I could barely pick them up with a tweezers. I soldered them with a 15W iron, do you think I might have burned them up? Anyway, I'm considering putting 0.1?F caps in parallel across the smd caps on each chip.

If they are ceramic caps, no you can't burn them up!  And if they are not ceramics they should be.  Basically you are switching high currents at logic speeds, lots of decoupling right next to the IC is needed - both a 0.1uF and a 1uF ceramic right next to the chip, and 220uF on the supply rails (between Vcc and gnd) per board would be a good start, but be prepared to increase these.  Remember that series resistance and inductance are key parameters of decoupling caps, a 0.1uF cap is NOT redundant if a 1uF is present - it has better high-speed performance.

Just for example if you switch 200mA at CMOS speeds (say 5ns), that's a dI/dt of 40MA/s - unless the decoupling caps are right next to the chip the inductance of the PCB traces will lead to spikes of several volts on the supply pins, causing malfunction (and even possible damage).

In general when boards are strung out like this it is most reliable to have voltage regulators per board (the regulators can react to load changes directly).  Alternatively increasing the large decoupler per board can help (say 1000uF).  Check that you aren't getting too much Vcc supply droop between the boards (measure the voltage at each board with all LEDs on).  Beef up the supply wires if necessary.
[ I won't respond to messages, use the forum please ]


Feb 18, 2011, 03:33 am Last Edit: Feb 18, 2011, 03:41 am by AlexXx Reason: 1
Thanks for the reply Mark, I'll make sure to look into decoupling a bit more.

I made an interesting discovery today. I decided I would try to hook up my Arduino Mega to one of the painter boards, so I could at least have two boards running at the same time. Again, each painter board has 3 TLC5940s and 16 RGB LEDs. I hooked up the Arduino Mega to only one board, disconnecting all other boards. I also got a different power supply for both VLED and the Arduino Mega, since I wanted to use the other supplies with a different painter.

The LED power supply was 5V 1A switching.
Each LED channel pulls 17mA max, so the total current draw for the LEDs should be (17mA) * (16 RGB LEDs) * (3 channels per LED) = 0.816 A
So, I should have a 200mA comfort zone when all of the LEDs are on at the same time.

The supply for the Arduino Mega was 12V 350mA unregulated.
I thought that this would be more than enough to power the Arduino Mega and 3 TLC5940s.

When I ran a sketch, I got similar results to what I was seeing when I connected two boards with my old power supplies. The sketch would run, but only parts of the sketch would actually show up on the LEDs.
So, then I replaced those power supplies with the power supplies I was using earlier (5V 2A switching, 12V 500mA unregulated) and everything on that painter worked again.

Given this new data, do you think that my power supplies could be insufficient to power 2 painter boards? I mean, that is the easy conclusion to make. I just don't see where I went wrong in my power supply calculations. 5V 2A switching, 12V 500mA unregulated works on one painter but not two. 5V 1A switching, 12V 350mA doesn't work on even one painter.


It could be that the supply ripple is too much when you drive it close to the current limit. Ripple often increases as power draw increases.
This then could cause interference. You need to check the ripple on the rails with an oscilloscope.



Iam new here so hello to everyone :D

Have you tried puting a termination resistor on the last LedPainter board?

He shows it in the datasheet : http://www.brilldea.com/assets_files/LEDPainter/LED_Painter-Datasheet-Rev010.pdf

on page 6

Go Up