1. is the WS2803 (nine of them) still the best way to drive 54 RGB LED?
2. Where can I get the WS2803? I searched eBay and only found Alibaba with a source in China.
Wow, quite a hostile post there Paul.
The references I cited list all the information I had, so I deemed it unnecessary to repeat all that.
However with some further digging, I did finally find the Neopixel LED from Adafruit and that is exactly what I needed. Just needed someone to point the way. Thanks for your post.