I'll start this by apologizing for the vast level of noobosity in the incoming questions. This is my first real project and I'm using it for the office, so I'd like to make it as simple to build as possible so we can make it a team building exercise.
I have a project where I am trying to light up a map using about 60 RGB LEDs. The LEDs will be plugged into various areas of the map and will all be lit up at the same time, just using different colors to indicate status. Eventually, I'll control these over ethernet, but I'm not worrying about that just yet.
I've been doing a lot of research (not enough apparently) and it seems that I have two best options. Using the CC LED and mutiplexing or using CA LED and running far more wires than I would prefer to.
The majority of the tutorials I have read are focused on CA LEDs because the most common library people use doesn't support CC that I can tell, however, I have seen many of you state that over the years you have figured out how to do this via multiplexing. I've gotten some great tips on doing this outside of Arduino using other TLC5940 libraries, however, I want to build this direction from Arduino until I know a bit more of what I'm doing.
I'm not very good at reading schematics yet, however If i could just find something as simple as http://tlc5940arduino.googlecode.com/svn/wiki/images/breadboard-arduino-tlc5940_close.png
I should be able to get it wired up. I've read that you use MOSFET somehow, but I'm not real clear on what that even is to be honest. If I can get even 2 RGB LEDs mutliplexed together and driven from the TCL5940, I'm pretty sure I could get the rest of the way. Hopefully power wont be an issue. I've read that this chip can be easily fried, so I dont want to mess anything up. I have 5 currently with 5 on the way, so if I need to do it with CA and non multiplex I can, but it just seems like way too many wires.
My idea goes as follows:
Hook up arduino to breadboard and TLC5940
Place each LED on the map
Bend each LED and run a wire connecting each color in a circle (i think this is multiplexing), see diagram http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4099132/baddiagram.PNG
Use PWM to control the color of the lights individually, being able to light all 60 at once any one of 3 colors.
Please shoot some holes in this, I only have 50 CC and 50 CA LEDs and 5-10 TLC5940, I want to get on the right track before committing to buying more parts to finish the prototype and then the final product. I've read through lots of posts on the forums on the subject, and I already have an idea of which experts will end up replying, humbling seeking your wisdom!