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Topic: Setup and Shield Suggestions (Read 257 times) previous topic - next topic

saucepan82

Hi all,

I want to get into Arduinos and have a good understanding of programming, but am still a bit confused with setting stuff up in the Arduino world.

What i want to do as a simple starting project is setting up a LED light that switches colors based of input from a website. The website publishes numbers between 0 - 100 and i want to set a range for the LED lights to switch from green to yellow to red, let say 60 (red) --> 80 (green).

Now coding this is not an issues, and ive found instructions on how to read info off a website into an Arduino so that shouldnt be a problem either. Issue is that im unsure of the Arduino setups. Id want it to be wifi connected as well, and I think this setup would cover my needs, but this is where i need help:

- arduino uno
- mkr rgb sheild
- arduino wifi sheild

As I understand it these products stack nicely together, they would cover my needs (above) and they only require one DC adaptor for the one arduino uno? Im asking mainly so that i know what to buy.

Thank you!

sterretje

#1
Jun 26, 2020, 02:12 pm Last Edit: Jun 26, 2020, 02:17 pm by sterretje
I have some serious doubts that the MKR RGB shield fits on an Uno. Based on the name, it's intended for a MKR board.

You can consider a MKR WiFi 1010 if you want to use the MKR RGB shield.

There also seems to be a complete kit like that; Voice Controlled Light Bundle that contains both the MKR WiFi 1010 and the MKR RGB shield.

There are probably other options (e.g. ESP based), I think that there is a shield from Adafruit that will fit an Uno, and possibly more options.

Note: I have no experience with the MKR or the other options.
If you understand an example, use it.
If you don't understand an example, don't use it.

Electronics engineer by trade, software engineer by profession. Trying to get back into electronics after 15 years absence.

SteveMann

When you use multiple shields, you have to do your own research to determine if they are compatible.  Problems arise when both shields want to use, for example, the same IO pins.

If you want WiFi, why not use a board that already has WiFi?

There is the Uno-Wifi board, but I haven't seen one.  But, for the cost of one Uno-Wifi you can buy ten Wemos D1 Mini boards. There's also the MKR series of Arduino boards- some have WiFi. But like the Uno-WiFi, the cost of a single MKR board could buy ten Node MCU boards.

You do get what you pay for.  Arduino boards are an order of magnitude better in product quality.  I have never had an Arduino board fail in use.  I do have a couple of ESP boards from BangGoog where the UART has failed. But at $3 per board, replacing it is not a big deal.
I am usually so far out of the box that most people don't know what I am talking about.

Please do not ask for help by PM. I will not respond.
If you need help, post a question on the appropriate forum.

saucepan82

thank you for the explanation guys! really helpful, gets me a long way.

as i said, im completely new to this so what boards fits into what is an area where i have no experience, so all your input in this is super helpful. to that point im not at all stuck on an uno - its more that they seemed to fit for me.

the MKR WiFi 1010 seems to do the trick nicely, and as the name suggests its WiFi enabled? so then i would have to get a WiFi shield? sorry for being dumb, but i just wanted to be certain :)

GoForSmoke

Shields are an expensive way to get the functionality you need.

If you want to change colors on an RGB led, get a common cathode (ground) RGB led and 3 resistors.

Wifi -- nRF24L01 modules are cheap and can take an external antenna. They come in RX and TX and RX/TX modules

There are also ESP8266 modules (tiny, < $10 ea) that have Wifi and a fast 32-bit processor and 8 GPIO pins.

Look into Arduino Nano, breadboard, and DuPont Cables being sure to note 2 different ends, 3 different types.

If you want to have fun get a WS2811 50 12mm bulb RGB led string and a switching power supply good for at least 4A of 5V. There are libraries for these, sending data to the led MCUs takes tricky timing and they handle that.

It takes 1 IO pin to change any to all of those leds, the data is serial. You send for each 1 byte of red, green, blue by filling an array with the FastLed library.

You can cut the wires between the bulbs and splice them. You can make shorter strings like 10 bulbs, they still work and for full power takes 60mA per bulb. A 5V 1A PS could run an Arduino and 10 bulbs at full bright. Lit wreath?

With an MSGEQ7 chip you can read music volume on 7 different bands in a couple ms. I think that the volume on bands could add to 8-bit RGB levels and then the sound makes the color. A DFPlayer Mini would make a good music source.

WS2811 don't cast light well, the led lights up a frosted 12mm bulb. They'd make cool button tops.

WS2812 RGB led strips work basically the same but no bulbs and no 3" wires between nodes. You can cut the strip at the short traces between nodes and solder to the pads. IMO these are better for personal wear due to finer size.
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink  <-- tasking Arduino 1-2-3
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial <-- techniques howto
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts
Your sketch can sense ongoing process events in time.
Your sketch can make events to control it over time.

GoForSmoke

Shields are an expensive way to get the functionality you need.

If you want to change colors on an RGB led, get a common cathode (ground) RGB led and 3 resistors.

Wifi -- nRF24L01 modules are cheap and can take an external antenna. They come in RX and TX and RX/TX modules

There are also ESP8266 modules (tiny, < $10 ea) that have Wifi and a fast 32-bit processor and 8 GPIO pins.

Look into Arduino Nano, breadboard, and DuPont Cables being sure to note 2 different ends, 3 different types.

If you want to have fun get a WS2811 50 12mm bulb RGB led string and a switching power supply good for at least 4A of 5V. There are libraries for these, sending data to the led MCUs takes tricky timing and they handle that.

It takes 1 IO pin to change any to all of those leds, the data is serial. You send for each 1 byte of red, green, blue by filling an array with the FastLed library.

You can cut the wires between the bulbs and splice them. You can make shorter strings like 10 bulbs, they still work and for full power takes 60mA per bulb. A 5V 1A PS could run an Arduino and 10 bulbs at full bright. Lit wreath?

With an MSGEQ7 chip you can read music volume on 7 different bands in a couple ms. I think that the volume on bands could add to 8-bit RGB levels and then the sound makes the color. A DFPlayer Mini would make a good music source.

WS2811 don't cast light well, the led lights up a frosted 12mm bulb. They'd make cool button tops.

WS2812 RGB led strips work basically the same but no bulbs and no 3" wires between nodes. You can cut the strip at the short traces between nodes and solder to the pads. IMO these are better for personal wear due to finer size.

BTW, I was a programmer since a while back and here's a joke from the Real Programmer's Joke Sheet:
Q: How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Can't be done, it's a hardware problem!

If that's you, learn to solder or spend a lot more for hardware.
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink  <-- tasking Arduino 1-2-3
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial <-- techniques howto
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts
Your sketch can sense ongoing process events in time.
Your sketch can make events to control it over time.

saucepan82

Look into Arduino Nano, breadboard, and DuPont Cables being sure to note 2 different ends, 3 different types.

If you want to have fun get a WS2811 50 12mm bulb RGB led string and a switching power supply good for at least 4A of 5V. There are libraries for these, sending data to the led MCUs takes tricky timing and they handle that.

It takes 1 IO pin to change any to all of those leds, the data is serial. You send for each 1 byte of red, green, blue by filling an array with the FastLed library.

You can cut the wires between the bulbs and splice them. You can make shorter strings like 10 bulbs, they still work and for full power takes 60mA per bulb. A 5V 1A PS could run an Arduino and 10 bulbs at full bright. Lit wreath?

thank you for that comprehensive reply. im starting to understand where im heading now. the reason why i was thinking shield was to minimize issues, seeing as how i was just starting out with this. I figued id make thing easier for my self.

i was actually not thinking of any application really, but lit wreath could be a cool application area. i was mainly doing this cuz it felt like a semi-difficult project to start out with (or rather "making some small lights swith colors, hard could it be :P ?).

on the aruino nano im fining this tech info: LED: 13. There is a built-in LED connected to digital pin 13. When the pin is HIGH value, the LED is on, when the pin is LOW, it's off. am i to understand i connect the WS2811 there? do i need to solder this? i have no issues soldering things, but id rather not seeing as im an arduino novice (again, minimizing risk of messing up).

sterretje

Led on pin 13 on a Nano is an ordinary led, not an addressable led.

You can basically connect addressable LEDs to any pin (except A6 and A7 on the Nano).

Nanos come, to my knowledge, with header pins already soldered. I use something like this nano screw terminal shield.
If you understand an example, use it.
If you don't understand an example, don't use it.

Electronics engineer by trade, software engineer by profession. Trying to get back into electronics after 15 years absence.

GoForSmoke

If you have a multimeter you can check solder joins for continuity.

Make sure to have heat-shrink tubing to insulate with, avoid electrical tape, heat-shrink is pretty cheap and you only need a short piece for most joins.
, predicting the future.
You don't have to solder wires you twisted together and locked down mechanically (like with heatshrink tube). Just be aware that they might not stay together if the joint gets flexed too much.

Electrical continuity is what it's about and solder is more solid than without.

My WS2811 string has a jack and the plug for it with VCC, GND and Data lines -- I want a longer Data wire to get away from the power supply so I spliced.

There's not much to get wrong so what you do, check at least 3 times with a break in between to get fresh eyes.

1) http://gammon.com.au/blink  <-- tasking Arduino 1-2-3
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial <-- techniques howto
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts
Your sketch can sense ongoing process events in time.
Your sketch can make events to control it over time.

saucepan82

Great - thank you! I got a few things together and ordered yesterday. now let the adventure begin!

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