arduino dmx reciever/controller

Hi Everybody! So I have a project in mind. I want to be able to control and RGB LED strip, like this http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10312, with an arduino, via dmx protocol, and wirelessly at that. Since this is my first project, I want some input from other people. I wanna make sure im not crazy, just ambitious. The dream is to have some sort of led toy, like a staff, that you could perform with to a song and have an entire light show that you designed on your computer wirelessly control the led toy in sync to the song just like any other concert light show. I know it's possible to send dmx wirelessly, and receieve it, and to use the arduino as a dmx reciever... well atleast according to http://blog.wingedvictorydesign.com/2009/03/20/receive-dmx-512-with-an-arduino/ . What i don't know/understand is how to translate the dmx signal going into the arduino to control the individual led's on the rgb led strip. Would this be through programming? Or am i barking up the wrong tree? Any thoughts, advice, help, or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Knox

Your'e not crazy...

What i don't know/understand is how to translate the dmx signal going into the arduino to control the individual led's on the rgb led strip. Would this be through programming?

Yes. That would be done with software.

You'd need to write the software to receive & interpret the DMX messages, and then another part of your program would control the output/LEDs.

Do you know anything about the DMX protocol (I don't), or do you have access to the specs?

The way to approach an ambitious project is to break it into parts, and break it up in a way that you can individually test & debug each part. Then, you can use the working parts to test & debug the new/unknown parts.

Do you have a known-working DMX controller? I think it's important to have a DMX controller or device, to make testing easier and so you don't end-up building something that might work with your system but doesn't work with other standard DMX stuff.

Start by hooking-up the LED strip and writing some code to make the LEDs "do stuff".

Then, work on the DMX "input". It's probably best to work with wired DMX first. Figure-out how to connect the hardware and then write the code to intrepret the DMX messages and make the LEDs respond before building & testing the wireless connection.

I think this is the hard part of the project... Creating the hardware & software to get the DMX messages into the Arduino's memory (as variables) so that the other part of your software can do something with the message-data. Once you've got that data into your Arduino as variables, everything else should be smooth-sailing!

Yes, i do have a working dmx controller, as well as access to the best dmx controllers in the industry. I’m very familiar with dmx protocal. I’ve worked in the lighting industry for years all over the world, usually as a lighting designer. Now that i know, though, i’m gonna start working on the code to translate the dmx into something the arduino understands and puts out into the led strip.