I want to make a 120v 8 outlet chasing Christmas light controller

I want to make a 120v 8 outlet chasing Christmas light controller I am thinking I will use 120v relays controlled by an Arduino. witch Arduino board I should use and what pergram to make the lights chase with speed control ??? thanks.

You can use any arduino and you can write your own program.

Yes, any arduino with a generic relay board from Amazon, etc. can be made to do that. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=8-channel%20relay%20module&sprefix=8-channel+r%2Caps%2C169

Little bit of coding using blink without delay and a counter from 1 to 8 would do it. Every time that time has passed, turn off the current relay, turn on the next one.

buy a lot of spare relays. make the connections plug able so you can replace them as they fail.

I think the Arduino pergram is the one that works best with Arduino boards.

Why would the relays fail if they are rated for the proper voltage & current? I would think the on time/off time for each would be pretty lenghty (seconds or more), something a relay could handle.

I think the Arduino pergram is the one that works best with Arduino boards.

funny Dave .... XD

I think mine was more direct ... XD

and you can write your own program.

Yes, and oh so helpful for a first time poster. Congrats. I look forward to the complaints to the moderator about that.

If someone wants to learn, they need to make an effort. Asking for a program is not an effort in my book . I won't support the "Jack in the Box "- order mentality of many Newbies. If you want to write code for every Newbie that is too lazy to research it be my guest. I answer questions when I see them. "What program to use " is not a valid question, if you want to be technical, Why is it not a valid question ? Because it is totally devoid of any intent to learn HOW to do a thing. Did he ask "how do you sequence lights ? or what command do you use. ?

If someone asks, "how would I turn on a digital output ?" , do you think my answer would be the same ? You know it wouldn't . You know exactly what I would do because you've seen me do it a hundred times... http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/digitalWrite

and

http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/analogWrite

And just for the record, I do write code for newbies when I see they are making an effort and deserve it.

You know exactly what I would do because you've seen me do it a hundred times...

Sad to say, you have developed a reputation.

Sad to say, you have developed a reputation.

I'm sure that was intended to make me feel guilty but I can tell you I get more thank you personal messages than "go to hell " messages. If that reputation means everyone knows I don't baby lazy people then I can live with that.

A lot of times folks know so little they don't even know what to ask when they are starting off. A little guidance as a first response makes for a much better start to the conversation, I find. Remember, the audience is artists and hobbyists and other beginners here.

I'll take that into account in the future.

Thanks.

CrossRoads: Why would the relays fail if they are rated for the proper voltage & current? I would think the on time/off time for each would be pretty lenghty (seconds or more), something a relay could handle.

experience.

two reasons. #1) an electromechancial relay may have contact ratings that have a MTBF in the 10 million range, but the armature is in the 1 million range.

http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5988-6917EN.pdf

based on a chase light string and each light chase occurring every 2.5 seconds, or 48 times a minute, (1,440/hr)34,560 times a day or 1,036,800 times a month,

like many people that start on Black Friday, end of November. We ()he) should see expected end of life failures right around Christmas.

alas, if the cheap Chinese relays are used, reports of premature failure are common, so this normal life expectancy may not be the norm, but the exception.

you might point out two alternate possibilities. 1) that the lights will be turned off and only run for a few hours a day. that would greatly extend the life to possibly years. 2) the pergram never works, and life expectancy is infinite. again, making me wrong.

there are yet more possibilities. the OP uses 120v coil relays, burns up the Arduino and it takes over 30 days to get a new one from China. again, life of the relays is approaching infinity, and proving me wrong approaches total certainty.

alas, the one we do not want to contemplate is the one Robin2 is always concerned about and that is the electrocution of the operator, thereby ending the project. and yet again, life expectancy of the relays approaches infinity and my being wrong approaches total certainty.

in review, the only reason the OP would need to buy replacements is if the project was completed and cheap relays were used.

I do have faith that the OP will get this to work and will try it out. In addition, if the choice of e-bay is the norm, then cheap relays will be used.

I believe that my comments, although appearing rather flippant, are valid.

Now part of my approach was that since it appears to me that the OP came to the table with a full cup and we know that It is hard to fill a cup that is already full, that maybe, just maybe the OP would ask if there was a better way.

Alas, my posts have always gone on the assumption that the poster has already chosen a course and will see it to fruition and then decide that maybe there was a better way. I certainly would be asking that about the time I got all 8 relays chattering away.

To that end, relay failure and replacement is not unexpected.

If the OP is successful, my money is that he will be and also on a relay failure before the changing of the calendar year.

My logic is generally sound, but occasional totally flawed. criticism is welcome if it is constructive.

My logic is generally sound, but occasional totally flawed. criticism is welcome if it is constructive.

Is "flippant " a bad thing or can it be considered "writer's license" ? (We are not robots, so our personality (or lack thereof) should be considered "value added...", (besides, it makes it more entertaining when others take pot-shots at us while we're on stage )

maybe my original post to the question should have been more as a big brother?

please, take some time and do a little bit of research. any of the arduino boards will work for you and your project sounds like a great first project.

the FOR loop tutorials will give you some basic code to work with . they offer a chase sequence you can do very quickly.

May I suggest you start out with simple LED's and run them in a chase ?

also, I would offer that relays are not great for rapid on-off. one reason is that they are mechanical and have a higher failure rate than one might hope. another is that 8 of them will make a lot of noise just clattering away. but, since they are low cost, the failure rate may be acceptable. get some spares. besides, once you figure out how to use them, you will find other projects for them.

lastly, consider a solid state relay. It will cost quite a bit more, but in the long run, it will be much more dependable.

hope you have fun.

maybe my original post to the question should have been more as a big brother?

My older sister used to beat me up so I guess I make a lousy big brother... XD

Maybe a relay board and a couple as spares then. Or one from 2 or 3 sources, see which lasts.
The relays are soldered in. 5-6 lead devices can be user replaced, damaging the PCB always a possibility - and that’s if the same footprint relay can be obtained.
$12-20 for another board might be much easier, just unscrew the wires & move everything over.

raschemmel:

maybe my original post to the question should have been more as a big brother?

My older sister used to beat me up so I guess I make a lousy big brother… XD

FOR (RAS=0;RAS<=100;RAS++)
hit RAS

does that sound about right ?

Left out a pause for the arm to recover:

loop{
FOR (RAS=0;RAS<=100;RAS++){
hit RAS;
}
delay (10000); // arm rest, get a drink, smile sweetly at mother 8)
} // continue!