LED (or fibre-optic) lighting control for a nautical chart

Gents

I’d like to mount a nautical chart on a large wall at home and light all the buoys and lighthouses on the chart so that they display the actual characteristic of the buoys/lighthouses; ie, flash red twice every three seconds or, continuous flashing white, or occulting green, etc, etc… and someone mentioned that this arduino system could be used as the brains of the operation.

My idea was to use LED lights controlled by a microprocessor or, alternatively, use fibre optic cable from a light engine controlled by a microprocessor but I’m not an electronics expert!

In total there are 24 lights, all with different characteristics, on the chart which would be hung on the wall and powered via 230v and a transformer/voltage regulator.

In short, is it feasible to achieve what I’m seeking using the arduino system combined with LED lights or fibre-optic?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts, opinions and input.

Is this possible? Absolutely! Actually, you could do much more as well....but, you were told correctly. Arduino would be a nice fit for this size project.

And you would go with LEDs if you wanted to keep the cost down, or spend a little more for optic cable for "kewl factor" (but not necessary). Don't forget about LED brightness, there are many.

Now, the Arduino UNO only has 14 output pins and you have 24 lights. Still not a real problem but your coding is gonna be a little more trickier as you may need a few external chips for addressing all 24 lights. Or, you could go with the Arduino MEGA2560 which has 54 output pins, and now things are pretty simple to put together.

You can find all kinds of examples on the web (including Arduino.cc) showing the wiring for the lights. Your next challenge will be to get your head around how to code the timings sequences for each light. Again, go to the tutorials at Arduino.cc

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage

Hope this helps....and good luck!

Uno has 20 outputs, not 14.
Wiring could be this simple,
parts from www.dipmicro.com or similar
240 to 5V adapter
LEDs
resistors, in 180-220 ohm range

I had a code sequence all typed, hit something and lost it.

Basically set up an array for each LED, every pass thru a 100mS timing loop, you read the next hi/lo value and output it.
At the end of the array, you reset a pointer back to the beginning, thus every array could be different size and appear to have different timing:

led1[9] = {0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1};
led2[16] = {1,1,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0};
led3[6] = {0,0,0,1,1,1};

then the loop might be (after setting up the arrays, declaring pin numbers to be used, variables, and using pinMode to set the pins as Outputs:

void loop(){
currentMs = millis();
if (currentMs - previousMs >=100){
previousMs = previousMs+100;  // set up for next pass

// write led1 hi or lo
digitalWrite ( led1Pin, led1[led1pointer] );
// set up for next value
led1pointer = led1pointer + 1;
// and reset if reached the end
if (led1pointer == 9) {  led1pointer = 0;}

// repeat for the other LEDs & their sizes

digitalWrite ( led2Pin, led2[led2pointer] );
led2pointer = led2pointer + 1;
if (led2pointer == 16) {  led2pointer = 0;}

digitalWrite ( led3Pin, led3[led3pointer] );
led3pointer = led3pointer + 1;
if (led3pointer == 6) {  led3pointer = 0;}

} // end time check
} // end of loop, go check time again

Thanks guys, that's most encouraging.

I guess I now need to get my reading glasses (and my thinking head) on and get to grips with this system!

Are there any UK based suppliers of this kit and, if so, are there any recommendations?

Many thanks

Tony

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Buy

Hi Yachtmaster Im just wondering have finished this project ? As i am trying to do the same thing as you. i have posted up a similar post on this if you want to take a look and any help i would much appreciate it.

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=451215.0

Thanks

In total there are 24 lights, all with different characteristics, on the chart which would be hung on the wall and powered via 230v and a transformer/voltage regulator.

In short, is it feasible to achieve what I'm seeking using the arduino system combined with LED lights or fibre-optic? [/quote]

That's perfectly possible with Arduino to control a bunch of signalling LEDs.

This is acommercial product: http://lightedcharts.com/video_example/

Of course you can do it yourself with Arduino and LEDs.

Simplest possibility would be: Each LED on the map is fixed color and you simply control on/off blinking sequence.

If you want the same LED appear in different colors, simulating a lighthouse with several sectors of different colored light, like a 120 degree sector light red, 120 degree sector light green and a120 degrees sector light white, it might become a bit more complicated: You then need RGB LEDs and have to control not only on/off, but also the individual color of each LED at each time of the lighing cycle.