Hi, first post, so please be gentle
I am new to Arduino and despite reading quite a bit, I need some help with a project.
I fly RC planes and multicopters and have seen a few of my local club recently adding analog LED strips to their craft - I want to go a bit further and make a matrix of digital LED strips to display pictures, words, etc.
We are limited with weight, but have a ton of battery power at our disposal.
I intend to use the LPD8806 IC powered LED strip, arranged into a suitable matrix that will fit the aircraft - the LPD8806 is PWM-compatible, so controlling it should be a breeze.
Ideally, the matrix will be powered from a LiPo battery, with the microprocessor board being powered by the aircraft's LiPo (typically 7.4V and 11.1V, depending on the craft).
The controlling program will be triggered by a spare channel on the RC receiver - I have a lot of spare switches, pots, etc. on my radio - which will allow the matrix to cycle through predefined patterns. One of the spare pots can be used to change the rate by which the display cycles.
I don't have a problem with the programming or with the manufacture of the LED matrix, but I don't know which Arduino would be the right tool for the job.
Price is a factor, as is weight, so with that in mind the mini-sized Arduino boards seem to fit my requirements - the Pro Micro, Nano, even a Lilypad, would seem to fit the size and power requirements, but I am unsure about how to actually get the program from the development environment to such a device and whether such a device will have enough computing power to do the job.
My only experience with such things has been with Raspberry Pi, where your options are limited to one form factor.
Ideally, I would like the whole works to be shrink-wrapped into a package and connected to the matrix using something like a JST connector (of which I am very familiar, being into RC). If that was the case, how do I go about changing the program and updating the patterns?
My background is computing - Linux, server farms, etc. and before that programming IBM mainframe OS's, so I am comfortable with the programming and shifting bits around. I am a reasonable solder-monkey so making the matrix and packaging it to suit a lightweight aerial device is something I am happy doing.
The electrical side of powering the matrix and of passing control signals isn't a problem - I have read a number of tutorials, but they were based around using a standard-sized Arduino board, not one of the micro-sized units and obviously programming such a thing is a doddle - just connect the USB.
It's those bits in the middle I am a bit confused about.