Power wheels fire truck lights feasibility

I am trying to make a lightbar and corner flashers for my sons power wheels Jeep turning it into a fire truck/brush truck I would like to know if I can program a 16 button moment push 4x4 keypad (like a phone key pad) while programming different light patterns for each button.... When each button is pushed it would end the current light pattern that was flashing to a different light pattern.

I'm new to the whole arduino experience. I was searching for a good program and circuitboard where I could program my own lights and I stumbled upon this. I am semi advanced into electronics having a avionics associates degree and working with class III electronics Trouble shooting on a daily basis. I understand programming to a point (I made my own games for the Ti-83+ calculator from scratch, and "some" computer basic.

-I have 8 LED light heads (12-13.9v .5A output rating required for each channel)
-I want to program 16 different light patterns on a 16 button momentary keypad

Seeing that this board looks promising with all the accessories they make for this board.......
Will this Arduino series serve for the purpose I need????
What hardware would I need to construct this using the light heads I have?
-What type of arduino board Do I need? Arduino Mega??
-16 monetary button keypad, 4x4 matrix??

-I don't want to use the Arduino 8 relay board because I don't want all that clicking, I am going to use a "tip120" transistor for each output making it a positive switched output for the 8+ channels (if I add more channels)

everyone's help is much appreciated, right now I just want to know if this is all feasible?? And what hardware do I need if this would work for the purpose I need it for??. Thank you!!

Just to be clear, am i reading that a 500mA or 5A current requirement?

Either way, you will need to interface electronics onto the digital output pins such as optoisolators or mosfets etc as the powerout from the pins is low (around 40mA)

What you want to do, absolutely! no reason why you cant achieve that. again, simplify your project. concentrate on making one light sequence and then expand upon it.

void loop() 
//first pattern
//LED channel on
//LED channel off

//second pattern
//LED channel on
//LED channel off


This way we are using a variable to determine which mode is currently selected.

We can change the variable either using button presses, or by using the matrix of a touch keypad you mentioned. Fundamentally though, the above is the bulk of your system. Just play with delays between toggling the channel on and off, and adding more stages.

Thanks BradGee!!!
.5A aka .500ma (I see the confusion)

Which model Arduino should I get for this? Or just get the big Arduino mega?, is there different variations of the mega? I'm confused because of the stores layout on the buying page

This was what I was thinking of for the output from the 5v from the controller output, to the 12-13.9v source
(the below link is a schematic of pretty much what I was thinking of or the attached picture, if it shows)
unless you had something different in mind that would work...

Also since I see the Arduino controller works only up to 12v constant, if hooking it up to a car system hurt it at 13.9-14.2v for long periods of time? (Since my son will grow out of his power wheels stage maybe I can use this puppy as my Jeep off road lighting system controller using the relay board MUAHAHAHAHAHA........)
If it would harm it using the car voltage, what do I have to do to keep it from harming it?

Thanks, Daniel,


You could most likely go for one of the more basic ones than a mega, though it will depend on how many and how complex as you wouldnt need all those inputs and outputs, but given multiple sequences you may need the extra space.. up to you.. I personally bought a load of Mega 2560's because i know they will handle most projects i throw at them. I dont buy them to be cost efficient. I guess that's personal preference.

With regards to the car voltage, just use a voltage divider, or go for an all in one package such as this to regulate the voltage

Edit: just looking at the specs of the mega, it will handle a 12V input anyway :slight_smile: , though as you mentioned long periods of time rather than fluctuations, then the module above may be the way forward to regulate it

Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V

Also, the darlington pair in the scehmatic would be overkill. The signal would be strong enough to pull an NPN transistor by itself, though with the current, perhaps an optoisolator or mosfet may be better

Thank you for being so helpfull

Sorry to be picking your brain so much but I rather get this right the first time, and do it right, instead of spending money on failed attempts.

Do you have a schematic of an idea, of what I should do, that you suggest for the outputs?
I just want to get all my values right.

Normally I'm just a troubleshooter not a circuit designer, I was taught all of this in school back in the day, and lost most of my knowledge after 9 years of having amps classes

Your schematic is fine, just replace the transistor with a bipolar 2N2222A transistor as these can easily drive upto 800mA, and put a 1K resistor on its Base