Looking for a multiple channel LED DC Driver

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by newaisa, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. newaisa

    newaisa New Elf

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    Hi Guys,


    I need suggestion on what is the product for the following specification:


    -Different channel to control multiple strings of single color LED (i.e. Sting 1=ON, String 2=OFF, String 3=DIM/Half Power)
    - Able to fully customize timing
    -DC Input power
    Something like this:
    DC Power Supply--->Controller--->X Channel Output--->X Strings of LED in parallel with independent ON/OFF/DIM




    Please suggest a product for this. Normally what kind of programming people use for lighting?(Protocol)
    I know there are some product with preset patterns, but I want something which I can fully customize myself. Thanks!
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Most people here use DC controllers with either DMX, LOR or Renard protocol input.

    Are you looking for a board that can play sequences by itself? It might be easier to find / make a DMX playback unit that can simply feed some DMX controllers.
     
  3. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    How many channels would you like?
    will you be using software like www.vixenlights.com ?
    did you want a product premade ? or do you have soldering skills so you can build your own?
     
  4. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    While many on this forum are dedicated DIY'ers, I opted to follow the Light-o-Rama (LOR) path some 6-7 years ago. While I started with the LOR AC controllers, in recent years I am using mostly their DC controllers which do what I think you want. (Brief specs below are copied from the LOR website. Their DC board is 16 channel at $99.95. Each channel can handle up to 4Amps, subject to limits for the whole board. This year I am running more than 20 of these boards.)

    More details and links to user manuals and specs are here http://www.lightorama.com/DigitalIO.html
    The LOR software is about to be upgraded to version 3. Details of existing version 2 sw are here http://www.lightorama.com/ShowtimeSoftwareSuite.html
    If you wish to buy their system, begin with a starter pack which includes the sw and usb 485 at a discount when you buy any control board.

    Hope this helps
    Regards Geoff

    NB - the LOR website button links below do NOT work from this post.

    [table] [tr] [td][​IMG][/td] [td][​IMG][/td] [td][​IMG]

    [table] [tr] [td][​IMG]

    The Deluxe DC Board CMB16D-QC is a 16 channel controller that can operate independently, operate as the director unit in a multi-controller network or as an add-on unit of a larger synchronized network of controllers. Each of the 16 independent channels has a number of special effects such as dimming, ramping, twinkle and shimmer.

    This card controls Direct Current (DC) loads. It has two 20 Amp DC inputs and can handle voltages up to 60VDC. In the case the supply voltage is below 12 volts, an aux input is used to power the onboard electronics.

    This unit is an excellent choice for control of LED Spotlights and LEDs designed for the Sign Industry.

    Recommended for standalone and networked operation.
    [/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table]
     
  5. OP
    OP
    newaisa

    newaisa New Elf

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.
    I'm actually building some LED board which consists of multiple letters (I just want each letter to DIM/ON/OFF)


    For now I will need 7 channels 12V and probably max 2A for each channel will be sufficient. Yes, a premade PCB with internal memory for sequence setting is what I'm looking for.


    No, I'm not looking into soldering all those stuffs myself. I am looking for a finished PCB that will be able to be programmed for different light sequence.


    After some googling it seems like DMX might be a better way to go. I just want to set it with a pc and it can become a standalone controller later on(without the need of a pc)


    And here comes the question again:
    If I am really going with DMX, how do I "program" the board? What additional device I need to do that?
    If you can show me a product for this it will be great. I have been looking at aliexpress for some time but still couldn't decide which one is the right one.
     
  6. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    You could use a PC with sequencing software that outputs DMX. A DMX recorder / player could be used to capture the sequence for playback without the PC later on.

    I have a DMX recorder / player built but have not finished the firmware (micro-controller code) for it yet. There are more than likely commercial units available to buy too.
     
  7. OP
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    newaisa

    newaisa New Elf

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    Thanks for the reply. But I am still having a hard time what other boards do I need specifically for this to be achieved.


    From the wiki I found this :http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209915969-378113147/Easy-DMX-LED-controller-dmx-decoder-driver.html


    Let's say if I would like this controller to output sequence, how do I set the DMX from PC? (USB to DMX?) Does this thing have player inside or I will need an external dmx player?

    And what is a good DMX software for beginner like me? please suggest thanks


    I know I'm getting there, but not yet, so sorry for the Questionssss.
     
  8. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    Hi . The above controller is a 3ch DMX module and has no on board memory. You can control these from a computer with a variety of Software like Vixen or Lightshow Pro. Addition hardware like a USB to DMX Adaptor would be required. A Dmx universe from a single adaptor gives you 512 channels so you could connect 170 of those 3 ch boards to your computer.

    Some product to look at would be USB to DMX interface from AVD

    Software would be either LightshowPro or Vixen

    This would allow you to control your project from a computer.

    This could be replaced with the Recorder player later on
     
  9. OP
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    newaisa

    newaisa New Elf

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    Does that mean the controller can operate as standalone unit with the on board memory?(Assuming after I set it with a PC)


    Thanks.
     
  10. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    No.. it has no memory as i said.
     
  11. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    Something like this could be used as a stand alone unit. Ive never seen or used one but it could have a sequence recorded to it then output to the 3 ch modules you mentioned earlier another board you might like to consider is a 27ch board which would do 9 individual letters for you
     
  12. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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  13. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    That seems to tick all the boxes. You would still need to use software to output DMX Sequences to this device
     
  14. OP
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    newaisa

    newaisa New Elf

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    Yes now I am a lot clearer than few hours ago.
    One concern is that most of the DMX Controller I see so far can control up to hundreds of channels and they are kinda costly. All I need is to control less than 10 channels. That would be waste of resource if I were going to put the controller to my setup. Any suggestion on this?
     
  15. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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