Open source DMX --> 6803/2801 Pixel Driver

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mrpackethead

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Finally its ready and tested.. And we decided to make it an open design..

Will drive four strings of of 6803 or 2801 pixels, from a DMX-512 input.. Its got a properly isolated DMX input. Its based around a PIC chip, and a small number of 74xx logic chips.

On Monday ( US time ) we should have the source code, schematics, Eagle PCB files, and Gerbers and BOM allready for you to download. We also have 50 PCB's which we will be selling.. I'll get some down to AU in bulk if there is a demand, or alternaitvely will get some more made. PCB is US$10 / $A12 / $NZ 15. Get your parts from your favourite supplier. Or if you want you can make your own PCB, and go do your thing.

Please just what ever you morph this into, please return your work to the collective knowledge of the community.


its a very easy intro to SMD, theres no really small parts!

Check out www.response-box.com/rgb on Monday US time
 

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LabRat

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Link to these open docs? I still haven't seen anything posted... perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place?
 

mschell

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I made a comment on response-box.com to their "it's coming soon" post. I got a reply that said to have patience - they were finishing up some of the documentation.
 

mrpackethead

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Really sorry.. we got overwhelmed by some "day job" problems.. Trying our best to get it out this week.
 

mschell

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I fully understand the "day job" issues.

I've been out on disability for the last month or so till they could get a defibrillator installed in my shoulder and it healed up some. This is my first week back to work, and it's been crazy! So not as much time to work on the blinky-flashy stuff!
 

mrpackethead

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FYI, heres the BOM for the pixel driver, not much to it really



Qty Value Device Parts
1 Tactile Pushbutton S1
1 20 Mhz CRYTALSM49 Q1
2 LEDCHIP-LED0805 POWER, STATUS
1 1x2 .1" header PINHD-1X2 D
2 1x5 .1" header PINHD-1X5 BOOT, PGM
4 screw terminal, .2" spacing W237-4 X2, X3, X6, X7
1 screw terminal, .2" spacing W237-102 X1
2 .2" screw terminal W237-103 X4, X5
5 .1 C-USC0805 C1, C3, C4, C5, C9
1 PIC 18F2610 18F2X1X U$3
2 22 pF C-USC0805 C2, C7
2 74ALS08D 74ALS08D IC2, IC4
1 74LS / HCT / 541W 74LS540DW IC3
1 100 ohm 1210 .5w R-US_R1210 R5
12 300 R-US_M0805 R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, R7, R8, R9, R10, R11, R12, R15
3 4700 R-US_M0805 R13, R16, R17
1 HCPL0601 HCPL0601 OK2
1 Isolated DC-DC Converter, V-Infinity VBSD1-S5-S5-SIP
1 Mounting Pad PAD2 U$1
1 SN75176 MAX481CSA SOIC-8 package
 

budude

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For us neophytes in the world of pixel drivers - how does this compare to the Protocol Bridge widget being developed here?
 

fasteddy

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The TP3212 will allow you to split 2 outputs into different strings. So one output can have channels 1 to 200 using the WS2801 pixels and the other output can have channels 201 to 510 using 6801 pixels, the ratio can be setup by the user. There is a daylight switch, onboard memory for simple standalone operation. Just a few features that the TP3212 has over the MPHs pixel controller.

MPHs pixel controller will be cheaper but at the same time it will not be assembled and you will have to source your parts from mouser or digikey (with seperate shipping costs for boards and parts) MPHs controller is a DIY product and the TP3212 is fully assembled product.

The TP3212 is designed to be versatile and to suit both pixel strings and strips and also a variety of SPI protocols, 6801, 2801, and being worked on is 3005 and the SD600. It will also allow you drive either 12vdc or 5vdc pixel strings and strips. So this is a unit that will fit well within the lighting community as it allows many options. MPHs controller looks like it was more designed with pixel strings in mind.

More details regarding the TP3212 including release information will be revealed at the end of the month

Edit: I also believe that you will also have to organise to have your own boards made as these will not be available from MPH/JEC once the current batch of boards are sold.
 

mrpackethead

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fasteddy said:
The TP3212 will allow you to split 2 outputs into different strings. So one output can have channels 1 to 200 using the WS2801 pixels and the other output can have channels 201 to 510 using 6801 pixels, the ratio can be setup by the user. There is a daylight switch, onboard memory for simple standalone operation. Just a few features that the TP3212 has over the MPHs pixel controller.
MPH's actually has four independent outputs, so you can do what you like with it. And you could run 2801's and 6803s, 705's or 3005 or any SPI based system you like probably. And in any combination you like across them. It would be trival to make the outputs run in parrallel if you wanted, you'd just change which routine is being called in software.

If you read the notes, you'd notice that the PIC chip is pin compatible with any number of other parts and some of those have memory on board. We simply picked the lowest cost one.. But this is an open design, so we would expect people to hack it to peices, and we are very much excited by the possiblitys.


MPHs pixel controller will be cheaper but at the same time it will not be assembled and you will have to source your parts from mouser or digikey (with seperate shipping costs for boards and parts) MPHs controller is a DIY product and the TP3212 is fully assembled product.
Wow, thats a big appeal for the DIY crowd, cheap.. And if you ganged together, you could run a co-op and make some savings. And if you don't want cheap we will be happy to sell you a commerical one, thats got full support.

The TP3212 is designed to be versatile and to suit both pixel strings and strips and also a variety of SPI protocols, 6801, 2801, and being worked on is 3005 and the SD600. It will also allow you drive either 12vdc or 5vdc pixel strings and strips.
MPH's driver would happily drive 12 and or 5v strings.. if you wanted to drive 12V strings, you'd not connect the +V to the board, you'd need to connect it to an external 12V supply.. No big deal..

So this is a unit that will fit well within the lighting community as it allows many options.
yes, it probably will. And so will this one.


MPHs controller looks like it was more designed with pixel strings in mind.
It was designed as a DMX ---> SPI converter.. Yes it works with strings, but also tubes, and all sorts of other thigns.

More details regarding the TP3212 including release information will be revealed at the end of the month
Great. looking forwad to see how Phil implemented his; though given that both have to take in DMX and both need to output SPI, theres not too many choices for the glue in the middle :)

Edit: I also believe that you will also have to organise to have your own boards made as these will not be available from MPH/JEC once the current batch of boards are sold.
That is completely correct. You will need to.. Hey we gave you the design for nothing, the time it took to get it working.. If we spent all our time selling PCB's, we would have no opportunity to design the next thing.. Thats why we don't' typically sell DIY products, the support / cost / return ratio is all wrong. DIY is community based support.. We've offered something to the community here. Take it or leave it, or preferably, take it, mess with it, mod/hack it, and then come back with your work and tell us about it! Thats our motivation, we want to see what happens!

As for the daylight switch, you got me there.. But someone could probably sort that out as well without too much trouble.. The schematics, code and files are there, how about adding a motion sensor, or any number of other things.

And for you trouble Fast for putting up this very factual and informative review, i'll send you a PCB so you can build one yourself, since you've show yourself to show such interest in it.. send me your details in a PM
 

fasteddy

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So one is a DIY product requiring code changes and the such to make it do what you want and the other is a pre-assembled unit with code and features all done, both have there place without a doubt, but you will find a lot of people don't have the skills nor the equipment to be able to take advantage of your controller. Don't get me wrong I'm not putting your controller down in any way and think its a great product, but for the majority its just too much hard work and a pre-made unit would be more attractive.
 

mrpackethead

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fasteddy said:
So one is a DIY product requiring code changes
For many people the supplied code will do exact what they want it to do. You dont' ahve to change it, you just have the ability to do so. Thats called having choices.

and the such to make it do what you want and the other is a pre-assembled unit with code and features all done,

both have there place without a doubt, but you will find a lot of people don't have the skills nor the equipment to be able to take advantage of your controller.
Yup, your right, But the vast majority of people who haunt these forums, do.

Don't get me wrong I'm not putting your controller down in any way and think its a great product,
Are you changing your mind, you could have read something else into your previous posts..

but for the majority its just too much hard work and a pre-made unit would be more attractive.
Um, can you quote the basis of your statistics?

For the majority of people who DIY, they want cheap, and build it themselves works well. Oh, i can't substanate that claim either.. Opps...
 

fasteddy

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One thing you are forgetting this is not a site dedicated to DIY only, there is already a place for that and as such there are larger numbers of people who visit here who want a finished product.

Its easy to say that your controller can do this and that with code changes and pic changes or adding this or adding that, the same could be said with the TP3212 but in the end we are talking about a finished product compared to a DIY product.

I know how passionate you are with pixels and controllers so i will not continue to argue this like two dogs fighting over a tree, for me and most of us its just a hobby and not a way of life. So if you feel that I was bagging your controller then that wasn't the way it was intended, all i was trying to spell out was what the differences are to me right now without any code, chip or board changes.
 

dmoore

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More options the better I say! I think it's wonderful that both groups have offered up their projects to the community and the end result will be better and more amazing displays. Displays that will forever be etched into small kids brains who come to marvel at our displays.

I think these two different units cater to two different audiences and it's great that there are two options.

Thanks to all you smart guys who crank out these wonderful gadgets for those of us that just don't have those abilities.

David
 

fasteddy

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dmoore said:
More options the better I say! I think it's wonderful that both groups have offered up their projects to the community and the end result will be better and more amazing displays. Displays that will forever be etched into small kids brains who come to marvel at our displays.

I think these two different units cater to two different audiences and it's great that there are two options.

Thanks to all you smart guys who crank out these wonderful gadgets for those of us that just don't have those abilities.

David
I agree 100%
 
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