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Thread: Requesting advice on relatively simple LED strip project

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Requesting advice on relatively simple LED strip project


    I'm looking for some advice on project design, specifically the configuration and some aspects about the circuit. I thank you in advance and I apologize if these questions have been answered before.

    My project is a stage prop, I have 3 lighting fixtures affixed to a plywood background. One fixture is a STAND BY light, the second is an ON AIR light, and the 3rd is an APPLAUSE light.

    Inside each fixture are 3 short LED strips (white) wired in series for a total of 45 LEDs.

    I want to control the status of the lighting fixtures with a small and simple control box, with 3 lighted arcade style buttons. The control box will be located 100-200 feet away from the light fixtures.

    I need for the control box to be wired, not wireless (for reliability reasons and also as there are many other wireless signals being used in the area).

    The way the fixtures operate is either the STAND BY light or the ON AIR light will be on at one time. The STAND BY fixture flashes when it is engaged. The ON AIR light is just solidly lit when it is engaged. At any point the person with the control box can press the APPLAUSE button and will flash in addition to whichever other fixture, either STAND BY or ON AIR is currently lit.

    I would like for the lights in the buttons on the control box flash similarly to the fixtures (the button lights don't have to be in synch with the fixtures).

    Here is where I need some assistance:

    Would you use one or two controllers for this project? I'm open to using two controllers if it makes some things simpler.

    And, which controller(s) would you use? At the moment I don't see any reason why this couldn't be done with Teensy 2.0 or something even less capable. That said, I'm considering adding sound to this project and may tweak beyond.

    What is the best way to interface the control box and fixtures over 100-200 feet through a wire? I would prefer to use some kind of Canon/XLR connector if possible (does not need to be DMX protocol). I'm thinking I might be able to use serial bus interface for this, but will I encounter voltage drop? Is it better for the control signal to just be continuity / switch?

    With regards to controlling the 12V LED strips, am I correct in assuming I need to use a transistor switch arrangement on the output pin of the controller near the fixtures? The last time I tried to use a transistor switch I had some issues with the transistor turning off fully. Can anyone kindly direct me to an appropriate circuit diagram - these are the transistors I was planning on using:

    Thank you in advance, I realize some of these questions may be very simple and I appreciate any help or direction you can give me.

    Best regards,

  2. #2
    As you have written, these are simple functions. I think it might be easier not to use a microcontroller at all.
    You can buy blink diodes.

    The Transistors have to be able to handle the Voltage and the current.
    If you do want to use Mc, perhaps you might want to use this:
    It is a ready-made project board, that has 4 DC switch outputs.
    Have Fun, Christof

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