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Thread: I have a Teensy 3.2 and Octows2811

  1. #1

    I have a Teensy 3.2 and Octows2811

    I have a Teensy 3.2 and Octows2811 set up to run a Christmas "mega tree". Three outputs run groups of 400 pixels at 5V: 16 strands of 50 for the tree and 4 strands of 50 for the star. Everything is working great and it's been exciting learning all about this. It's my first real try at an electronic project of any magnitude and it's all new to me.

    My problem is that I'd like to be able to turn off some 120V decorations that will be nearby when the tree is running. If I was able to control them by relays, then I wouldn't have to stop at just turning them off, I'd sync them to the music and make them part of the display. Is there a way to operate a set of relays off of one of the remaining OCTO outputs?

    I plan on purchasing more 3.2s and relay boards to control some 120V lights in my display next year, but they will be in a different part of the yard.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,899
    The WS2811 drivers can be had as an IC
    https://www.adafruit.com/product/1378
    giving a technically three channels of PWM to something per chip. That said driving mains relays can get exciting in a number of ways and you would need to circuitry downstream of the IC to turn a PWM signal into a stable off/on result.

    Big question will depend on how you plan to do the relays. If you are going to buy comercial (tested and approved) mains relay modules that look like a power board or a double adaptor then you would be better using spare GPIO to drive them in whatever way they require. If you are going to spin up your own custom unit with power cords in and out and all the required filtering and control hardware than scattering some WS2811 controller ICs in there is one way to get data into it. If it was me I'd use an interface that allowed use of an optoisolator (and a lot of physical separation) to a sub controller intended to fail safe or even a commercial IR controlled plugs but that is based on my own thoughts on risk, yours may differ.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    5
    Do you have more info on how you implemented your 'mega tree'
    schematic, code, control software, etc?
    trying to do the same thing.
    thanks
    rgbmike

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