It must have been around that time that I found a 5 meter package of LED strips on sale at a local grocery store. It was one of those typical packages... 5m of RGB LED strip, cuttable, with connectors to go around corners, a power supply and a small but colorful infrared remote. I got one of these with the explicit intention to play around with it, so I was not that disappointed to find that the capabilities of the original package were kind of limited. I really wanted to hook this up to a computer, and what would be better suited for this than a Raspberry Pi?
And so I started fiddling again. This time I was not bound to DMX, so I figured my best choice would be one of Adafruit's PWM servo boards. I didn't intend to run servos from it, but since it was capable of outputting PWM at 5V i figured this would be enough to drive one of those ULN2064B chips I had already used before. The LED strips themselves turned out to be running at 12 volts once more, so this was all kind of a déjà-vu to me. The board also had a total of 16 output channels - enough to cut the strip into five pieces and control the red, green and blue values for each one individually.
First experiments looked promising:
|Rasbperry Pi with PWM board driving four regular LEDs|
The video shows the complete setup: Raspberry Pi, PWM board, ULN2064 and LED strip.
After that, all I had to do was get a few more ULN2064s and a case to store the circuitry in.
|Fitting the circuitry into a box|
|Fitting the connectors|
|How it will once look when finished (lower case is still open)|
|Insides almost finished|
|One more inside shot|
Skip to today: After finally aquiring the materials needed to etch my own PCB boards, I am currently in the process of redesigning this dimmer. Click here for the follow-up post.