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DMX light for under $50

posted May 14, 2013 19:52:00 by ethan.dicks
Here's some action shots of a home-built Arduino DMX light I got working last night. I bought dumb LED modules from Holidaycoro (not the entire lamp kit, so I had to make my own $4 mounting plate) and wired them to an Arduino Duemilanove. The code is a modified version of the example in the DMXSerial library to take it from 4-channel RGBY to 3-channel RGB with an added a textual OLED display for debugging. You can't see them easily in the pictures, but there are three N-channel MOSFETs next to the 10mm LEDs so that the Arduino can drive a 12V strip.

I already had the Arduino and the breadboard, OLED display, and MOSFETs. The lamp housing is from a worklight that was dropped too many times (breaking the ceramic terminals inside), so the only thing I had to buy was the string of LEDs. Fortunately, I already had a Arduino Duemilanove on my experimentation board because it has an FTDI-232RL chip for its serial interface (the newer Uno uses a smaller Atmel MCU instead). There are $20 FTDI cables (for other models of Arduino) out there that should also do the trick.

The lamp is a dual-header and I have 10 more LED modules ready to build a second lamp housing. Holodaycoro specs out the LED modules at ~100mA each (full brightness), so a 2A 12V PSU should be able to handle it.
[Last edited May 14, 2013 19:53:21]
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2 replies
MarkBell said May 15, 2013 12:45:25
Hey, nice! I ended up going with the full package from HolidayCoro since I didn't feel like hacking a micro board for it, but I've been considering it for more specific lighting rigs. I use PICs, so the implementation may be trickier, but I like it.

The DMXSerial library looks pretty solid, do you have to manually store the read channel data into an array or does it accomplish that automatically? I love the simplicity of AnyVar =; a byte of data is pretty huge for status lights. You could have a buggerload of lights hooked up on an SPI bus, just waiting for the main DMX receiver to interpret a few bytes of data from Artemis.

I hate to say it, but I might need to start Arduinoing soon - nobody seems to like PICs anymore :P
anwoke8204 said May 28, 2013 07:44:38
hey is there any way you can upload or send me instructions on how you built this?
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