Full-motion LED Controller - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Sep 10, 2014, 12:43 PM
Automated Andy
New Product

Full-motion LED Controller


If you'll allow me to show off a bit, I've put together a project that I think might be of interest to the community. What I've made is a fully-programmable LED light strip.

A video is the best explanation, so here we go:

Edit: replaced the old terrible video with a new awesome video:

LED Strip on Octocopter (1 min 51 sec)


It's like the LED strips that a lot of us put on our copters and airplanes now, except that each LED is a different "pixel" and it's color and brightness can be set individually. These colors are fully animatable, refreshing at 30 frames per second or higher, and by using a micro SD card for storage, I've got practically unlimited memory for creating very long and intricate patterns. There is an RC input for remote control pattern switching, along with analog buttons for configuring settings like brightness and current limiting.

I'm considering home accent lighting as a possible application for this, in addition to RC, and I'm designing a weatherproof, contractor-friendly enclosure for the controller, to replace the shrink-wrapped version that I use for RC.

A few other features:

- although a single controller can drive 240 LEDs, multiple units can be linked together to run more complex patterns in synchronization
- input is 8-18v
- approx 3-4 amps max current draw, depending on input voltage and light patterns / brightness
- software upgradeable via USB to support future features

The second major part to this project is the design tools. This is still a work in progress, but I've written web-based converters to take an image file in, and convert each scan line into a "frame" of animation. I've been using this and Photoshop to design and test patterns pretty quickly. I'm working on something similar for inputting video files, and I'm written an online LED simulator, to test patterns instantly. My big plan for the future is to add a management layer on top of this to build up libraries of patterns that can be mixed and matched quickly.

So what do you think? Any ideas for additional functionality? Anyone want one?
Last edited by mrandy; Sep 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 15, 2014, 01:28 AM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrandy
If you'll allow me to show off a bit, I've put together a project that I think might be of interest to the community. What I've made is a fully-programmable LED light strip.

A video is the best explanation, so here we go (sorry, I know this is a pretty horrible demo set up, but that's what I get for filming late at night):

http://youtu.be/dF54dlLQuHI

It's like the LED strips that a lot of us put on our copters and airplanes now, except that each LED is a different "pixel" and it's color and brightness can be set individually. These colors are fully animatable, refreshing at 30 frames per second or higher, and by using a micro SD card for storage, I've got practically unlimited memory for creating very long and intricate patterns. There is an RC input for remote control pattern switching, along with analog buttons for configuring settings like brightness and current limiting.

As you can see from the video, I'm considering home accent lighting as a possible application for this, in addition to RC, and I'm designing a weatherproof, contractor-friendly enclosure for the controller, to replace the shrink-wrapped version that I use for RC.

A few other features:

- although a single controller can drive 240 LEDs, multiple units can be linked together to run more complex patterns in synchronization
- input is 8-18v
- approx 3-4 amps max current draw, depending on input voltage and light patterns / brightness
- software upgradeable via USB to support future features

The second major part to this project is the design tools. This is still a work in progress, but I've written web-based converters to take an image file in, and convert each scan line into a "frame" of animation. I've been using this and Photoshop to design and test patterns pretty quickly. I'm working on something similar for inputting video files, and I'm written an online LED simulator, to test patterns instantly. My big plan for the future is to add a management layer on top of this to build up libraries of patterns that can be mixed and matched quickly.

So what do you think? Any ideas for additional functionality? Anyone want one?
I am very interested. How much? Where can I get one?
Sep 15, 2014, 10:42 AM
Automated Andy

Cost and Availability


Quote:
I am very interested. How much? Where can I get one?
I should have that figured out very soon - this is a prototype, and I'm just getting up to speed for production. Here are my thoughts at the moment, subject to change in the next few days:

Cost
  • Cost: $120 for the system packaged for RC (so shrinkwrapped controller, loose power leads, "servo" style input for selecting patterns as well as a button for controlling patterns and settings)
  • This comes with 4 meters of light strip - 2 two-meter sections with connectors, totalling 240 LEDs. The controller can support up to 480 LEDs, but needs an extra 5v power supply to do so, so I'm thinking a second option would be an "XL" controller and 8 meters of LEDs for $180
  • Shipping is additional, charged at actual cost to ship. Units will ship out of Virginia in the USA.
  • There will also be a residential lighting package, with a contractor-friendly waterproof project box, waterproof connectors and LED strips, and integrated AC/DC converter, but I need to do more research to choose the correct parts and pricing for that build.

Availability
  • The current status of the project is that the hardware and firmware design is finished, so the units are ready to be built and sold. My top priorities now are two things: finishing the pattern designer website so that users can create new patterns as promised (working, but not cleaned up for public use yet), and creating the initial pattern library that will come preinstalled on the units (this just takes time, but I'm trying to find someone who will help me with it)
  • If you preorder the RC version now, it will ship in 3-4 weeks
  • I don't have the budget to build up an inventory of parts yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll have an investor soon to help with that, and then units will ship out next-day.
  • I'll have an online store up very soon to order from (It's actually up now, I just haven't listed the product yet until I commit to a price and availability)

So thanks for your interest and for bearing with me! I'm pretty good with software and electronics, but the business aspects of this are new to me, and I want ot make sure I don't get in over my head. These will be ready to go soon!
Sep 15, 2014, 11:06 AM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
Will the 2 two meter sections be individually controllable?

i. e. I want a white front/red rear for orientation.

But then I want multiple patterns across both sections to generate UFO reports around the hood
Sep 15, 2014, 11:10 AM
Automated Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
Will the 2 two meter sections be individually controllable?

i. e. I want a white front/red rear for orientation.

But then I want multiple patterns across both sections to generate UFO reports around the hood
Yep, every LED on both channels is individually controllable. The patterns designer treats both channels as halves of one big LED strip.
Sep 15, 2014, 11:37 AM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
I am doing a presentation on using quad/hex copters for inspections at my company conference on Oct 10th.

I am looking for some sizzle for the steak. Will you be shipping before then?
Sep 15, 2014, 11:47 AM
Automated Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
I am doing a presentation on using quad/hex copters for inspections at my company conference on Oct 10th.

I am looking for some sizzle for the steak. Will you be shipping before then?
Sure, we can do that. Worst case, I forgo my profit on these first few and order parts from US resellers instead of Chinese wholesalers. Were you interested in getting one unit? More? I'll go ahead and order the parts tonight, and get the online store up and running.
Sep 15, 2014, 03:15 PM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
I am interested in one, as opposed to more than one. But I would like to see a working model. Do you have any vids with a working install on a quad or hex?
Sep 15, 2014, 03:33 PM
Automated Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
I am interested in one, as opposed to more than one. But I would like to see a working model. Do you have any vids with a working install on a quad or hex?
Not yet. I'm setting up a video shoot with the lights attached to a sponsored pilot's 3D plane, and running a light show in sync to music while he flies. I can probably do a video with the lights on my big octo pretty soon.
Sep 18, 2014, 08:23 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
Will the 2 two meter sections be individually controllable?

i. e. I want a white front/red rear for orientation.

But then I want multiple patterns across both sections to generate UFO reports around the hood
I would be interested too. And for exactly the same reason.
Sep 19, 2014, 11:10 PM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrandy
Not yet. I'm setting up a video shoot with the lights attached to a sponsored pilot's 3D plane, and running a light show in sync to music while he flies. I can probably do a video with the lights on my big octo pretty soon.
Any updates?
Sep 20, 2014, 02:19 AM
Automated Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
Any updates?
One - I stuck the light controller on my octocopter, and created a light show synced to music:

LED Strip on Octocopter (1 min 51 sec)
Last edited by mrandy; Sep 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM.
Sep 20, 2014, 06:16 PM
John
jk6672's Avatar
That is Sick!
Sep 22, 2014, 07:55 AM
Free fall is not free
FunN4Lo's Avatar
That's what I am looking for. Ready to sell a set up for a quad?
Sep 22, 2014, 08:51 AM
Automated Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunN4Lo
That's what I am looking for. Ready to sell a set up for a quad?
Yes sir! I've ordered more supplies and they're on the way, and I've got an online store set up. The lighting designer website is well under way and should be live at the end of this week as well.

Here's the link to purchase:

http://andyslaser.storenvy.com/

More demo videos are on the way as well :-)
Last edited by mrandy; Sep 22, 2014 at 08:56 AM.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Full-motion LED Controller DJI S900 bcssoares Night Flying 0 Jun 01, 2016 12:44 PM