Where to start?!

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by vanquish_uk, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. vanquish_uk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    8
    0
    Hi

    I am looking to create a Bluetooth controlled dimmable RGB LED array, running off a 12v feed (enough to power 15-20 LED’s) and with a 4-digit 7-segment clock face. I plan to control the LED’s and clock via a smartphone app. For someone who has little knowledge in electronics but is technical (and willing to learn) is this worth a go or should I consider outsourcing the work? (I don’t know whether this would be easy or difficult and thus do not know the relative costs)

    From what I can see my DIY solution might be to use Arduino although preferably I would prefer to have the device to only do the functions that I require.

    Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,089
    3,027
    So, the only control you need for the LEDs is brightness? That could be as simple as a PWM controller. Brightness would be controlled by a single parameter - the duty cycle of the pulses. You may need several MOSFETs in parallel, all under control of the same PWM signal. Or you could go wild and separately control each color, for instance.

    What control do you need over the clock? I mean, do you just want to stop/start/reset an off-the-shelf timer, or do you plan to control every segment yourself?

    Sorry, I can't help you with the bluetooth stuff, but I have seen tools recommend in these forums that look very interesting.
     
  3. vanquish_uk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    8
    0
    well I need to control the colour and dim (hecne the RGB choice). I was originally planning on just having white and red led's in two seperate arrays but I think RGB would give greater flexibility for what I want. I am just trying to create something as a proof of concept and not a final design (understandably) so if controlling each colour makes it too complex then I might just go with white and red LED's.

    The clock only needs to reflect the time that is set by the app but it needs to maintain the time so I guess that needs to be done somehow without a constant bluetooth connection? My undertsanding is that the 7 segment displays are just displays and do not maintian a time keep function or can they?
     
  4. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    3,531
    675
  5. vanquish_uk

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    8
    0
    well that is certainly somewhere to start, it seems very affordable too and if you have used it on something similar then that sounds promising.

    Thank you to you both.
     
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