Need to hire for micro-controller programming, where do I go?

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bradleyheathhays

Joined Sep 23, 2015
9
I'm designing a display piece that needs to be lit with what I'm imagining to be a small cluster of LED lights, maybe something similar to a puck light, but I need to custom program the light sequence. I've recently seen a video on how you can use an arduino to run custom LED light programs, but I have no such programming knowledge and I'm not sure using an arduino, necessarily, is the only way to get this done. I need to contract someone to write an arduino program to run LED lights and teach me how to put together such a light system, as well as flash the program to new processors.

Where should I go? ... On Fiverr or elsewhere on the web to request this kind of job?

Thanks
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
14,408
ChatGPT could probably come up with the code you need, if it's not already available from the extensive Arduino code libraries.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
The use of LRD lighting can really enhance a project. You as the designer needs to figure out exactly what lighting effects you want and what LEDs to use. Effects like changing colors, fade in and fade out, and many more options along with the timing. Once you have ideas written down it is not all that difficult to program an Arduino or similar off the shelf micro-controller to produce your desired effects. You can also buy LED light strings off the shelf with controllers to give assorted effects. This will all come down to what you want in your design. It's in the details.

Ron
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,186
Are you interested in learning how to program an Arduino? Then purchase one and start learning. Or if it’s in your budget, purchase a kit that contains all the components you need and a manual describing how to use them. The official Arduino page has tutorials that will help immensely.

Knowing how to use an Arduino (or other microcontroller) is a good thing to learn. Many problems that are difficult to solve with discrete components require just a couple of components and an Arduino.

BTW, there are different models of an Arduino. The Nano is much smaller than an Arduino Uno. And ATTiny microprocessors can be used in many applications, is an 8 pin DIP chip and can be programmed the same as an Arduino with a programmer (I use the one from Sparkfun).

For example similar to your project, I use an Arduino Nano to control an RGB strip to change the background sky colors on my model railroad. I could have used an ATTiny, but the lighting commands come from an Arduino Mega and I ran out of pins on the ATTiny.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,212
First look around really hard and figure out if what you need already exists.

If you must go with a custom development, one option is a contract engineering house. Another would be a university engineering department, kids who want a little side work. In the past I worked for two such places; customers come with their ideas, we would figure out the best way or two to accomplish what the customer wanted, provide an estimate for a prototype and a path to production, then they would decide to go forward or not. Arduino would be a great tool for making a quick proof of concept, but if you're going to produce these things in quantity then there are multiple options that would be more economically feasible. Anyway, look for a custom engineering house or two, make sure everyone signs an NDA, then see what they give you for a quote.

Super super important is how to determine that their work is done. The best way to do this is a very detailed final acceptance test. When the device does everything in the test successfully, both sides agree the work is completed. Include everything; how it operates, battery life, how it fits in the box, how its programmed, any environmental test requirements (IP ratings, ..) etc.. Anything not in that test will be an extra charge for a modification later.
 

jiggermole

Joined Jul 29, 2016
161
It really doesn't have to be arduino either. I'm sure if you contact some micro controller manufacturers, they would have no trouble quoting you engineering services with their micro and integrated development environment (IDE). Especially if this is potentially a production part. Pic microcontrollers are popular. Microchip, Nordic, as well as some chinese manufacturers all have very capable microcontrollers for sale. Arduino isn't the only IDE out there, nor is it the only 8 bit microcontrollers out there. Its just the one with the most community support behind it. As stated earlier, if you do go with arduino there are literally millions of people making code and putting it on the internet for anyone to view and learn from.
 
It's cool that you're diving into micro-controller programming! Arduino is an excellent choice for controlling LEDs, especially if you're new to the field. As for hiring, Fiverr could be a decent option. There are plenty of freelancers who specialize in Arduino programming and electronics. Upwork is another site you might want to check out.

Before hiring someone though, it's always a good idea to get to know them a bit. I often use https://westvirginia.recordspage.org to do some checks, nothing too personal, just to check some legitimacy and credentials. Just some things to make me more confident about who I'm hiring. As for learning, I’d suggest checking out Arduino’s official site and forums, as well as some YouTube tutorials. They are a gold mine of information and can help you understand what your contractor is doing.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,825
I just completed a similar project, three coloured LED banks, each bank ramp up in turn, stay on for a period, then ramp down.
This was with a 8pin micro.
 
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