Author Topic: Sequential tail lights  (Read 4792 times)

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Offline CJay

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #100 on: October 03, 2018, 12:50:32 am »
So any 5 volt how many amp? I'll look it up. I'm a big boy. I should be getting all this stuff soon. I will let you know when I get it all. I'll be asking tons of questions I imagine.
Rob

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5V might be too little for the Arduino. This is because it has its own regulator on board which will eat up a bit of the 5V you supply it. You may want to look up what voltage regulator drop out voltage is.

You can bypass the regulator and feed the Arduino 5V directly.
M0UAW
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #101 on: October 03, 2018, 12:57:02 am »
You can bypass the regulator and feed the Arduino 5V directly.
Obviously, but either way it's something to be aware of.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #102 on: October 03, 2018, 01:31:42 am »
I don't think the Arduino will have any problem running from 5V.  My Mega 2560 ADK board works perfectly off 5V USB power - and it's hosting a scanning laser barcode scanner.

He will be able to do a 10 LED sequential tail light with just the Arduino, 10 LEDs and 10 resistors - which will be well within the 500mA current capacity of basic USB.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #103 on: October 03, 2018, 01:34:54 am »
I don't think the Arduino will have any problem running from 5V.  My Mega 2560 ADK board works perfectly off 5V USB power - and it's hosting a scanning laser barcode scanner.

He will be able to do a 10 LED sequential tail light with just the Arduino, 10 LEDs and 10 resistors - which will be well within the 500mA current capacity of basic USB.
I've had problems with it in the past when using an Arduino Uno Rev3, which is why I mentioned it. Using a 12V adapter instead fixed the problem.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 01:47:15 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #104 on: October 03, 2018, 01:43:38 am »
Interesting - I haven't.

Looks like something to be aware of if strange things start happening to the OP...
 

Offline Old Printer

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #105 on: October 04, 2018, 01:00:49 am »
I have been learning about Arduino's for a couple years, but still a rank noob. You will find many Sketches posted online that you can use outright of with a little tweeking. You will find projects by others that are similar to yours in some respects, but it is important to learn the basics of coding so you can recognize what is going on. You really have to want to learn this stuff to go this route, but it seems like you do and forum members are always willing to help someone help themselves.
 

Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #106 on: October 16, 2018, 03:31:58 am »
Now I have a question, looking for a set of addressable LED strip lights that:
1. Can be cut to length
2. Have to be fairly close ( as close as poss).
3. Have to be at least rgb if not rgbw.
4. Have to be bright.
Anyone have any ideas? I will be connecting them all together to make a pixel matrix of sorts. Found the Arduino kit I want. Not I need the led kit and then I can shrink the size of the Arduino or just get a microcontroller I can program to do that task.
Thank you all
Rob

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Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #107 on: October 16, 2018, 03:38:05 am »
This is the kit I will get if you guys think it will give me the basics to start?
Rob

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Online Richard Crowley

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2018, 06:38:17 am »
That kit looks OK.  It may be a bit overkill for your specific task, but it has enough gadgets to do other things as you expand your horizons.

I don't see anything for power except that 9V battery clip.  You might want to get some better power source like a 9V wall-wart, etc. Especially if you want to drive a larger array of bright LEDS, you might want to have something to simulate the vehicle 13.6V source.

If you live in Gresham 97030, I am in Hillsboro 97123 across town.  If you need any local hands-on help or moral support or just kibitzing, IM me.  :-)
 
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Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #109 on: October 25, 2018, 12:45:18 pm »
Any ideas ?

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Offline cdev

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #110 on: October 25, 2018, 12:55:54 pm »
They may not be legal...
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #111 on: October 25, 2018, 12:58:29 pm »
This is a show only vehicle. Not road legal at all.

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Offline Brumby

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #112 on: October 25, 2018, 01:59:30 pm »
Things you will need to address:
 1. How to handle your inputs
 2. Do you have enough outputs to achieve what you want?
 3. Do you need a driver for the outputs to be able to deliver enough current to your LEDs?
 4. How to wire up the LEDs

The microcontroller (eg Arduino) approach will allow you to put this together, once you have a bit of programming experience.  Items 2, 3 & 4 are the physical/electronic considerations and we've mentioned these before.

Item 1 is the front end of the programming exercise.  You have 4 independent inputs: brake, running, indicator and reverse.  Each of these is either active or not - which means you can have 16 individual conditions.  Your programming will need to define exactly what happens in all 16 of those conditions.  This does not mean you need to program 16 different routines - just that when you test the result, it should respond exactly as expected in each of those 16 conditions.

All of this is quite possible - but try not to get head of yourself.  I strongly suggest you get your Arduino kit (the one mentioned looks good - and will have extra bits you can expand your skills with) and start off doing the sequential indicator light project you originally wanted to do.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #113 on: October 25, 2018, 02:03:53 pm »
They may not be legal...
I wonder how many times we'll see this remark. ;D
 

Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #114 on: October 25, 2018, 02:13:27 pm »
Ok brumby, I bought the Arduino that is show. Above now I just need to watch some videos in order to figure out how to begin to code the sequential lights. Any good suggestions?
Things you will need to address:
 1. How to handle your inputs
 2. Do you have enough outputs to achieve what you want?
 3. Do you need a driver for the outputs to be able to deliver enough current to your LEDs?
 4. How to wire up the LEDs

The microcontroller (eg Arduino) approach will allow you to put this together, once you have a bit of programming experience.  Items 2, 3 & 4 are the physical/electronic considerations and we've mentioned these before.

Item 1 is the front end of the programming exercise.  You have 4 independent inputs: brake, running, indicator and reverse.  Each of these is either active or not - which means you can have 16 individual conditions.  Your programming will need to define exactly what happens in all 16 of those conditions.  This does not mean you need to program 16 different routines - just that when you test the result, it should respond exactly as expected in each of those 16 conditions.

All of this is quite possible - but try not to get head of yourself.  I strongly suggest you get your Arduino kit (the one mentioned looks good - and will have extra bits you can expand your skills with) and start off doing the sequential indicator light project you originally wanted to do.

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Online Richard Crowley

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #115 on: October 25, 2018, 03:07:15 pm »
Ok brumby, I bought the Arduino that is show. Above now I just need to watch some videos in order to figure out how to begin to code the sequential lights. Any good suggestions?
Most Arduinos (genuine and clone) come pre-programmed with the basic "Blink" program already loaded.  There is typically an LED right on the Arduino board connected to one of the pins (typically Pin 13).  So you should be able to simply apply power to the Arduino board (by one of several methods) see the on-board LED blink around once per second.

That will show that your Arduino is good and your power supply is good, etc.  Then you can connect an external LED (with the required current-limiting resistor!) and see how the Arduino will control an external LED.  Note that the outputs from the Arduino (and essentially EVERY kind of microcontroller) has VERY limited drive capability and you should never plan on driving more than one LED per output pin.

There is a series of tutorials on the Arduino website:  https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage
And here is the tutorial specifically for the "Blink" program:  http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=1915997;topic=140954.100

Next, you need to get your Arduino board connected to a computer and load the Arduino "Integrated Development Environment" (IDE).  There are versions for PC, Mac, and Linux depending on which computer you are using.  It looks like there is also an online version, but I have no idea how it works.  I will go and research it. There are probably some YT videos on the subject.

The typical starter steps are to take the "Blink" program (Arduino calls it a "sketch"), make some slight change (like changing the blink sequence and/or timing) and try loading your new code into the Arduino to confirm that the development system is working and you are able to load your new code into the Arduino.

When you have that sorted out, you can start experimenting with the code to blink multiple LEDs which is a simplified subset of your ultimate goal, to blink many LEDs.

But then, along with gearing up to write and upload code into the Arduino, you need to also think about the issue of driving more and/or brighter LEDs from the Arduino output pins.  This is typically done with some external transistors which will take the weak, limited signal out of the Arduino, and boosts it to switch perhaps several amps as you would need for a large array of LEDs, etc.  Your kit probably includes some transistors that will allow you to demonstrate this circuit.

So you can try out your Arduino by simply applying power to see the LED blink.  But then you need to work on your programming setup (whether downloaded or the online-version.)  Did your kit come with any kind of instructions or lessons/experiments, etc?
 

Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #116 on: October 25, 2018, 03:12:29 pm »
No it was just a basic kit, I will break int it this weekend and see what havoc I can create!!!! Pretty excited about this. My mom was an engineer at Hp from 80-95 so I was around computers allot. I'm a mechanic by trade but now I have the itch to tinker. Also want to try and maybe do some cool Christmas lights with Arduino this year?
Rob
Ok brumby, I bought the Arduino that is show. Above now I just need to watch some videos in order to figure out how to begin to code the sequential lights. Any good suggestions?
Most Arduinos (genuine and clone) come pre-programmed with the basic "Blink" program already loaded.  There is typically an LED right on the Arduino board connected to one of the pins (typically Pin 13).  So you should be able to simply apply power to the Arduino board (by one of several methods) see the on-board LED blink around once per second.

That will show that your Arduino is good and your power supply is good, etc.  Then you can connect an external LED (with the required current-limiting resistor!) and see how the Arduino will control an external LED.  Note that the outputs from the Arduino (and essentially EVERY kind of microcontroller) has VERY limited drive capability and you should never plan on driving more than one LED per output pin.

There is a series of tutorials on the Arduino website:  https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage
And here is the tutorial specifically for the "Blink" program:  http://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=1915997;topic=140954.100

Next, you need to get your Arduino board connected to a computer and load the Arduino "Integrated Development Environment" (IDE).  There are versions for PC, Mac, and Linux depending on which computer you are using.  It looks like there is also an online version, but I have no idea how it works.  I will go and research it. There are probably some YT videos on the subject.

The typical starter steps are to take the "Blink" program (Arduino calls it a "sketch"), make some slight change (like changing the blink sequence and/or timing) and try loading your new code into the Arduino to confirm that the development system is working and you are able to load your new code into the Arduino.

When you have that sorted out, you can start experimenting with the code to blink multiple LEDs which is a simplified subset of your ultimate goal, to blink many LEDs.

But then, along with gearing up to write and upload code into the Arduino, you need to also think about the issue of driving more and/or brighter LEDs from the Arduino output pins.  This is typically done with some external transistors which will take the weak, limited signal out of the Arduino, and boosts it to switch perhaps several amps as you would need for a large array of LEDs, etc.  Your kit probably includes some transistors that will allow you to demonstrate this circuit.

So you can try out your Arduino by simply applying power to see the LED blink.  But then you need to work on your programming setup (whether downloaded or the online-version.)  Did your kit come with any kind of instructions or lessons/experiments, etc?

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Online Richard Crowley

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #117 on: October 25, 2018, 03:41:04 pm »
No it was just a basic kit,
On the Amazon page where you bought it, there is a link to download the code and the basic instructions (or at least images that show what to do).  The URL is:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.image.smart/download/101-50-300/101-50-300.zip

So you should also install "Fritzing" on your computer so that you can view the Fritzing images included in that download.  http://fritzing.org/home/

Do you have a computer to run this on?  You will need something. It doesn't have to be very new or big or fast.  Coding for Arduino is a pretty basic task for any computer.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #118 on: October 25, 2018, 05:38:03 pm »
I just skimmed this thread and I gotta say good on you for sticking with it through all the different options. Reminds me of the first time I replaced a starter. Lordco gave me the wrong one and when I said it didnt fit they taught me how to check my flywheel for cracks instead of checking the part number.

In my local tech meetup group one of the most successful entrepeneurs is a mechanic who learned arduino to make his job easier.

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting the pc to talk to the arduino. Focus on that first with really simple code, make 1 led blink. That might go smoothly, might not but you'll get it and it becomes much more fun after that.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #119 on: October 25, 2018, 05:52:52 pm »
A nice thing to add about arduinos is after you get your prototype working, it is fairly easy to cut costs and size down for the next version by making your own boards using the main components from the arduino.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #120 on: October 25, 2018, 06:18:48 pm »
Any good suggestions?

I can't say I've watched any.  Once I downloaded the IDE, I just dived straight in.  Having been programming for a decade or three, I didn't need much help getting going.  Edit: (I did need help later on, though - but Google search usually found me some helpful resources.)

Richard Crowley has given a good outline.  See how you go with that.


A nice thing to add about arduinos is after you get your prototype working, it is fairly easy to cut costs and size down for the next version by making your own boards using the main components from the arduino.
I wouldn't worry too much about this.  Making your own boards is an investment in time that will be hard to justify in the beginning.  You can do a lot with existing boards - so have fun with those.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 06:21:41 pm by Brumby »
 

Offline odessa

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #121 on: October 25, 2018, 06:53:09 pm »
Jeremy Blums you tube channel has some brilliant tutorials for Arduino including xmas lights. It covers addressable leds, gps and other cool stuff



« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 06:55:01 pm by odessa »
When  I die I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my Grandad ... Not all shouting and screaming like the passengers on his bus.
 

Offline robjodicarter

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #122 on: October 28, 2018, 03:34:43 am »
Just got it so addicted!!!!!!! Trying to upload code via Arduino droid but not taking? I know it's not the best way but my son is using the computer to do his school work. Any one use this way?
Thank you rob

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Offline Brumby

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #123 on: October 28, 2018, 11:58:42 am »
Just got it so addicted!!!!!!!

From what you've posted to date, I would have put money on that and once you get through the initial '"getting started" phase, I can imagine you sliding in deeper and deeper....

As for the upload failing (assuming the compile was successful) if it was on a computer, I would get you to check the port being used - but I have no idea bout using Arduino droid.
 

Offline MudAndSnow

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Re: Sequential tail lights
« Reply #124 on: October 28, 2018, 07:32:09 pm »
I'm not familiar with android but a common problem is not selecting the right board or downloading and installing the drivers for your specific board.  If you haven't told it what board you are using, that'd be a good thing to look in to.

It's also a good idea to keep electronics away from things that generate static electricity, like blankets. Look up 'ESD' for more info.
 


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