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pixelmagic

LED-wiz alternative ?

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Ok, next step has arrived, the new pcb's have arrived, waiting on some parts for the second pcb, but assembled the first one, a shield for the Arduino, so there is no need for loose wires and soldering. This pcb will fir exactly on the Arduino Mega, just slide in, connect the wires to the screws or the headers and you are ready to go.

Also the option on using most off the Arduino outputs directly and optional serial connectors and analog input (future expansions ?)

Here is a picture of a complete soldered one:

IMAG0282.jpg

The second board is a driver board, also dedicated to our software design with 32 outputs, more info on that will follow when parts have arrived.

IMAG0282.jpg

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Let me know when you are ready to start taking orders Pixel :D

Are you looking at selling the boards and parts needed, just the boards with a shopping list or the boards fully assembled?

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Let me know when you are ready to start taking orders Pixel :D

Are you looking at selling the boards and parts needed, just the boards with a shopping list or the boards fully assembled?

Let me know what you want :D

I think it can be both ways, with or without parts and all-ready.

In the mean time have tested the shield, works ok, and also put together the Shift Register/ULN driver board and also works perfectly. Here are some pics:

IMAG0285.jpg

IMAG0286.jpg

Now soldering the next few boards for Shifter for some more testing of the software, and then we could be ready !

Oh darn, need to write some code for the web-utility... :D

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Put me down for 1 of the shields and 2 of the driver boards.....

No. no... make that 2 of the shields and 6 of the driver boards without parts please mate. :D

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Put me down for 1 of the shields and 2 of the driver boards.....

No. no... make that 2 of the shields and 6 of the driver boards without parts please mate. :D

Do the driver boards require the arduino, or can it be used to power higher loads directly from the LEDWiz?

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had a quick read of the whole thread (whoooah lol), have you considered trying to move the serial port calls into the VPinMAME.dll it self? this way you can wrap it in its own thread eliminating the stutter problem completely!!! i do this for my pinDMD stuff and can send 2052 bytes around 24fps stutter free.

just an idea :)

great board :)

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Hi Pixelmagic,

Just wondering if you (or anyone), could clarify a couple of things for me?

The new solution seems to have 16x500ma outs and 16x1w outs. I think I might be confused between a combination of your initial driver board (with all the mosfets/optocouplers), and the original 595 multiplexer board vs the new shield/driver.

Just curious as to what I'd need to run totally ledwiz free on a new build.

Am I missing something or is the new driver board that uses the same chips as a ledwiz capable enough to handle the full current of the crees and able to do PWM for the motor? As there are only 16x1w outputs then 2 boards would be required as the cree's alone take 15 high current outputs, assuming a standard build with 5 crees, wiper, shaker, knocker and 8 contactors.

Given there are no optos/mosfets on the new arduino driver, does the new driver board still require fuses, relays and H-bridge the same way the ledwiz would? and if so, is it still possible to get the mosfet/opto driver board so we can go arduino->595's->mosfet/optos->toys? without fuses/relays etc?

Also, can the arduino solution drive 12v and 24v toys on the same driver board?

Thanks for the clarification.

Loving the availability of this stuff. You've put in a lot of work and done a great job on these and I can't wait to get a hold of things to start playing with the solution.

Cheers,

Arkay.

Edited by Arkay

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Hi Russ!

if you can demonstrate how to do that that would be great (i.e. some source code!) I have looked briefly at it but a bit lost. Any help here would be very much appreciated!

We do have less lag already even though its serial because the arduino is intelligent and is totally optimised for dealing with incoming commands! The way commands are sent is optimised to reduce message traffic too.

cheers

Shifters

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Hi Pixelmagic,

Just wondering if you (or anyone), could clarify a couple of things for me?

The new solution seems to have 16x500ma outs and 16x1w outs. I think I might be confused between a combination of your initial driver board (with all the mosfets/optocouplers), and the original 595 multiplexer board vs the new shield/driver.

Just curious as to what I'd need to run totally ledwiz free on a new build.

Am I missing something or is the new driver board that uses the same chips as a ledwiz capable enough to handle the full current of the crees and able to do PWM for the motor? As there are only 16x1w outputs then 2 boards would be required as the cree's alone take 15 high current outputs.

Given there are no optos/mosfets on the new arduino driver, does the new driver board still require fuses, relays and H-bridge the same way the ledwiz would? and if so, is it still possible to get the mosfet/opto driver board so we can go arduino->595's->mosfet/optos->toys? without fuses/relays etc?

Also, can the arduino solution drive 12v and 24v toys on the same driver board?

Thanks for the clarification.

Loving the availability of this stuff. You've put in a lot of work and done a great job on these and I can't wait to get a hold of things to start playing with the solution.

Cheers,

Arkay.

Hi Arkay, i will try and answer some questions for you! that should be 16x1A not 1w :-)

The first driver board can drive much higher currents that the new one and is useful for full led strips which use Amps - its also expensive hence the second driver board which drives less current but is also cheaper. The 595's are simply to make more outputs from the arduino (which current supports 200 outputs per board!). The shield is a mechanism for being simply able to screw wires in rather than having to plug pins into the sockets on the arduino and it also clearly lays out which devices plug into which sockets! The arduino can only drive max 40mA per port so one of the driver boards is required to drive leds, contactors etc.

You need one (or more) arduino mega 1280 or 2560 (a clone is fine), the shield board (for an easy way to wire) and the new driver board which plugs into the shield. This will give you 32 outputs as you indicated above. If you want another 32 outputs, buy a second driver board and plug that into the shield too! The shield (and software) are configured to take 4 of the new driver boards. You also need power (5V for arduino and 12v for the toys ) some wires and thats about it i think (plus all your toys of course, e.g. leds, led buttons, contactors etc).

The new driver board is digital - no PWM, the original driver board does PWM for the motor etc and the arduino is configured to support the motor with min and max settings, so if you need a certain amount of power before anything happens you can configure a minimum value to use regardless of whats sent and ditto for max so it does not shake the legs off the cab!

I will let pixel answer this, but we bought some inline fuses holders and fuses to go with the toys, not sure about relays though.

The original driver board would drive 5v and 12v toys. Pixel did a special board for himeself that handles 24v. The 24v contactors i have seem fine at 12v.

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Hi Russdx,

its this one http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega2560

i think the 1280 may have used the FTDI chip, but the 2560 uses AtMega8U2 or AtMega16U2 depending on revision of board

As far as my software is concerned it runs on any mega. I can't find the 1280 specs to confirm if it uses the FTDI chip as the 1280 is considered EOL (although lots of clones around!).

shifters

Edited by shifters67

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ah its not using a FTDI chip like the older Arduinos, shame as i have all the source to talk to them hehe

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Hi Russdx,

have you modified the vpinmame.dll before to allow direct access to the emulator state for switches, lamps and hardware?

shifters

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iv modified it to get access to the dmd frames and send them to a ftdi chip. not looked at the lamps,switches but cant see it being a problem.

i think to get 100% stutter free. you need to move all the serial coms code into the .dll (what drivers does these new arduinos need??) and have the roms talk direct, with the serial coms wrapped in a thread. and just pass a few params using the vbs script to set up the map between rom events and the physical outputs on the arduino.

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Yes thats the direction Pixel and myself were looking in, but we are not very familar with the vpinmame.dll design. I have looked at the controller object but thats strictly a polling mechanism. Any suggestions where in the vpinmame.dll src to start looking - i would rather have the comms driven by rom events (which is processor efficient) rather than polled in a time loop (which is not although better in the dll than in the vbs!).

The 1280 mega (i have both 1280 and 2560) uses an FTDI FT232RL would that be compatible with your driver code? Normally to communicate with the arduino you have to install a driver on the PC and use a serial COM object to talk to the arduino over 38400 serial. Talking via FTDI over USB would be interesting!

shifters

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Put me down for 1 of the shields and 2 of the driver boards.....

No. no... make that 2 of the shields and 6 of the driver boards without parts please mate. :D

Noted !

Do the driver boards require the arduino, or can it be used to power higher loads directly from the LEDWiz?

No, they are designed for fast communications from a cpu like arduino, ledwiz is just a 'dumb' on/off switcher and cannot send fast data as required. Sorry about that.

The new solution seems to have 16x500ma outs and 16x1w outs. I think I might be confused between a combination of your initial driver board (with all the mosfets/optocouplers), and the original 595 multiplexer board vs the new shield/driver.

Am I missing something or is the new driver board that uses the same chips as a ledwiz capable enough to handle the full current of the crees and able to do PWM for the motor? As there are only 16x1w outputs then 2 boards would be required as the cree's alone take 15 high current outputs, assuming a standard build with 5 crees, wiper, shaker, knocker and 8 contactors.

Given there are no optos/mosfets on the new arduino driver, does the new driver board still require fuses, relays and H-bridge the same way the ledwiz would? and if so, is it still possible to get the mosfet/opto driver board so we can go arduino->595's->mosfet/optos->toys? without fuses/relays etc?

Also, can the arduino solution drive 12v and 24v toys on the same driver board?

The basics are correct, 16x0.5A and 16x1A, BUT (!!!!) with the same limitations as the ledwiz, if you gonna use to much current from 1 chip, YOU WILL blow it. On the good side, the ULN chips are easy exchangeble without soldering and are low cost, soe if it happens, no biggie is my thought.

And you can attach 6 of the new driver boards to the shield/software, not 4.

You cannot use pwm on those boards, you can use the 'old' big driver boards to use the PWM from the Arduino and also on the 8 breakout connectors on the new driver board.

@Russ: very nice to hear from you in this thread, it would be great is you can give Shifters some pointers on totaly excluding the vbs part on behalf of the speed advantage.

Edited by pixelmagic
addition

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@pixelmagic np :) - this project is very similar to mine and would love to help out :)

@shifters67 sorry ignore my pm reply if you do have access to arduinos using the FT232RL i CAN give you ALOT of example code how to talk directly to the ftdi chip straight from the .dll :)

the only drivers the pc needs is the FTDI drivers, but seeing as your using ur arduino you will have these already. + other people installing this kit will not have any problems as the drivers are so easy to install from FTDI website (windows 7 even does this all for you automatically (if ur connected to the net))

first thing you will need is the pinmame project and be able to compile it :)

you can check it out from here using svn

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pinmame/develop/

this site is very helpful for helping you setup visual studio

http://pinballproject.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/compiling-pinmame-with-visual-c.html

once you have that set uo. i can give you some source that first searches for the ftdi chip and once found will send it byte arrays (what you send it is up to you :)) it is also all wrapped in threads :) so no more stutter :)

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Downloading now - thanks for the links - will install and compile so i know i can then will come back to you.

shifters

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No, they are designed for fast communications from a cpu like arduino, ledwiz is just a 'dumb' on/off switcher and cannot send fast data as required. Sorry about that.

I must not understand the seperation of your hardware. IS there a microprocessor on your driver board? I thught the arduino resided on your "blade" board. What prevents the driver from general purpose use? It is not just an amplifier?

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The driver board has 595 based multiplexer's built onto it. It's designed to expand the number of outputs from the arduino using serial output.

The ledwiz has no way to address the bits in the multiplexer's, therefore it wouldn't pass the signals properly.

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The driver board has 595 based multiplexer's built onto it. It's designed to expand the number of outputs from the arduino using serial output.

The ledwiz has no way to address the bits in the multiplexer's, therefore it wouldn't pass the signals properly.

Aha. So no micro, but logic. Gotcha. I knew I had left my white paper on the topic somewhere :)

Thanks.

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Hi Arkay, i will try and answer some questions for you! that should be 16x1A not 1w :-)

Doh. Yes. I meant 1A. Dunno why I had watt in my head.. :)

The first driver board can drive much higher currents that the new one and is useful for full led strips which use Amps - its also expensive hence the second driver board which drives less current but is also cheaper. The 595's are simply to make more outputs from the arduino (which current supports 200 outputs per board!). The shield is a mechanism for being simply able to screw wires in rather than having to plug pins into the sockets on the arduino and it also clearly lays out which devices plug into which sockets! The arduino can only drive max 40mA per port so one of the driver boards is required to drive leds, contactors etc.

Cool. that's what I thought. Thanks for the clarification.

You need one (or more) arduino mega 1280 or 2560 (a clone is fine), the shield board (for an easy way to wire) and the new driver board which plugs into the shield. This will give you 32 outputs as you indicated above. If you want another 32 outputs, buy a second driver board and plug that into the shield too! The shield (and software) are configured to take 4 of the new driver boards. You also need power (5V for arduino and 12v for the toys ) some wires and thats about it i think (plus all your toys of course, e.g. leds, led buttons, contactors etc).

I have already ordered an arduino which is on the way. As for what toys that is yet to be decided but I'm thinking a standard setup of 8xcontactors (or equivalent), shaker motor, wiper motor, 5 crees (or similar), 2 flashers. Yet to decide on the number of RGB leds and/or lit buttons for the front of cab/flippers. Either way I'll need at least 32 output, possibly more. But a lot is going to come down to the total current draw at any given time. I don't want to be burning out chips, even if they are simple/cheap to replace ;)

The new driver board is digital - no PWM, the original driver board does PWM for the motor etc and the arduino is configured to support the motor with min and max settings, so if you need a certain amount of power before anything happens you can configure a minimum value to use regardless of whats sent and ditto for max so it does not shake the legs off the cab!

I will let pixel answer this, but we bought some inline fuses holders and fuses to go with the toys, not sure about relays though.

The original driver board would drive 5v and 12v toys. Pixel did a special board for himeself that handles 24v. The 24v contactors i have seem fine at 12v.

Ok. Thanks for the feedback. Though I still have a lot of thinking/planning to do. At the moment I don't have a very clear image of my requirements so until I do I'll keep reading, working on other parts of the cab, and see how the new solutions pan out.

Thanks again for the info.

The basics are correct, 16x0.5A and 16x1A, BUT (!!!!) with the same limitations as the ledwiz, if you gonna use to much current from 1 chip, YOU WILL blow it. On the good side, the ULN chips are easy exchangeble without soldering and are low cost, soe if it happens, no biggie is my thought.

And you can attach 6 of the new driver boards to the shield/software, not 4.

You cannot use pwm on those boards, you can use the 'old' big driver boards to use the PWM from the Arduino and also on the 8 breakout connectors on the new driver board.

Thanks again for the work on this solution/idea and the answer to my questions.

I'm hoping at some stage someone will come out with a full schematic using just VP-Fx to drive all the toys in a cab, as I seem to be getting my solutions messed up having researched everything from no toys through ledwiz to Vp-Fx in the past few weeks yet not having wired/seen any of it in real life. It's all theory to me at present. Think I'll just start putting things together and worry about it on the way. Starting to get "analysis paralysis"....

Cheers,

Arkay.

Edited by Arkay

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I'm hoping at some stage someone will come out with a full schematic using just VP-Fx to drive all the toys in a cab, as I seem to be getting my solutions messed up having researched everything from no toys through ledwiz to Vp-Fx in the past few weeks yet not having wired/seen any of it in real life. It's all theory to me at present. Think I'll just start putting things together and worry about it on the way. Starting to get "analysis paralysis"....

There will be much more info and schematics when it is all done and working, don't worry about that.

For someone @ 4 posts you got a lot of knowledge, so things will fall into place at the time.

Just don't buy to many flashers, I seriously doubt if you gonna notice them when you have our new toys active (watch my last video for more insight) :laugh:

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