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LED Display

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by james2k2, Jun 29, 2010.

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  1. james2k2

    james2k2

    8
    0
    May 23, 2010
    Hi All,
    I'm currently looking into building a large LED VU display unit. Originally I was going for just a simple VU circuit to hook up via RCA cables and then use transistors on the VU outputs to power bigger LED sets/clusters for each bar. I then decided that i would like to have some form of computer control to enhance the look if i choose.

    It must be suitable to control from USB as most computers no longer have Parallel or Serial ports (and mine certainly don't). For this reason, I figured i could use an Arduino with one of the many serially controlled Maxim IC's. I got this idea when i saw what could be done. See here: http://www.bryanchung.net/?p=177

    I would like to now create something totally computer controllable to create a multi-frequency VU display on a large scale as this would look good (and much better than simply Left+Right channels) as well as patterns. That link doesn't give how the Maxim IC is wired. If there is a better solution than what i've suggested here, then i'm all for it. I'm ultimately after a cheap, usb controlled LED controller.

    Many thanks,
    James
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,411
    2,779
    Jan 21, 2010
    It sounds like you have a few issues:

    1) deciding what you want (is it a VU meter, or a spectrum analyser)?

    2) finding hardware capable of doing FFT of the waveform, or possibly multiple band-pass filters.

    3) Figuring out how to interface this to a computer.

    and possibly...

    4) Learning what is needed to write the code.

    You can't tackle all 4 at once. Make some decisions as to what you want to do, and be assured you have the skills to do the rest.

    If you're not in a position to do that, then maybe start on something simpler, or a subset of the problem.
     
  3. james2k2

    james2k2

    8
    0
    May 23, 2010
    I'll answer your points as you have written them:
    1) Both is my answer and maybe more.
    2) The computer would provide the LED control and i've written VB software in the past to get the analysis required
    3) This is why I initially suggested Arduino (but this is where i'm asking for advice with regards to if this is the best solution as it is USB ready and there are already many sample applications on the internet that I can use to guide me) And also i'd need advice on interfacing to one of the Maxim LED driver chips.
    4) Again, .NET is what i'll be using for the computer side and there are many samples that can help me learn anything special.

    Hope this helps.
    Kind regards,
    James
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,411
    2,779
    Jan 21, 2010
    OK, I recommend that you decide what you want to do ("both and maybe more" means you don;t really know) then start simple.

    Perhaps the first thing you need to do is implement some code to talk via the USB interface to simply turn a LED on and off.

    Once you've done that you can start making it more complex, step by step. Just make sure you get each step working and understood before you build something on top of it.

    A separate issue is how you will drive the LEDs, but that's probably answered in the data sheets. Maybe your second step would be a program that can be told to light up any single LED or row/column of LEDs via the USB interface.
     
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