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My little project.

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Daniel Pitts, Dec 19, 2005.

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  1. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    I'm new to the whole Electronics scene, and was hoping to find a good
    place to start.

    I already have an idea for a project, but I think it'll be a little
    complicated for a first project. I'm thinking of making a modded
    computer case, which has an two dimensional array of LEDs on one side
    (or wrapped around the top and on both sides) which can be controlled
    by a microcontroller that is programmed by the computer its on.

    I can do the programming no problem, its the hardware I'm not sure
    about. I don't even know where to get the hardware.

    I'm thinking that for an interface to the LEDs, I'll need a timer chip
    (for 50x50 leds with 8 levels of intensity, I'll need about 3MHz),
    three counters (two going 0 to 49, and one going 0-7)
    On the other side of things, I think I'll need some RAM (not sure what
    type, but it needs to store the intensity values of the leds, and be
    updated at least 30 times a second, with the possibility of multiple
    read/writes for the whole "screen") some flash (for the software that
    creates the LED designs) and, of course, the CPU. Something fast enough
    to handle updating the memory with moderate math capabilities.
    Floating point is a bonus, but most things I want to do can use
    precalculated integer tables if necessary (increasing the memory
    requirement, not a big deal though)
    Oh, and a way to easily program the flash (via USB or Rs232 maybe?)
    from the master computer.

    I'm not opposed to getting a SoC solution of some sort that allows me
    to install Linux, or NetBSD, or something like that, but I don't really
    need something that sophisticated, and would like to keep the price
    down if possible.

    I'm also just looking to create this for myself, not planing on
    reselling or mass producing them :)

    I wouldn't even mind paying someone to help me out, but I don't have a
    large amount of spare cash.

    Any idea's where I can start? Is this even the right group? :)
    Thanks for reading,
  2. Deefoo

    Deefoo Guest

    A possible way to go: get yourself a (commercial) USB microcontroller board
    with memory and some spare I/O (Google around a bit). Then add row and
    column drivers and use PWM or something to modulate the LED intensities. The
    processor is going to do all the display driving work. Start with a display
    of 1x1, when that works well add more.

  3. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Good Luck!
  4. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    Okay, thanks :) I'll check it out.
  5. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, I'll be! A googler with class! :) :) :)

    This is a _good_ thing! :)

  7. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  8. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, yeah, when they're as polite and clueful as this "Daniel Pitts"
    seems to be.

    But, please note - I suggested a different newsgrouup for the really
    basic "where do I start" question, and the thing that put me over the
    top with gushing is that Daniel Pitts actually came back here, and
    _thanked_ me for providing such a simple answer. ;-D

    From my recent experiences with googlegroups posters, this is exemplary,
    and should be encouraged. < what's the "I'm an official netcop, and I'm
    serious here" smiley? >

    And the fellow (I ass-u-me that "Daniel" is a fellow) has already figured
    out how to quote context right, which is amazing to see from a
    googlegroups poster.

  9. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    I agree with you. It is unusual - and a shame that it happens
    too infrequently. There have been some great solutions posted to
    various questions - some including design work, schematics, links
    etc - where the effort to try to help the OP is obvious. And there
    are posters who consistently provide those good answers.

    At a minimum, it would be nice if those good answer providers
    didn't have to work into a vacuum. Maybe if the OPs would at
    least grunt in acknowledgement, to show they saw the post...

  10. PeteS

    PeteS Guest

    That would be nice :)


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