January 12, 2012

Light Box

See all the photos from this project in the Light Bar Album

For my first big project with the MSP430 i wanted to do a simple RGB light fader. Having only really used an arduino MCU before i just assumed that the MSP430G2231IPN14 Would have a few PWM channels...I was wrong after reading the data sheet i realized that my chip only had one true PWM output :( /cry. So already having bought my 20 RGB LEDs i said that i would find a way to make this work :)
I started wiring All 20 RGB LEDS to some hardboard.Thats 20 RGB pins plus a ground for each LED so 80 different wires and solder points....this took me awhile
Cleaning Up my mess a bit

I started making the power board and quickly learned that there was a lot more to driving all these guys with one PWM channel that i thought i threw in a multiplexer IC and had to do some voltage conversions but got it working pretty well :) (Excuse the fail soldering and wiring)
To make that one PWM seems likes it controlling three different channels i had the MSP430 Rapidly switch the multiplexers out put to each channel making it seem like i had three individual channels. Granted there a some issues with flicker as it tries to fade each channel switching all three channels.

                                                   Mounted with hot glued hardboard case

Tiny Schematic file you can see the Full Sized one in my Light Bar Album 
I had finished this project awhile back so the schematic and most info is to the best of my knowledge...i don't keep very good notes :( but will definitely have better documentation in the future

Testing the partially build green channel had a dead LED in corner that i had to replace :(

The coding to get all the fading took me a while as I'm pretty fail at coding especially considering this is my first big MSP430 project the Arduino made me soft lol. I went with a single push button that gave 12 modes that you have to cycle through.

  1. Random combinations of colors Fading up then Down
  2. Red
  3. Green
  4. Blue
  5. Teal
  6. Purple
  7. Fading Red
  8. Fading Green
  9. Fading Blue
  10. Fading Teal
  11. Fading Purple

Party Mode was kinda of a happy mistake i made when trying to do you normal fading. I had selected a random number for the color and delay and it made a frantic strobe like Fade. it looked kinda cool so i kept it in to induce seizures in people passing by :)

The end result is quite pleasing and gives my room a futuristic random light fade in mode 1 :)


I Still have tons to learn with my MSP430 but i had a lot of fun making this project. Learned that i need to work on my electronics hack-fu but i have many more projects in mind.

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