Code4Raspberry
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:26 am

Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:13 pm

I want to make a sign that has a "Stranger Things" theme with Christmas lights and painted letters like in the show.
I was thinking to run 26 wires behind the sign to each light individually, and then a normal Christmas lights wire in front. Then the wires somehow make sure only the lights that the RPi wants to power are lit. In this way I could light any combination of lights that I want, or one at a time.
What should I buy at minimum to get this to work - this is for a highschool project so cheaper is better!

GarrukApex
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 3:42 am

Re: Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:54 am

First, this kind of thing is better (easier) with an arduino. Mega to be exact.

I'm assuming you want LEDs, so any supplier (probably amazon) will do there. You'll need wires to connect everything up, and a soldering iron if you don't already have one.
If you just want to do it the easy way, you can buy a mega. If you want to do it the cheap way, look into charlieplexing and multiplexing circuits.

If you still think raspberry pi is a necessity, even though your project is more of a hardware thing, start with tutorials on controlling leds through GPIO and move up from there. I recommend the wiringPi library: it really comes in handy.
Best of Luck,
GarrukApex

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:22 am

NeoPixel LEDs, they have serial comms.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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rpdom
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Location: Essex, UK

Re: Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:29 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:22 am
NeoPixel LEDs, they have serial comms.
I agree. Also known as WS28xx LEDs. I've got a load of these. You can drive 60 or more individual RGB LEDS and it only uses one GPIO. There are also the slightly more expensive APA102 (DotStar) LEDs that are easier to control because they have a separate clock line, and use two GPIOs.
Last edited by rpdom on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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joan
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Location: UK

Re: Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:04 am

If you want to write your own control software go for the APA102 which has a separate clock and data line. Far simpler.

PiGraham
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Location: Waterlooville

Re: Which hardware to buy: Simple sign project, Stranger Things

Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:44 am

I agree "neopixels" are the obvious choice.

Something like this

Image
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-5V-50PCS- ... 100623.m-1

I'd use an Arduino or other microcontroller to control them but there are libraries for driving them with a Pi

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