Decade Counter!

I wanted a way to have a “rotatable” counter to indicate that the LCC was still looping properly.  I finally found something! A decade counter (as noted in an earlier post)!

Now instead of pulsing one led I have a “spinner” type of effect. I don’t have to keep track of where the “count” is….I just pulse it. Coding this would have been a nightmare. Of course wiring 10 LEDs is a mess but it’s a cool one.

decade counter mess
decade counter mess

LED Spinner!

So I want to add some kind of visual indication that my main arduino loop is still well, looping. I decided on an LED “spinner”, kind of like on web pages and applications. but how to do it?

After a lot of searching I found something neat. A decade counter.

Seems this nice little IC (4017) has 10 outputs that go high in a sequence when given a pulse. The perfect thing to do when you want LEDs to “chase” or spin.

I hope to add this to the new LCC. Should help indicate that the main loop is still looping!

Detailed info on a similar “chaser” project here.

 

The Next Lizard Climate Control…

I’ve started on LCC 2nd Gen or LCC2 or LCC II. I don’t know what to call it. BUT I do know it’ll be killer.

This one is going to be everything LCC 1 was not.

So far I have:

  • Ethernet
  • 64 GPIOs
  • A better RTC
  • 2 OLED displays
  • The RTC can be updated via serial — no need to upload code to the Arduino, update the clock and then reupload the LCC code!
  • More cool factor….

So check this out- I2C rocks! The awesome Centipede Shield from macetech.com is HUGELY awesome. Via the I2C 2 wire interface you now have access to 64 Digital ports. In any combination of In or Out. This is the cornerstone of the new LCC hardware. Especially since the Ethernet takes a lot of digital ports. This thing is way cool. If you need more digital ports get one asap.

The OLED displays are really neat. I got 5 from a Kickstarter project and they’re now generally available from Sabernetics Tech. They’re tiny and bright! Since you now have 64 ports you can have as many of these displays as you want. Just put each on its own port to select which one to write to…If you don’t you’ll write to them all at once! Gotta love bus networks (I2C).

I hope to make the LCC’s ability to control lights and heat sources more generic. Since the IO is so plentiful I can make the code generic enough to handle fans, heat mats, uv lights etc in different combinations.

Keep checking the site as I post updates about this project!

ShiftBright RGB LED Module Saves the Day!

I gave up on trying to drive the A6280 directly with the Arduino. macetech.com already did what I wanted but couldn’t do myself. They used the A6281 (which doesn’t come in a DIP package- only an SMC) on a nice little breakout board with a RGB LED. Yea!

So here’s the Module. Continue reading “ShiftBright RGB LED Module Saves the Day!”

LED drivin….

One of my bestest oldest friends is an electrical engineer/genius. So I asked him- how do I drive 3 LEDs from the least number of Arduino ports?

Allegro Micro he says. I found this. SWEET!

This thing will drive LOTS of these little LED drivers from the SPI serial bus.

I’m so giddy! Digi-Key order is in! Spec sheet after the jump.

Continue reading “LED drivin….”

Using a Transistor to Control an LED or anything

For my LCC project I decided to use a 2N4401 NPN transistor to control status LEDs and AC Switches. I did this so that the power draw from the Arduino chip would be as low as possible.

Below is a diagram of how this works. I used a 2N4401 NPN transistor that “turns on” when the gate goes high or positive. This essentially allows it to switch the negative or ground leg of the circuit. I did this because the Arduino can’t turn a digital IO line to ground- just 0v or 5v. Continue reading “Using a Transistor to Control an LED or anything”