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Teaser for New String Controller

Started by corey872, December 11, 2013, 06:13:53 PM

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Roger DeBolt

I for one cannot wait!!!! Like Mykroft I see a huge benefit for my RGB icicles next year. Heck I can see a use for them in a lot of my display!


Quote from: corey872 on December 12, 2013, 11:29:25 AM
Thanks for the input.  Seems like there is definitely some interest!

A 3.3V regulator supplies power to the PIC (The PIC is the same model as the SSCV4 to have the widest interchangeability / support)

with the V4 pic that has been used - the ram/storage has been severly chopped down - i think David said at one time - the custom grouping feature of the Falcon firmware would not work....?



indeed. I believe the memory size was something like 512 Bytes so it did not give much room to move things around for the grouping feature is what David had told me.

Did I read it that you are intending to drive these controllers with 12V and power 5V strips/strings/nodes?




Quote from: corey872 on December 12, 2013, 11:29:25 AM
The ICSP (6-pin Programming header) is about as big as this whole board.  Currently looking at some type of test pads or possibly even programming through the connectors.
Anyway, keep the ideas coming.  Obviously this is more of a 'jump on 2014' as opposed to anything coming together this year.

OK, you asked for it... :)

Maybe it could have some form of card-edge connector on the board itself instead of a full-size/height ICSP header.  That would help keep the footprint low at the expense of making the board a little bit bigger.  This would be along the line of your test pads, but maybe in a format that could fit a SD card slot so we could make an ICSP 6-pin to SD adapter to program the boards.


I would prefer is we could flash inline via the connector - the cheap $7.50 dmx controllers only allow address programming - no firmware update.  If we get it right during testing - we should never have to update the firmware in them.  Just remote programming.

As far a test jump I like the mag reed switch - just get a mag close to it and its in test mode


David Pitts

We could have the controller have ability to receive a test command via Pixelnet stream. The command can be a global test command or a specific start channel (single controller test command). It would remain in test mode until Pixelnet data comes in or until told to stop. 

I am still a little concerned of not having ability to program firmware. I have heard of pics loosing their program.
PixelController, LLC


OK I going to throw this out for everyone..
Me don't know if can work, how about a Dumb String Controller Ver ? maybe  ???
Jerry Plak


Good thoughts all.  It seems the main drive will be to make the controller, small, cheap and bulletproof for a 'base model' but allow the user to have a few options for programming if they want.  Hopefully it can address the widest variability of needs that way.

Jerry - A DSC might be an option in the future, though a couple things to keep in mind - the DSC will always have a set of rather large mosfets which need some cooling, so it will never shrink to a super small size.  Though conversely, since it doesn't transmit a formal 'data' stream, it can be placed/hidden a little ways away from the lights, whereas the smart controller should be kept ideally within a few feet of the first node, so size is a little more of an issue there.  But who knows what the future holds!


But who knows what the future holds!
maybe thinking of a daughter card to come off this
controller card  ;)
Jerry Plak


Here is a bit of an early Christmas present.  Etching of the boards has gone well and the USPS sleigh dropped off a present from digikey.  So hopefully with a bit of time soldering under the microscope, this prototype driver will be ready for some testing.

Slightly wider than a standard node, but not as long:

Compare scale to a quarter-


Jerry Plak



Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

David Pitts

Very impressive. Let me know when you want the firmware. :) I am excited too.
PixelController, LLC


wow, impressive size there!

Now is this a teaching project and if yes, would you mind starting at the beginning for us noobs about why each piece and what it does?

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