Guide: Arduino based LED controller for Current Satellite LED+ - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:08 AM
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I agree, my coding is very clunky and could be greatly simplified. I'll play around with making a library tonight.

I think the work you've done so far is awesome and I appreciate it very much. I couldn't code my way out of "a wet paper bag", but I'm learning a lot by following your work. LOL I'm good with understanding the electronics/hardware side of Arduino projects, it's the software side that has me baffled. If you ever want to "shrink down" the whole hardware side of this project into a single PcB let me know. I'd love to help.

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post #32 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:09 AM
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I might be missing something but what's sending/receiving the IR calls to control the devices?

Is the arduino sending or receiving?
There's a device missing or something

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post #33 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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The Arduino is sending. The factory receiver on the fixture receives. The Arduino acts just like the factory remote, it just does it on its own without you standing there pressing buttons. The receiver on the Arduino is just for decoding unknown signals; it isnt needed once you have the protocol and codes.

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post #34 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
I think the work you've done so far is awesome and I appreciate it very much. I couldn't code my way out of "a wet paper bag", but I'm learning a lot by following your work. LOL I'm good with understanding the electronics/hardware side of Arduino projects, it's the software side that has me baffled. If you ever want to "shrink down" the whole hardware side of this project into a single PcB let me know. I'd love to help.
That would be pretty cool... Once I get all of the features nailed down we might can look at a single PCB. I know I still need to add an RTC, and I'm thinking about an Ethernet or WiFi shield to allow remote control from a PC or android phone. I have an NPN transistor circuit in the works also to amplify the IR emitter for better range.

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post #35 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:35 AM
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Ah, I see. This will only work for devices with IR receivers with some logic built in like a TV etc....

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post #36 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Since there's been some question as to how this operates, here's a picture of mine right now running the light on my 55g. You can see I just have it aimed at the factory IR receiver on the Current fixture. The remote still works if you want to manually change the mode, but if you don't touch it, the Arduino automatically changes modes according to the times you set up in the sketch.

The box underneath the Arduino and Current receiver is an old DSL WiFi box that I have gutted to use as a case for this project.

Note that the range right now is around 2 feet, I only have it this close for accuracy during testing. In the near future, I hope to extend the range to around 10 feet (the same as the factory remote).


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post #37 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, I see. This will only work for devices with IR receivers with some logic built in like a TV etc....
Exactly... I guess it's more accurate to say that I'm automating the remote as opposed to automating the light. I'm hoping this kind of approach is more appealing to those who might not want to open the light fixture up and void their warranty. I already have a 24" LED+ in pieces on my workbench though

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post #38 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 01:42 AM
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Very interesting indeed. Once upon a time, I dabbled a bit with home built PCBs using Eagle software and the photo method. I think adding a RTC is a great idea. I also like the idea of single PCB. But in lieu of that, you could also just do a simple PCB for the IR emitter and whatever other electronics you add to the project and place everything inside a project box to keep it simple and clean.

I wander if you could wire the Arduino in between the fixture's IR receiver and the fixture, allowing the remote to continue to work as well. That way you could hide the controller in a cabinet or something and still use the remote when you wanted too. And you wouldn't need the emitter.

Now I have to order one so I can monkey with it.
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post #39 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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The remote still works, until another command is sent from the Arduino, at which point it defaults to the programming again. It would be easy to put the Arduino inline between the receiver and light fixture if you don't mind cutting the factory wires to the receiver, allowing you to hide the controller and still have the receiver exposed. The Arduino outputs 5V on this channel, so you'd just have to make sure 5V is what the fixture needs. I'm pretty sure most PWM signals are 5V, so it should be good.

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post #40 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Indychus View Post
The remote still works, until another command is sent from the Arduino, at which point it defaults to the programming again. It would be easy to put the Arduino inline between the receiver and light fixture if you don't mind cutting the factory wires to the receiver, allowing you to hide the controller and still have the receiver exposed. The Arduino outputs 5V on this channel, so you'd just have to make sure 5V is what the fixture needs. I'm pretty sure most PWM signals are 5V, so it should be good.
Yeah, that's kind of the direction I was thinking of going with it in order to get everything out of sight. You'd still have the wire to hide though. Did you see this RTC kit?
http://learn.adafruit.com/ds1307-rea...kout-board-kit
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post #41 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's kind of the direction I was thinking of going with it in order to get everything out of sight. You'd still have the wire to hide though. Did you see this RTC kit?
http://learn.adafruit.com/ds1307-rea...kout-board-kit
That's pretty cool! I found an off-the-shelf RTC for $4 that should be here tomorrow. I wish I would have seen this before ordering one, as I much prefer to DIY whatever I can.

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post #42 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Indychus View Post
With the Current product announcement and their own controllers out now, there isn't much reason to build your own economically speaking (I was a little shocked at how low their MSRP is), but this does allow you more control and the ability to tailor it exactly to your needs.
Yeah sorry to let that cat out of the bag on that one. There are still people wanting to have more control than a "out of the box" controller though. Anything I buy, I usually tweak like a mad scientist. Love the DIY picture BTW indychus =)
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post #43 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah sorry to let that cat out of the bag on that one. There are still people wanting to have more control than a "out of the box" controller though. Anything I buy, I usually tweak like a mad scientist. Love the DIY picture BTW indychus =)
Yeah, I emailed current a few weeks ago and they said they wouldn't release the IR protocol but that they had a controller coming out, so I knew it was coming soon. I didn't expect it to be so affordable though.

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post #44 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 03:27 AM
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I've got to hand it too you, Indychus, this is an awesome little DIY project. My wife is already cussing you, since I've just found my next "spousal substitute" as she labels my projects.

I'm going to have to do the IR end of it because it's just too cool not too. I can think of all kinds of uses, aside from controlling the light fixture, where I can use this device. If nothing else I can turn on the bedroom TV at 3:00AM a couple times a week to freak the wife out. lol!

I'll probably still end up with one hard wired into the fixture though, so if you reverse engineer the fixture you have torn apart on your bench, be sure and let us know!
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post #45 of 710 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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My wife feels the same way about my projects... I have so many hobbies its hard to keep track of them. I love the Arduino though, after I bought my first one and realized what it was capable of, I ordered 2 more within a week!

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Check out my open-source Arduino-Powered Light Controller Guide for Current LED+ and other IR switchable lights.
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