Project: RGB LED Lighting system (but starting small first)


New member
Hey Fellas.

i received two powertip PC1602K 16x2 Character LCD's the other day, and what sets these apart from most modules is their size, each is the size of a AA battery, which means it can be molded into pretty much any enclosure you can make for it.

my project is referring back to the OCAU forums where Caffeine is giving these beauties away for free to people in Australia.

Goth (one of the OCAU members) has posted a schematic of how i can link it to a PIC18F-2550 chip to communicate via USB

now my initial project is to get the pic chip to control this module, and then with commands from a PC via USB to update text etc on the lcd in hopefully realtime.

i have ordered some components, and are waiting for them in the mail, and will hopefully go through and see what i can do before i need to ask for help :p

my long term project with a partner in this project, is to create (hopefully a DMX compatible) LED lighting system, with a master control module to either be independent and if needed compatible with DMX. heres my plans so far (before i start the DMX track, im going simple with just a master module)

This project is very similar to lamcdonald's expandable USB-controlled 24-bit PWM RGB LED setup but i want to make this a bit more industrial to use in the parties and DJ sets that i supply sound and lighting for.
so obviously i want to make it so multiple units can be linked together, and can run independent of a PC but still have programs you can choose from.

Master module, with SD or CF card reader (maybe a USB connection as well possibly for real time interaction)
card reader is used to save / load programs
the 16x2 module will give user feedback about the current status of the device

master module then links to individual "lights" comprising most likely of LUXEON 3W star LED's (1r 1g 1b 1w for the moment, but will upsize if need it to be brighter for larger performance use) the individual "lights" will then comprise of a controller circuit for the Luxeons that will allow fading of the r g b w channels, to allow colour mixing.

this project might be a bit slow initially, as it is working around my education timetable and other commitments, but hopefully when i have made any soft of progress i will post back :)

Will keep you guys informed

Looking for additional LCD resources? Check out our LCD blog for the latest developments in LCD technology.