My newest project: Arduino controlled led system.
I'm cross posting this on a few sites so please let me know if something doesn't make sense.
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board I/O support. The software consists of a standard programming language and the boot loader that runs on the board.
What I am hoping to accomplish is a multi "zoned" led system for my car.
I participate in various things that allow me to use warning lights on my vehicle, some things are for a local government agency and some is for other things that involve police escorts. Currently I have a cheap led flasher from China that I bought off of ebay before the foreign sellers started jacking their shipping charges. The flasher came with 2 sets of lights with each set having 3 pods of 3 leds. The flasher has 3 patterns, mode A is side 1 flashes 4x then side 2 flashes 4x, mode B is alternating flash (1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2…..), mode C is both sides at the same time. These leds are amber and are mounted in the rear window. Since getting the flasher I have added some white led strips in the grill and tied them into the wires for the other lights.
So I don't have many lights and would like to add more. But real warning leds are expensive and I don't have a few hundred to drop into that. What I would like to do is have an arduino control all the leds around the car independently. Attached is a map of the different "zones" that I would like to control. The front and rear have two zones so the leds can have alternating flash patterns.
There are a few goals I have for this project to be able to do.
1. Individual zone control. (on, off, strobe, etc…
2. Preset patterns or modes. (zones 11+12 alternate, zones 21,22,23,24 on, etc…
3. Use a LCD display to scroll through the zones and modes.
4. Use RGB leds and control each color channel in the zones.
5. Have an additional zone for a traffic advisor (arrow stick).
Light zone map. Zone 24 would be the cargo area.
Possible RGB Leds to use. Each led has a chip which makes each led individually addressable with only using 2 pins from the arduino for the whole strand.
I was going to use a playstation controller joystick for navigation of the menu, but I recently saw that someone has figured out a library for a wii nun-chuck so I can use the joystick, button, and accelerometers with only 2 pins and power.
My whole deal with the number of pins I use is because the Arduino only has so many output pins and the less I use for somethings means the more zones I can have without getting into shift registers, which is a bit over my head atm.