arduino with light o rama software using relay board????????

hi i have a quick question, i have a 8 channle relay board for my arduino for controllering my christmas lights. what i was wondering is if there was any way to interface that relay board and the arduino with the light-o-rama controller software that they sell sepertly. the reason i want to do this is so i can blink my lights to music with out paying for a ready to go system because thos cost alot.  if you could help me that would be great,  p.s i have a arduino with the duemilanova bootloader and a atmega 328.  thanks in advance!

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pikadroo2 years ago

Light O Rama is such a simple little thing that you could use an arduino to accomplish the same level of control in a light o rama controller has. I'd like to see someone do it... it's on my list of todos.

astroboy9076 years ago
I've never heard of light o Rama, but you mIght be able to use just the arduino. I tried the fft for arduino and the lol shield, and that works great. Shouldn't be too hard to change to your needs. It he project I use should appear in the reference bar in the lower right :)
Sorry for the short reply but I am using a phone to type
https://www.instructables.com/id/LoL-Shield-Audio-Spectrum-VU-Meter/

A little link
wootin24 (author)  astroboy9076 years ago
Thank you but what i need ito be able to use light o rama bcausethen you can program each string of lights to blink and fade and do all sortsof stuff to an mp3
I just want to usearduino as the controller that interfaces with that soare on a pc
TQ2 wootin242 years ago

But they are 2 conflicting devices. The Light-o-Rama is already its own microcontroller, just like arduino... For all you know, the light-o-rama controller IS an arduino board just repackaged (its not, but conceptually the same). So if you have an Arduino you wouldn't need the LOR and vice-versa.

But you are right about the fading... There are no commercial grade arduino shields for multi-channel dimming and fading. Most arduino based dimmers require you create your own triac/optocoupler based design to handle the stepping, but they are limited to a single channel per circuit. At that point, it would be more cost effective and safer to just get the LOR unit.

wootin24 (author)  TQ22 years ago

So since your response is really really late, and I figured all of my issues with the idea out three years ago, I decided to just walk through what i did end up doing. instead of messing around with arduino and its low powered flaws, i decided to use an open source design called renard. Renard is a controller based of of pic microcontrollers and is used in many many different christmas light controller board designs, including high and low channel count, spider web, and centralized designs. the specific board i went with is the simple renard 32 which i bought as a kit and flashed the pic for myself. renard is compatible with many many different sequencers but i ended up going with vixen simply because of its easy built in support for renard. renard also has ac zero cross detection so it dims the lights perfectly with no flickering. for the music i us a fm-02 fm transmitter which transmits my station about one city block. everything is simply ran off an old laptop that sits in my porch and turns on the show at the right time at night. if you want to learn ore about the whole DIY Christmas light hobby you can go to www.doityourselfchristmas.com

As for how the lights themselves are turned on and off, the renard sends 5v control to the solid state relays. i use dirkcheapssrs which are really low cost 4 channel boards. each channel on the board can handle one amp which is ore than enough for one string of lights. my renard stays in the porch with teh laptop and i have cat5 cable running from the renard to my ssrs which i have sealed in pvc pipe to water proof them

I have found the open source equipment so much more enjoyable to get into because it gives you satisfaction when something that you made and wired all by hand works.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

thanks!

TQ2 wootin242 years ago

Very good info and yea I know this was an old topic. I am just learning myself so I just wanted to share what I've found along the way. For those of use that still would like to use arduino, I have come across the Zerocross tail and PowerSSR Tails here: http://www.powerswitchtail.com/Pages/ZeroCrossTail.aspx which may be old news to some people, but will easily add fading support without the fire risk. It does come at a premium as you'll need this setup for each channel. In the end, the LOR package is more cost and time effective when used with Vixen. Granted this information is more for "out-of-the-box" or semi-build setups and doesn't really belong on a DIY site but the info is there.

wootin24 (author)  TQ22 years ago

i would still recamend looking into the dirkcheap ssr because it does work quite well with arduino as well, and its a lot cheaper!

wootin24 (author)  astroboy9075 years ago
Thanks for the help, i have found a light controll software called vixen that workes alot like light o rama. The best part is that i can interface with arduino over serial using the usb, i have also since gotten a arduino mega 2560 so i will do around 20 channels of liights synchronized to music.

Here is a link to the vixen site. www.vixenlights.com

Here is a link to the code for the arduino.
http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?12757-Vixen-Generic-Serial-Output-controls-the-Arduino!&p=129693#post129693