USB Controlled Microcontroller

Hi, i'm new to microcontrollers and I want to make a Usb powered and controlled 5 x 20 Led array using charlieplexing, and I have a few questions: - Is there only 1 led on at a time when charlieplexing? - What microcontroller should I use? - Is there a good instructable on connecting a USB to a microcontroller? (i've searched) - Does anyone have a suggestion for a programmer. Thank You, Sander

westfw9 years ago
There are FIVE instructables on charliplexing:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-drive-a-lot-of-LEDs-from-a-few-microcontrol/
https://www.instructables.com/id/5x4-LED-display-matrix-using-a-Basic-Stamp-2-bs2/
https://www.instructables.com/id/3D-LED-Charlieplex-Cube-from-Chrismas-Tree-Lights/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Charlieplexing-LEDs--The-theory/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Charlieplexing-7-segment-displays/

You have several choices for USB connectivity:
  • A microcontroller like the PIC18F4450 that has special purpose built-in USB peripherals.
  • A conventional microcontroller that "bit bangs" USB entirely in software. (The only things I've seen along these lines is for Atmel AVRs. See AVRUSB)
  • A conventional microcontroller with an external USB peripheral chip. While it may be depressing paying more for the USB chip than the microcontroller, this has the advantage that the chip vendor may provide PC-side drivers that connect easily to software by pretending to be a serial port. The FTDI chips are very popular for this, and they have drivers for ALL popular OSs.
See also this How to Choose a Microctroller Instructable. Be sure to read the comments!

If you're starting out from scratch, you could do a lot worse than to buy one of the Arduino products or "Freeduino" clones. By default they are self-programming (no additional programmer required, include USB connectivity (via FTDI "serial" chip), and include a LOT of online support and tutorials. There's even This instructable on Charlieplexing using arduino. They sell for $25 to $35 or so for a version with the USB chip (some cheaper semi-clones omit USB connectivity...)