This device is designed to be a versatile high-current LED controller, with the ability to sink or/and source currents up to 1A per channel with dissipation of up to 2.5w per channel. The various jumpers and transistor placement allow the device to control many different types of LED configurations with LED voltages of up to 36v.

Easily controls 5mm , 1w, 3w, 3w RGB, 5w RGB, 12v RGB LED lightstrip, 12v solid color light strip, common anode RGB LEDs, common cathode RGB LEDs. Any combination of LEDs in parallel/series. Whatever kind/wattage/configuration can be made to work, to a max of 1A per channel or 2.5w dissipation.

A PIC18F4550 controls 24 high-current darlington transistors. The PIC is ready for USB communication and using Microchip's Library there is a multitude of USB connected devices can be made. From a simple emulated serial port, keyboard, mouse, HID, MIDI Devices, Audio Devices, and more. The available premium firmware allows the device to interact with the ColorMotion computer software, to create and upload patterns and settings to the device.

There are 4 pins left to use for other purposes, such as AdC, more transistors/mosfets, shift register whatever is needed. Accessed via the 6-pin polarized header, which can be used to connect to RA0, RA1, RA2, RA3, V+ and V-.ase. It accepts data from a PC/MAC/Linux over emulated serial port to the circuit board which outputs 8-bit PWM for all 24 outputs.

There are kits available in the Chromation Systems Store and all the files to recreate this project is in the ZIP file below.

Previous Version Assembly Instructions, Datasheet, Updates and More Info Can Be on the Main Website

The zip includes PCB diagram, Schematic Layout, and drill files. It is a single sided version of this circuit, so it is very DIY PCB friendly.

The 48 Channel Mono / 16 Channel RGB LED Controller, which is also USB connected, and is made for lower current LEDs is now available. 

Step 1: Supplies

Electronics: Purchase a Kit from The Store or Purchase a PIC or PCB separate.
  • 18F4550, DIP Buy One
  • Circuit Board, v.3  Buy One
  • 24x MPSW45AG Darlington Transistors or similar
  • USB Type-B jack, board mount
  • 20 mhz, version 3 can use any type, v1 & v2 require a series oscillator
  • 10kohm 1/4w resistor
  • 24x 1k ohm 1/6w resistor, value may vary depending on transistor
  • 220nF disc capacitor, VUSB
  • 2x 0.1uf disc capacitor
  • 2x 1uF electrolytic capacitor
  • 2x 22 pF disc capacitor
  • 5 pin ICSP header, optional
  • 6x 4-position screw down terminal blocks
  • 2-pin header, KK6410, use is optional
  • 2-pin housing, KK6471, use is optional
  • 6-pin header, KK6410, use is optional
  • 6-pin housing, KK6471, use is optional
  • 8 wire crimps for housings
  • 7805, 5v regulator, optional, can't be used in most cases
  • Button assembly parts: Momentary Push button, perfboard, ribbon cable, and 10kohm resistor
  • Soldering Iron
  • Diagonal Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Flat screw driver for terminals
  • Multi meter
Other: Not included with the kit
  • USB Type A to Type B cable
  • LEDs or LED Strip, Find Some In The Store
  • Resistors for the LEDs
For controlling lower current LEDs over USB, please view 48 Channel Mono / 16 Channel RGB LED Controller

Hello Software and hex file or a working demo version
very interesting projects thanks.
Anyway you could hook this up to use a PC's power supply? I'd love to use it to control the lighting inside of my PC. (Much like Alienware does)
Yes it can easily hookup to a computer PSU, run +5v to the controller and configure the jumpers to what is best for your LED configuration. Some PC fans have a female Molex connectors(4-pin) that make it easy to hookup the power.
This would be much simpler and cheaper using a Teensy (http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensy.html) However it would require new code.
I've been busy and just got around to updating my CCS PIC compiler and bringing up the three 24 channel boards I bought and assembled. I built an adapter for the CCS ICD-U40 programmer I use and substituted a 47k ohm resistor between MCLR and 5 volts instead of the 10k one provided. I had an invisible solder bridge between PDC (programming clock pin and ground) that I had to find with a meter and cut open. The board has very tight trace spacings so be careful. <br> <br>Finally a significant oversight with the parts supplied with the kit is that it is missing two 15pf (surface mount) capacitors that go to ground on each side of the crystal. Without those the crystal and oscillator circuit will not start and run correctly. All the CCS prototype boards and Microchip's data sheets and schematics include them when using a crystal. After I added those and programmed the PIC with a color changing patter on an RGB LED, the board worked perfectly. Very pleased with the result.
The oscillator starts and runs correctly, the oscillator capacitors were excluded to allow the circuit boards to be one sided, to make it more DIY friendly. Though it would be better to have them included. There are 2x 100nF capacitors on the v.2 PCB, those could be soldered on the bottom of the board, directly to the PIC's Vss &amp; Vdd pins.<br><br>
One detail is that the kit comes with one 100nf cap and that should be soldered as close as possible to the power and ground pins on the chip, not off to the side as recommended. The reason is that this cap prevents power spikes and when mounted far from the power pins, causes the PCB trace wires to become inductors and the effect of the cap to smooth the power is reduced. So lay the cap on the bottom of the board between the two sets of power pins and solder to teh traces there for best effect. Prefereably the kit would ship with two and those would be soldered directly across each power and ground pin set, on the chip but my kits only included one cap.
Interesting project.

About This Instructable




Bio: Designing electronic creations from microcontrollers, LEDs and anything else I can pull out of a dumpster and make use of. Check my Profile
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