Instructables

Arduino Light Display With Vixen

I will show you how to create your own computerized light show!!  If you have any questions or comments feel free to post.

WARNING  WARNING  WARNING  WARNING WARNING WARNING  WARNING  WARNING  WARNING WARNING

THIS PROJECT USES HIGH VOLTAGE! IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO HANDLE HIGH VOLTAGE HAVE A FRIEND WHO DOES HELP YOU!

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU GET ZAPPED OR SERIOUSLY INJURED!

  A few options are;


  • LOR ( Light-O-Rama
  • Vixen Lights
Most of these light shows have a big setup cost for the software and hardware. However they are a much easier setup. The vixen lights is free but will take some foot or should I say finger work but if you are up for it it will be well worth it. I chose to use vixen lights and I have already done all of the searching and will share all of this with you in one spot. So grab some snacks and a drink and get ready to learn. I decided to use the arduino as the hardware controller, but there are many supported hardware options. 





 
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Step 2: The Software

Vixen lights software;

First things first. Download the software from here www.vixenlights.com I am using version 2.1.1.0. Now keep in mind some of the sequences will not work across different versions.  On the link above be sure to read the page and what to install first and so on. After download is complete extract files and check the box that says " show extracted files "  to a location you will remember. When the extracted files appear right click on the vixen deer and select send to desktop. ( This will allow for fast access ) 



Does anyone know if the code has to be changed for the Arduino Mega? Btw, does this code work with Vixen 3?

wirenut1980 (author)  bestusernameever1 month ago

Not sure if it will work with Vixen 3. But this code will work with the mega. If you would like to use any of the higher number pin you simply write them in. Hope this helps.

bklammer2 months ago

Mine is being quite mixed up. Using the channel tester in Vixen, the lights that turn on are seemingly random, sometimes one channel lights two. Right now I'm only using LEDs ran straight into the arduino with just resistors. I honestly have no clue what's up.

wirenut1980 (author)  bklammer2 months ago

Post the code that you are using here so I can take a peak at it.

I'm using the code from this article! Might it be that I've got the event period at 50ms? Or, that I'm only using 13 channels? The same thing has also been happening with several other people's codes made for this same thing.

wirenut1980 (author)  bklammer2 months ago

If you use more or less channels then what is in my posted code (15ch) then you must adjust the code and vixen accordingly. The video explains this however you need to change the following lines in the code:

int incomingByte[15]; to int incomingByte[13];

if (Serial.available() >= 15) to if (Serial.available() >= 13)

for (int i=0; i<15;i++) to for (int i=0; i<13;i++)

you also have to remove two channels from each section that contains A-O

Then you must update vixen through the profile of your sequence that is attached to generic serial this must also be 13 ch. any time you add or remove these items listed above they must be adjusted. The reason for the randomness is that if vixen sends out a set number of code like 13 channels but the arduino is looking for 15 like the posted code then it gets confused. Example if you have 15 eggs and one crate that holds 12 the remaining eggs have no place to go.

Ah, there we go! It works perfectly now, and now I can transition to building the actual display diorama. Thank you much so!

wirenut1980 (author)  bklammer2 months ago

Glad to see you got it working it will be lots of fun from here on out

phillsmit32 months ago

Anyone know if it is possible to upload the sequence code onto the arduino so that a pc is not required? Or is there any software that will write the code for you once you have designed the sequence?

wirenut1980 (author)  phillsmit32 months ago

Thank you for viewing. I came across this page a while back. Bill uses vixen to write the sequence then converts it to a word file and then uses some python script so it can run stand alone. It should be a great place to start.

http://www.billporter.info/2012/10/08/our-geeky-wedding-electronic-wedding-wishing-well-ewww/

Excellent, thank you - looks good.

power_tr9 months ago
OK. Thank you i will try that.
power_tr9 months ago
Hi,

Great! Can you give the arduino code ?
wirenut1980 (author)  power_tr9 months ago
Thank you for your interest! So sorry I was updating 3 instructables in one night and must have lost track of the files. I posted a zip file as well as copied and pasted the code. I even added the " How to create a vixen sequence " video.