Introduction: The Dawm
The Dawm is a breakout board for the TLC5940 chip. This chip has the possibility to pwm (pulse width modulation) 16 different ports over serial communication from example an arduino microcontroller or similar. (This means in ordinary language that you can for example dim 16 LEDs up and down individually) The max rating of the chip is 17V and 120mA / port. This is adjustable by an resistor down to about 10 mA
One nice feature of the TLC5940 is that it is daisy chainable, which means that one chip can be connected to the next one and so on for plenty (500+)of pwm ports. Each one of the ports is individually controllable from only using 5 pins from the microcontroller. This creates great possibilities like creating low resolution screens or light patterns which is fully customizable and so on. Also control of motors and other outputs is possible.
In this Instructable I will show how to solder the breakout board and also how to connect it to an arduino and control leds.
The kit with the pcb and everything else needed can be purchased at http://blushingboy.org/content/dawm where also many other open source projects are sold.
The datasheet for the TLC5940 can be found here with all the specs http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tlc5940.pdf
A library for controlling it from arduino can be found here http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/TLC5940
Since this is my first Instructable I would love comments on it...
Step 1: Material and Tools
The things that is needed to finish this is
1 The Dawm (breakout board) available now by mailing me or soon from here http://blushingboy.org/
1 TLC5940 available as an sample from Texas Industry for free or from Digikey (Digi-Key Part Number 296-17732-5-ND ) or similar vendor
38 female pin headers (not necessary but makes life easier)
1 resistor which size depends on the current you are going to be using. (more about that further down)
Step 2: Socket
Solder the socket which will hold the chip in place. Make sure to line up the "halfmoon" on the socket and the graphic on the card to guide you in which way to put the chip in later. I recommend to first solder two opposite corners to make sure you have a good fit against the board.
Step 3: Pinheaders
Solder the female pinheader which enables easy and fast connection to your LEDs. One possible solution here could be to solder the LEDs or cables going to the LEDs directly onto the board which will create a more permanent installation.
Step 4: Pinheaders Continued...
Solder either female or male pin headers to the side of the boards. The decision between female and male depends on your setup. If you want to stack the boards on top of each other alternate between one board with all female and one with all male and so on. The first board in your stack is recommended to have female pin headers for easy connection to microcontroller.
If you want to have cables between the boards you can either solder them directly on the board or solder female pin headers for easier prototyping and experimentation.
Step 5: Resistor
Solder the Resistor on its place. It doesn't matter which direction it goes in. The size of the resistor depends on how much current you are going to sink. For example if you are going to be using one LED on each port a 1.5k ohms resistor should be fine since a LED is made for about 30mA current. If you plan on using the chip on its max rating (120mA on each port) you should be using a 320 Ohms resistor.
This table can help you calculate which resistor fits your project which is also found in the datasheet found here http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tlc5940.pdf
Step 6: Coding!
Now you are done with the soldering of the board and it is time to control it with some code.
On the Arduino playground you can find a library called TLC5940LED which helps you with all the hard parts of controlling the chip. You can find it here. http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/TLC5940
Download the library and unzip the whole folder in your arduino/hardware/libraries folder. After a restart of your arduino program you will find that under file/sketchbook/examples/TLC5940LED you will find some examples. In the example at the top you will find which wires to connect to where on the arduino.
Put the longer leg of the LEDs in +5V and the shorter leg in 0-15.
Upload the code and be proud of your work for five seconds after you should start modifying the code and hardware adding pieces and bits to create your OWN unique masterpiece.
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