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
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
Step 3: Pinheaders
Step 4: Pinheaders continued...
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
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!
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.