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Adafruit call them Neopixels and this is a great source for learning about them https://www.adafruit.com/category/168They are 'smart' leds that just have power and 'data', not individual RGB pins. You can then have a string of them and tell each one to be which ever colour you want. An arduino can drive just under about 500 before it will run out of SRAM.
I like this idea - I saw a similar one a while ago. I have made up my house number from CNC cut 10mm acrylic but have not installed it just yet - Mine is using an ESP8266 direct driving FETS via PWM. The LED driving circuit you have there is very complicated. A simpler way would have been to use the controller box that comes with the LED strip to retain control and just use the arduino to inject PWM into the FETs or for that matter, just have an IR transmitter on the arduino to control the control box - Then you can use all the built in effects too.
Yeah, I guess we all make use of what we have. I just happen to have purchased around 30 rolls of the 12v RGB leds and they all came with remotes and controllers that went unused :) I think for someone producing this from scratch and having to purchase the strip, it would be easier to spend an extra $2 to get the controller and interface with that rather than building a whole new driver circuit though. Perhaps this can be an alternate method in your instructable?
Yeah, I have done a lot with Pixels too, just for this it seemed overkill. WS2812B are 5V, are generally not as waterproof and suffer greatly from voltage drop. A better alternative (for this project) if you want programmable LEDs are the 12v WS2811 12mm 'bullet' style ones. They are waterproof and are much more tolerant to voltage drop, they use the same protocol as WS2812b (Use FastLed Arduino Library)I use a WS2182b in my doorbell that is automated to come on random colours for set periods each day but that's another instructable :)
Bookshelf Speaker | Bluetooth Speaker | Build
This is one of my early projects and I used PCB123 which does not support Gerber export, sorry.
I have complete code for using the generic Wiegand readers with Arduino that utilises EEPROM to store tags in an 'offline' setup. I have 2 other versions that use Ethernet too, one you can program over Telnet (writing up to 50 tags to EEPROM), the other uses MQTT in a challenge/response setup for use in home automation.Simple, cheap, easy.
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