Introduction: 8 Channel LED Controller V.3

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The 8 Channel LED Controller v.3 from Chromation Systems, is used to control 8 channels of LEDs, with up to 5 LEDs in parallel per channel.(100 ma per channel) It utilizes a PIC12F1822 and a TPIC6C596 power logic shift register, with each channel current controlled with a single 0.5w resistor, allowing different colors of LEDs to be controlled with various currents. The controller runs at 32 Mhz, each channel is 8-bit(256 levels) PWM controlled at 370 hz. It can interface with TTL serial devices, such as a MAX232 or a USB->TTL Serial Adapter. The software, MonoMotion, can interface with the controller and is used to create, order, and upload patterns to the device for it to run on its own. Or the outputs can be controlled with live serial data from a computer or other serial device. Perfect for small Infinity Mirrors or other creations requiring intelligent LED animations on a small versatile, platform.

The device comes with 8 patterns loaded and software usage is completely optional.

Please visit the Chromation Systems Store to Purchase a Kit or visit the Main Webpage for the updates and downloads. Or Download The Datasheet Here

This controller is utilized in the Chromation Systems - 10" x 10" LED Infinity Mirror Kit - View The Instructable
And in Multi-Color Lamp Project, View The Instructable

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Parts:Purchase a Full Kit with all the parts, ready to assemble.
  • Printed Circuit Board v.3
  • PIC12F1822 - DIP, Programmed
  • TPIC6C596 - DIP
  • 8-pin socket
  • 16-pin socket
  • 8-position, DIP spaced screw down terminal
  • 3-pin header
  • 1 uF capacitor
  • 01. uF capacitor
  • 10Kohm resistor, 0.25w
  • 8x LED Resistors, value varies, 0.5w
  • Momentary push button
  • Piece of perforated board, for the button
  • 12" dual strand wire

LEDs: The kit can optionally come with 32 Diffused 5mm LEDs, mix-and-match colors
  • Choose From: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Cool White, UV, Purple, Pink, Turquoise, Aqua-Green, Cyan, Magenta

Serial Interface: This is optional, and is purchased separately.
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Wire Stripper
  • Diagonal Cutter
  • Really small flat head screw driver, eyeglass size or so, for the terminal screws
  • Hot Glue and Gun, optional but helps.

Step 2: Component Parts

  • Line up the notch on the sockets with the notch on the top-side illustration.
  • Carefully insert the pins into the holes, check before pressing the socket in.
  • C1, goes in either way
  • C2, is an electrolytic capacitor which is polarized, the black stripe is the negative lead, the holes are marked on the PCB.
  • R1 - R8 are the LED resistors, the values are based on the color and amount of LEDs that channel is controlling.
  • R9, is a 10kohm pullup resistor for the button and MCLR

Terminal Block:
  • When placing the terminal block ensure that the openings are facing outward
  • Hold it tight to the PCB and solder it on.

Serial Header: A TTL serial device can connect to the device using this header.
  • Nothing special, insert and solder.

Step 3: Interconnects and Wires

  • Center the momentary push button on the perforated board.
  • Bend the leads in the opposite directions
  • Strip and solder the dual strand wire onto the button leads.
  • Cut the wire to the desired length, 4" - 6" or so.
  • Strip and solder the wires to the Button holes on the PCB, doesn't matter which way.
  • Optionally, Hot glue the wires down to the perforated board and a drop of hot glue where the button wires attach to the PCB.
Power Wire:
  • Strip and solder on the remaining dual strand wire in to the power holes, the holes are labeled + and -

Finish it Up:
  • Look over everything, make sure its all in its correct place and that all the solder joints look good.
  • Carefully insert the chips into their sockets, line up the dot on the chip with the notch in the sockets.

Step 4: Firmware/Software

The device comes with 8 patterns loaded, so connection and software usage is optional.

The 8 Channel LED Controller v.3, can interface with either the MonoMotion software or through custom written software. Patterns can be created, ordered, and uploaded to the device for it to run without a computer. Or the Live Mode can be used to control the output's levels in real time from a computer or other serial device.

This controller only accepts TTL Serial Signals, so a device such as a USB to TTL Serial Adapter or a MAX-232 circuit must be used.

Serial Connection:
  • Connect the 3 pin jumper from the USB Serial Adapter to the controller,  look at the labeled pinout on each and connect them correctly.
  • The USB Serial Adapter has a male end, so it must be plugged in directly to a USB port or through a USB extender(male to female)
  • The adapter requires drivers for use, please visit The Manufacturers Website to obtain a copy that works for your operating system. Windows, Mac, and Linux are available.
Software: The software the device was made for is Chromation Systems - MonoMotion,  your Java must be up to date. There is also some sample interface code available written in Processing, which can be used to write custom interface software.
  • Once the device is connected to the computer through the USB Serial Adapter, start up the software.
  • Click the Auto connect button in the upper left hand corner, or select the correct COM port.
  • The device and software will communicate and should display its name and firmware version on the top center.
  • Please read the MonoMotion Manual for directions on how to use the software.

Step 5: Usage and Completion

LED Connection: Please view The Datasheet or the Project Files for LED connection diagrams and usage.
Or Visit the 10" x 10" LED Infinity Mirror Instructable to See how this kit is utilized.

While this controller was mainly designed for Infinity Mirrors, it could have other uses. From case mods to ambient lights to anytime 8 channels of LEDs needs to be controlled from a computer over USB or a serial port.

Look out for a 18" Round Infinity Mirror Kit with RGB LEDs that will be posted soon.

Also check My Profile for more Instructables and my website for more projects, downloads, and updates.