Introduction: Aurora 18x18 - the Big Brother of Aurora 9x18
So I finally broke down and made a bigger version of Aurora 9x18, Aurora 18x18.
Just as the name implies, it has twice the number of LEDs. The overall dimension is seven inches in diameter. They say bigger isn't always better, but in this instance bigger is indeed better.
*** The kits and PCBs are available at http://www.theledart.com/blog/aurora-18x18 ***
Step 1: Background
Those who are not familier with my Aurora 9x18, please view its instructables here.
Aurora 18x18 is built upon the same foundation. Special PWM technique enabling just one microcontroller to control 18x3(R/G/B) channels of brightness levels, without specialized LED controller ICs.
In addition to doubling the number of LEDs, Aurora 18x18 has a built-in infrared remote receiver. Now you can control this beauty from across the room, without leaving your chair.
Step 2: Circuit & Parts
- 4x 47 ohm (0603)
- 324x 150 ohm (0603)
- 18x 220 ohm (0603)
- 21x 1k ohm (0603)
- 4x 10k ohm (0603)
- 3x 0.1uF (0603)
- 2x 10uF (1206)
- 1x 47uF (1210)
- 3x DMP3098L (P-ch MOSFET)
- 18x MMBT2222A (NPN transistor)
- 1x PIC24FV16KA304 (* You need a PIC programmer such as PICKit 3, ICD2, ICD3 to program PIC24FV16KA304. PICKit 2 does not support this newer PIC.)
- 1x GP1UX311QS or equivalent (IR remote receiver)
- 1x Tactile Switch
- 324x Tricolor LED (common-cathode)
Infrared Remote Receiver
Aurora 18x18 recognizes Sony TV remote control protocol. Sony protocol happens to be one of the easiest to implement in firmware. It's also one of the most supported protocols. Virtually all universal remote controllers support Sony TV.
I'm planning to implement other protocol as well in the future though.
- IR Remote Control on Wiki
- IR Remote Control Theory - great information regrading IR remote control with microcontroller
Step 3: Assembly
In Aurora 9x18 instructables, I've shown the "hot plate reflow" method. I've since found hand soldering of SMD to be quicker for the assembly of Aurora. I think without a stencil to apply solder paste, the time it takes to apply solder paste is much longer than just soldering the parts with a soldering pencil.
Of course you can choose whatever method that works for you.
*** You need a PIC programmer such as PICKit 3, ICD2, ICD3 to program PIC24FV16KA304. PICKit 2 does not support this newer PIC. ***
If you decide to assemble Aurora 18x18, take time and make sure to double check each step be done correctly. As some parts are impossible to get to once you populate LEDs on the PCB, so it's important to double check all SMD parts are soldered correctly and securely before proceeding to solder LEDs.
Power supply requirement is regulated 5V DC, 1A capacity minimum. 500mA supply might work, but I like to have some safety margin, so 1A or more is recommended. USB power supplies and computer USB outlets generally work well also.
The step-by-step assembly guide and the latest firmware is available at my website: http://www.theledart.com/blog/aurora-18x18-assembly-guide
Step 4: IR Remote Control
The following controls are implemented:
- Program(animation pattern) change - up/down arrows
- Speed (of animation) adjustment - left/right arrows
- Pause/un-pause - select key (middle of the arrow keys)
- Direct selection of programs - numerical keys (0-9)
- Dimming - mute key (alternates between 2 levels of dimming and normal brightness)
- Power on/off - power key (then Aurora is off/stand by, pushing any keys will turn on Aurora)
Step 5: Audio Interface
A new, audio interface function is also added (requires separate interface), making Aurora 18x18 the ultimate color organ.