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Mass production and led's and arduinos? Answered

I'm interested in making something that will have several led's that I would like to flash randomly and some flashing slowly, some fast, etc.. Some with the "fade in/ fade out" kinda deal (sorry, don't know the terminology). Anyway, I'm in the process of learning all about the arduino and I'm just beginning. What I would like to know is, say I figure out how to make these led's do what I need them to and I make up one "unit" and I put it all together etc.; will I have to buy and use an arduino for every single one of these? That would get very expensive. It's kinda like those pictures I've been seeing lately for Halloween/ fall/ Christmas that have led's flashing at different times, and some come on slowly, and then fade out slowly etc.. Or anything really maybe like those little rubber balls that have flashing led's in them. How do they accomplish this? Do each of those pictures have an arduino in them or is it a matter of "programming" some kind of cheaper "chip" and using it in each project? Like I said before, I don't know the terminololgy. Just looking for most economical way of accomplishing this on several different projects. Thanks so much for any help from anyone!!

Discussions

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iceng

3 years ago

Then there is the oriental black epoxy drop uPassivated on phenolic PCB blinking singing toys and cheap enough to be placed in birthday cads envelopes

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rickharris

3 years ago

In general for manufacturing they would reprogram the functionality into a base microcontroller. As your just beginning it would probably be bast to get a pro programmer to do this for you. - You can then repeat that program into the relatively cheap bare chips.

BUT mass producing anything assumes you have a mass market for the end product,. Building up stock can be pricy.

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iceng

3 years ago

I use the more expensive Parallax Stamp to make the working model and then use a conversion program to generate a machine code to drive a $3 pic micro processor to perform the same operation for mass production for my clients.

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

All comes down to how many oututs you have and how you combine the LED's - matrix circuits come in mind here.
Basically you set your selected output to do what it wants, e.g. blink or fade.
Add a bit more code to randomise what output is used and that's about it.
A lot of cheap toys use blinking or fading LED's instead, they have all required electronics build in and do what they should do as soon as power is applied.
Downside with them is that there is no variation in speed or similar possible.

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steveastrouk

3 years ago

You just need the core processor of the Arduino board, which is usually a Atmel Atmega 320 or Attiny, and some means to program them.