The 16X PWM board is basically a bunch of mosfets under PWM control (switches that turn on and off really fast) that can be used to mix different levels of the main three DIODER colors: red, green and blue. The PWM board also has a bunch of fading and sequencing commands built in, so the arduino code is fairly simple.
The 16X board could also be controlled from a serial port, but adding the arduino provides a lot more capability, like being able to control the lights based on a pot input, or maybe a color sensor to emulate ambient lighting...
Here's a video showing a quick demo:
Somebody on youtube asked how the LED strip electrical circuit, so here are some details if you'd like to use completely different electronics to control the Dioder, or many other LED strips.
Most of these strips are made to accept 12V, no matter how long the strip is. The LEDs are arranged into groups of 3, and the strip can be cut between each group. Electrically, each group is wired in parallel. So whether you have 1 group, or 100, you always supply 12V. Each additional group requires more current and power.
In this particular LED strip (the DIODER), the red channel consumes .14A, blue .11A and green .13A. So all together, the strip requires a max of .38A at 12V, or about 4.5W. If you look on the power brick, it says 5W max. The strip is about 33in long, and has 12 groups of LEDs, so each group requires 31mA of current, and .37W of power. If you added another strip on the end, you would need about 9W of power, and .76A of current, but still 12V to drive the whole thing.
This arrangement makes it very easy to fade the LEDs by varying the voltage with PWM switching. Even if the total length changes, the fading circuitry stays the same as long as it can handle the additional current.
Step 1: Parts List
Step 2: Decode DIODER Wires
The first step is figuring out which wire is which on the Dioder. By applying 12V to the different pins on the LED strip, we learn that the red, blue and green colors can be turned on as shown in the sketch. The 16X Fader board simply acts as a switch to ground for all three channels.
Cut and strip the 12V side of the power block. The wire with the writing on it is 12V, the other ground.
Step 3: Connect Dioder to 16X PWM LED Fader
Strip and connect the Dioder wires up as shown. The main 12V lines connect to the big G and V1. Make sure to connect the 12V line to V1.
Then connect the 12V line to the LED strip to the small v1, which is connected to the large V1 through the board.
Finally, connect the red, blue and green lines to channels 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
If you plug in the 16X Fader board, the strip should be white since all three channels will be full on by default.
Step 4: Connect Arduino to 16X PWM Led Fader
Connect the Arduino to the SPI port on the 16X PWM board. Don't forget ground!
Arduino 13 --> (purple) SCK
Arduino 12 --> (red) MISO
Arduino 11 --> (orange) MOSI
Arduino 10 --> (yellow) SS
Arduino GND -->(grey) GND
Also, make sure to set the jumper on 16X PWM board to SPI. (P15).
Step 5: Add a Pot Input to the Arduino
The demo arduino code uses a pot attached to analog input 0. Use any pot available, and connect it's two outside legs to GND and 5V, and the middle to Analog in 0.
Step 6: Load Code, Try It Out!
Finally, load the arduino code (attached as a pic) and give it a try!
Set up the serial monitor at 38400 baud, and it will print out a bunch of commands to try out. Some of them won't apply since the demo is based on using all 16 channels, but all commands relating to group 2 (g2) should work, since g2 gets mapped to channels 2-4 when you type c.
For a quick demo, type c, hit enter, then type i for a color changing effect. For more details on how to control the 16X PWM LED Fader board, see the full instructions here: http://store.curiousinventor.com/16x-pwm-led-fader.html