Remote Controlled RGB Lights




Wanting to be able to first just turn on and off the lights on my Quad-copter without landing it and turning it on . As I thought it would be fun to play with The quad at night .

Messing around with some Arduino code and soon found that there is much more than just turning led's on and off . And more so that I could use my RC Transmitter to do so. This spiraled out of hand until ending up with a RC Controlled RGB light show with multiple sequences. From pulsing green to strobe and Police flashing.

What this instructable is about is a very simple way of doing this project .

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Firstly I used a atmega 168A micro controller and a PCB to make soldering easy . Next Up 2x ULN 2003A IC to drive the 12v LED strips. Then we need some 12v RGB Strip lights and some cables. ( I used RC RX Leads but any thin cable should be fine .) Some header pins 8 is enough ( I used 16 to bake the build stronger). Then something to program the atmega chip with . I used a USBASP and my trusty programming rig . And Arduino :)

Step 2: Programming the Atmega

I used a atmega 168A tough you could use a Arduino pro mini or similar .

You could use a Arduino as ISP or any other Programmer . I used a USBASP with the low frequency function that allows to burn boot-loaders to factory fresh Chips.

The Arduino code that I provide is experimental And needs cleaning up . Tough it should give you a start and it works. .

Step 3: Putting It All Together

After getting the Arduino pinout for the Atmega 168 Planning was done and after some deliberation I came to the conclusion that the best pins to use was the row of pins to the bottom of the chip ( Arduino pins D5 to D 12, physical pins 9 to 16 ) as this would make building the module simpler.As I was planning a stacked pcb .

Firstly I programmed the Chip and after testing it with some standard 3v leds I soldered the chip onto the PCB.

then connected power jumpers to all the points that require 5v. ( physical pins 3 , 5 , 21 get Negative while 4 , 6 and 18 get +5v) on the strip board i soldered the UNL2003A ic ( Please use a search engine to get the pinout ) As you can see in the foto I have joined up the pins to double the current capacity . The pins I have used in the for the Project ar as follows. Front lights are physical pins 9,10and 11 while the back lights are pins 14 ,15 and 16)

on the ULN2003A the first channel is not used while the next 6 are doubled up. and the last two pins are common and ground. pins 8 and 9 . on the output side the pins Are also doubled up with the first pin not used. the outputs go to the R G And B of the led strip. While the +12v goes directly to the 12v power source. and common ground on all sources. Lastly another layer of pcb to connect the RC input to . Physical pin 2 on the atmega is used for this. Also +5v and ground are connected from the RC Receiver and fed into the atmega 168A. So that the atmega gets 5v and the led,s are driven by 12v

Step 4:

concluding the build . It is up to the individual how to encase the project if at all .

instillation is also a personal preference , I covered my project in self amalgamating tape and installed it to my quad with double sided tape . The front is driven by one line and connected in parallel to give 2 strips in the front and 2 in the back . ( One could drive 4 separate sets of rgb lights or even more by using shift registers or addressable led,s or maybe even a atmega 32u4 chip )

Step 5: Some Videos of Previous Versions



    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge
    • IoT Challenge

      IoT Challenge
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest

    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Very impressed with this entry.

    Looks like a winner and gets my vote!

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    I am pretty sure this can be accomplished using the attiny 85. I haven't messed with Arduino in a couple years, but I used the attiny for several sound and/or light sequence projects. The smt version allowed me to make very light weight and compact projects.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I have not tried it myself . Tough I am
    sure it could work . Will it have space for 6 outputs and a input for
    the RC Receiver? Attiny85 has 8 pins i think .

    I just buy the 168 and 328P because they are versatile and work on most my projects

    did make one of those running water drop led sticks once with a
    attiny84 and some things for a model train . Tough for the price
    difference when I buy in bulk I like the atmegas. If how ever you have a
    bunch of attiny85 just hanging around one could make something even
    better by controlling 4 channels of RGB LED strips each with its own
    attiny85 and use a attiny85 to control each individual string ? Then you
    can have 4 pins on the "Main Attiny85 " and one pin to the Receiver .
    and each "slave " Attiny85 could run its own channel of RGB Strips
    getting commands from the "Main " Attiny85

    or one can do the whole project on a attiny84..The possibilitys are endless.

    The project in the instructable is only one way of making this work .

    Thank you for your input

    Project Heroza_tbr

    Reply 3 years ago

    RC controlled = Remote control controlled
    ATM machine = automated teller machine machine

    za_tbrProject Hero

    Reply 3 years ago

    I see your point . I shall make a correction.

    Thank you for pointing it out.