How do I connect an RGB LED Strip to an Arduino DMX controller? Answered
I've been working on a project for a few months now and it's getting to the point where people are suggesting DMX as a method to control our RGB LED Strips.
The LED Strip I have is 60ppm (LEDs per meter), and each LED is individually addressable. It runs on 5VDC.
In the attached images you can see the connection options for this LED Strip. To control color to each of the 60 RGB LEDs, there is only a single data line. Additionally there are two more connections for 5VDC and GND.
I've gotten basic animations and interactions programmed with one LED strip and an Arduino using the Fast LED Library. Moving forward though, I want to have more complex animations with many more LED Strips in different locations all being controlled by a master device. When I tell this to people, they recommend I use DMX (you can see some discussion of this from my partner on the vvvv forum - along with videos and other issues we've been having).
Since then I've been looking into DMX a lot and trying to figure out how to make it work for what we want. For example: At most, we would want to be able to have 30 identical LED strips to the one I have now, all one meter in length, all with 60 RGB LEDs. We want to be able to control all of these Strips & LEDs individually. I'm fairly certain since there's only one data in line, each RGB LED only requires one channel from the DMX control. To further this, I think that means I need to be able to control 5 DMX Universes, in order to control the amount of LEDs I'm trying for.
So here is my problem. In most/all of the tutorials on DMX RGB LED Strips that I've seen, they show you how to hook LED Strips up with three separate r/g/b lines. There was actually a super useful instructable that was just published that shows the same. I was also looking at Arduino's DMX Shield options and it seems the main one they recommend has three lines out that would connect to the typical 3 or 5 pin DMX connector. Since I'm not using the DMX connectors, I'm not sure if any of these shields are a viable option for me.
With all of this in mind, I would like to know what the proper method is for hooking up my specific RGB LED strip to a DMX controller (perferrably an Arduino one - specifically the Arduino Shield they show off of their page). Additionally, would that Arduino shield have a full DMX universe that it could control, or how would I get that?
Finally, if these questions are not useful...is there a better method of doing this?