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Thread: Controlling LEDs through Car PC??

  1. #1
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    Controlling LEDs through Car PC??

    Ok kids, first off I'm a newb to posting, but I cruise this forum a ton just looking at things and gathering information. I think it's finaly time for a carpc of my own... anyways...

    One of the main functions I want from my carpc is to be able to control multiple light sources (LEDs and a few neons). I just want to be able to turn them on and off throught the PC and hopefully the Front End. What is the easiest way to achieve this? Thanks for the help guys.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    I'm guessing there is no 'easy' way to achieve that...

  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    write a C+ program to control a parrallel or DB9 port and wire that to some relays to turn on/off your relays.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate NiSlo's Avatar
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    Copied from a post of mine a coupel of weeks ago
    Something like this one controlled over a network
    or
    this one controlled by the LPT port
    or
    this usb bus powered contolled relay board

    These kits are in Aussie dollars and do require assembly.
    I installed my carpc into my pet Kangaroo, mate.

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Yikes!!! $60 to $100 for a board that turns on and off circuits?!

    Do it yourself for like $5, and an hour worth of coding.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  6. #6
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    There are a few ways of doing it, you can get a relay board (or make one), if you're looking to use it for music, might want to check out

    http://discolitez.com/

    Either way, you could use the controllers they have.

    What you're after will depend on what you want to do. Turning things on and off is easy, especially leds, dimming them, not so much. Not sure on Neons. On and off is easy enough, but dimming them, no idea if they have the same issues as CCFLs.

    Mine is PIC microcontroller based. I use RS232 to communicate with it or 3 rotary encoders (RGB). The PIC doesn't actually drive the load, it just sends out the PWM signals (for nice dimming, can't dim leds like a light bulb and get good results). The signals are sent to driver boards which can have up to 19 RGB leds.



    Currently, it's sitting on my desk waiting for a software update to do some more um, "integrated" features and to tie it into my underbody kit.

    Some pics.



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    Thanks guys. Shotgun, your everywhere man. I'm waiting to find a forum you're not on..haha but thanks for the help. I think I need a relay board to just turn the lights on and off. I don't see how LED's are going to be any different than Neons, since they both run off the same exact power supply as LEDs (before the power inverter ofcourse). What screws me up is the software part. I could probobly figure out a relay board (or pay someone to make one for me B-) ) but I have no idea where to stat a program to simply turn the power supplies ON and OFF. Pretty sad considering I'm a computer engineering major.

  8. #8
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    I like c# and Visual Studio because it is free. There is a good built in Serial port communicator. If you haven't messed with it before, I'm sure you could be sending bits out your DB9 port in a few hours.

    Here is a site with a little example of reading/writing bits: http://msmvps.com/blogs/coad/archive.../23/39466.aspx
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  9. #9
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModRT04 View Post
    Thanks guys. Shotgun, your everywhere man. I'm waiting to find a forum you're not on..haha but thanks for the help. I think I need a relay board to just turn the lights on and off. I don't see how LED's are going to be any different than Neons, since they both run off the same exact power supply as LEDs (before the power inverter ofcourse). What screws me up is the software part. I could probobly figure out a relay board (or pay someone to make one for me B-) ) but I have no idea where to stat a program to simply turn the power supplies ON and OFF. Pretty sad considering I'm a computer engineering major.
    I didn't even recognize the nic at first, I just don't expect to see 2g'ers here

    The electronics forum at Bit-tech.net is good for stuff like this too.

    Here's a relay board kit to be driven over the parallel port if you don't feel like making your own from scratch.

    http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/i...ategory=150522

    Here's a little guide on the Parallel Port as well.

    http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ih/doc/par/

  10. #10
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    Thanks a ton. But just so I understand the basics of that board, you plug each of the power wires into a relay on the board. Then plug the board into the PC and write the software that tells the computer when to turn each relay on and off?

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