Author Topic: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee  (Read 4845 times)

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Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« on: September 06, 2010, 03:04:56 PM »


Iíve set out designing what Iíd like to call Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee. The idea is this, low cost LED matrix driver boards that are easy to work with at (hopefully) around $10 a board including the LED matrix itself.  A similar serial driven LED matrix can go for $35 per 8◊8 matrix. That can add up fast if you want to chain more then one together for a large display. Instead, my design is 1/3 the price, and can easily be chained together to create larger displays.

The pictures in the post show version 1 with a red/green LED matrix. My goal was to have a single PCB design that can act as a íslaveí or as the Ďmasterí. The master is the board with an Atmega 328 that drives all the boards in the chain. The master also has a 5V 2A voltage regulator circuit to power the entire chain.

As you can see in the pictures, I have version 1 running with an Arduino Duemilanove standing in as the master. Iíve started redesigning for version 2, and I think  Iím going to stray away from a single design PCB, so that the board size can shrink to fit it all behind the LED matrix. But this may drive up the price point. My plans are to open source that hardware design when Iím done, and maybe even selling kits to build your own.

It can also be driven by an Axon, using just 6 I/O lines.

Iíd like community input for what you would like to see in a product like this, and if the price point is right. Please feel free to leave comments.


Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 06:38:31 PM »
I for one wouldn't have a problem dropping $30 for two or three of these things!  The price seems very good (compared to the Sparkfun equivalent).
I really like the idea of being able to link them together.

Getting the PCB to fit behind the matrix sounds good, its nice to have compact modules.  Although having it the way it is now allows for easy mounting with double sided foam tape.

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 09:29:29 PM »
Man, after maybe 10 hours of Eagle layout, I managed to get all the components of the master to fit behind the small matrix.



Definitely the hardest design I have done yet. The only problem is I could only break out ADC4 and ADC5, besides the 6 pin programming port and Arduino FDTI port, which has the Uart. I figured ADC4,5 where the most useful to breakout if I could only pick two, as they can be digital IO, analog, or I2C bus. There's also the three digital IO you could get from the 6 pin programming port as well.

Thoughts?

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 05:18:49 AM »
It's perfect! You're the Man!
Check out the uBotino robot controller!

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 03:52:20 PM »
Hehe, thanks.

I spent about 4 hours cleaning up the design and fixing some dumb decisions by the auto-router. I'm getting ready to send it off to a PCB fab house unless anyone has any other thoughts?


Offline voyager2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 08:11:27 PM »
looks good, now just make sure you can get the SoR video game running on one
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Offline garrettg84

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 08:24:05 PM »
This looks pretty cool. I like the modular design. The name though, it made me laugh just a bit when I said it out loud. Maybe I'm not pronouncing it correct though. -R- dookie, almost like OUR DOOKIE. Yes, I must have the mind of a 5 year old. Sorry. The name gets me every time I try to say it.
-garrett

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 07:44:12 AM »
 :-\

I guess it can be said that way. I say it " R - dru - key "

Offline voyager2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 07:50:05 AM »
I have enough trouble saying Arduino...
Arduquee is easier
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Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2010, 10:01:19 PM »
I severely underestimated how much noise was going to be on the power lines from all the switching going on, I had to add caps to every slave board to help keep it under control.

But it's working well, have a look...

Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee; first words

Offline voyager2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2010, 10:58:41 PM »
Looks great!
When are you going to start selling them?
LEDs can be pretty power hungry, doesn't stop me powering 10 off one USB...
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Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 04:39:45 AM »
Given that a standard USB port can supply up to 500 mA, and an average led can draw 10-30 mA, you could probably get away with powering anywhere between 16-50 leds. :)

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 06:11:55 AM »
Looks really nice! And I saw you pissed off Fritsl... Hehe... He will ban you, your days are numbered...
Check out the uBotino robot controller!

Offline voyager2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2010, 06:27:09 AM »
Looks really nice! And I saw you pissed off Fritsl... Hehe... He will ban you, your days are numbered...
Same thing happened to me!
I was deleted, just sign up for a new account, he didn't IP block me or anything.
#1 rule, do NOT disagree with Fritsl
And Admin said "Let there be robots!"
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Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2010, 08:21:45 AM »
Looks great!
When are you going to start selling them?
LEDs can be pretty power hungry, doesn't stop me powering 10 off one USB...


Given that a standard USB port can supply up to 500 mA, and an average led can draw 10-30 mA, you could probably get away with powering anywhere between 16-50 leds. :)

Very true, and actually it is is possible because there is only ever one row of LEDs on at a time, our eyes just can't see that. So you could probably get away with 4-5 boards running off USB.

Looks really nice! And I saw you pissed off Fritsl... Hehe... He will ban you, your days are numbered...

Call it a social experiment. I also posted it on Sparkfun and Arduino forums, but i bet they don't have a problem with it. Why should I have to make a different video for every board?  If they ban me; their loss. And it would prove LMR is run by a bunch of pricks that don't really care about robotics.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 09:00:58 AM by madsci1016 »

Offline Admin

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2010, 09:32:36 AM »
Fritsl used to post his robot video ads here on SoR just to advertise his site. I never removed them 'cause I'm a benevolent admin. :P

If he makes you mad, just post this on his site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case

 ;)

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2010, 09:46:10 AM »
Fritsl used to post his robot video ads here on SoR just to advertise his site. I never removed them 'cause I'm a benevolent admin. :P


Wow no joke, he used to plaster LMR all over SOR forums! This is ridiculous.

Offline voyager2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2010, 07:17:01 PM »
If he makes you mad, just post this on his site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case

 ;)

Who volunteers? ;)
Probably IP block us all!
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And it was good.

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2010, 01:48:54 PM »
This should cause some chuckles. My first attempts at animation. I was trying to make it so they looked like they were walking, but instead I think I created the first SOR line dancers. I'm no good at this creating animations thing.

(There's an audio swap pending for some matching dance music. Youtube is slow)

Society of Robots Line Dancers


You might not find this amusing as I do, but I'm hoped up on steroids, antibiotics and a handful of other medications with a fever of 101; I think it's funny.


Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2010, 04:59:54 PM »
You might not find this amusing as I do, but I'm hoped up on steroids, antibiotics and a handful of other medications with a fever of 101; I think it's funny.
...yea I was beginning to wonder what happened...

JK ;D

Seriously though, thats looking really good!

I even found something kool in your animation:  Pause the video at around 5-6 seconds... the resulting image of the led's begin turned off and on and being caught in the same frame by your camera produces what looks to be a space-invaders style mother ship of some sorts...or a StarCraft II Battlecruiser... ;D

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2010, 06:12:21 PM »
I assume you mean this frame:



hehe, cool.

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2010, 06:17:26 PM »
yep, thats the one =P

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 08:34:07 PM »
I'm excited. 

But first, got my v2 boards in today so expect some photos of v2 soon. (big difference is board fits fully behind matrix now, nothing sticks out)

Back to excitement.

Finally hashed out price list. Using ebay prices for LED matrix (instead of SFE), parts for slave board come to $6.50, master comes to $12.

That's just all the parts. I'll have to add my shipping costs in there, and maybe a buck or two to cover my dev costs, but i think $10-12 for slave and $15-18 for master are definitely feasible. Eat your heart out SFE.

Would anyone be interested in buying a few early kits to evaluate it for me? Ease of soldering, problems you have, etc? Wish I could give them out free, but I've already spent too much on this as it is.

Offline rbtying

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2010, 11:38:23 PM »
I'd be interested, but would it be full price?  We can negotiate more over PM, if you want.

Offline chelmi

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2010, 09:37:21 AM »
Would anyone be interested in buying a few early kits to evaluate it for me? Ease of soldering, problems you have, etc? Wish I could give them out free, but I've already spent too much on this as it is.

Definitely interested, leave me a PM.

Chelmi.

Offline galannthegreat

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2010, 12:24:36 PM »
I'd be interested, definitely an awesome project. Plus I need something to advertise in my dorm window ;D

Will you work on an RGB one? Cause that would be really cool too... as if it already isn't cool enough.
Kurt

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2010, 12:41:24 PM »
Will you work on an RGB one? Cause that would be really cool too... as if it already isn't cool enough.

Plan on it, but that would be long term. The RGB one would only be 7 color, since you couldn't PWM the way i am wiring everything. Would only 7 color be worth the effort?

Man, the responses are very encouraging, glad a lot of people would like this. As far as prices, i'd say $8 per slave board, and $13 for the master should help cover my shipping costs, and i can ship out to you as cheaply as possible. But this is just early tester prices, when/if i retail this, it would be more like $10/15.

I've setup an email, arduquee(at)billporter.info. Everyone interested please email me there with the quantities you would want so i can figure out the quantity of parts i need.

Offline galannthegreat

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2010, 12:51:31 PM »
Yea, totally, 7 colours would be sweet. Definitely more than this one (http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?CatIds=&webid=437825&affixedcode=WW)... and cheaper... and way cooler.

But I'd say what you have now is definitely perfect, just an idea.
Kurt

Offline madsci1016Topic starter

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2010, 12:59:36 PM »
This?


the link you posted is blocked, probably the .ca thing.

Arduquee would definitely be better, open source; you can hack it anyway you want.

And I did just come up with an idea to get more colors, even using the current bi-color matrix. Same kind of thing in the picture where you have more options between full red and full green, i'll have to test it this weekend.

Wow three emails in five minutes! You guys rock.

Offline galannthegreat

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Re: Arduquee, a Arduino powered Marquee
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2010, 01:07:44 PM »
Yep, that one, it's very expensive for what it is. I tried bargaining a little while back with the manager at staples saying how long I saw this one sitting here in store... it had a thick layer of dust on top... I said "100 bucks and I'll take it off your hands". He didn't like that very much ;D

And I did just come up with an idea to get more colors, even using the current bi-color matrix. Same kind of thing in the picture where you have more options between full red and full green, i'll have to test it this weekend. 

Can't wait to see it!
Kurt

 


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