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Good day all

So Im in the planning and research phase of a new project that I want to start for my car. I want to control a bunch of RGB LED strips independently from each other via a micro controller, preferably Arduino of courese, with a breakout board or something. I am going to run this system off the car battery so the current shouldn't be an issue, I hope, but prolonged usage will most likely drain the battery quite quickly. The strips I want to control are of the following lengths:

  • 6 x 30cm Pieces
  • 3 x 2m Pieces

So I want to be able to control all of them individually as well as the colour and brightness individually. So here are my questions:

Is there a board that the arduino can talk to that has 27 PWM outputs? Can one maybe use normal outputs and just HIGH Low them quickly in sequence and use an arduino MEGA? What would the current draw be if all the colours are on full on all strips? Would it rather be better to blink them in sequence,rather than full on, and lose some brightness to reduce current draw? Could multiplexing here be an alternative to controlling them individually? Maybe get it so I switch all the Positive outs of the LEDs, and the connect the 3 colours together. So in that case I would have 3 + 9 outputs? Would addressable LEDs actually work better?

If you could refer to me to similar projects so I can sniff around there that would be greatly appreciated. So far Im just trying to wrap my head around all the aspects of the project. And yes I know that I wil not be able to use this while Im on public roads, its just for show.... So not sure what the legal aspects there are... :P

  • There isn't any Arduino with 27 PWM Outputs ! Upto how much I know. If you really want to use so much long RGB Led Strip that also individually all the LEDs than it's not possible I would prefer you to use NeoPixel Strips instead ! Now I can't really say much will be the current draw upto when you provide me a datasheet. Next I didn't understand that 3+9 output thing. – Sagnik Pradhan Jun 19 '17 at 11:20
  • I think you didn't even research a bit Am I correct ? – Sagnik Pradhan Jun 19 '17 at 11:23
  • Haha I did a little... I was looking for like a chainable breakout or some controlling device for the RGB. Yeah after thinking about it for a bit, the individually addressable LEDs might be the better, more expensive option. In that case I could just use a few pins for the data write to the different strips, and then just connect them all to power, if i understand everything correctly? – Dewan Jun 20 '17 at 10:06
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You could use chainable RGB drivers like these:

P9813

They are based on the P9813 chip and can be used with the FastLed library.
You can find them on Aliexpress or eBay, if you search for "STM32 rgb".

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