NaMaLiCS Tutorial Part 1, the lighting effects testbed

NaMaLiCS is the National Mall Light Control System.  Using the BrickPixel system it will, in it's initial phase, control approximately 1,200 lights...some individually, some in banks of lights.  This series of tutorials will show how the system is put together and how it works.

Please keep in mind that I'm am an amateur when it comes to building, wiring and programming lighting systems.  So what I show here won't be the best approach or a definitive approach, it's just what is working for me.  Hopefully it will help you put together your own BrickPixel control system.

I am happy to discuss what I've done, but if you want to get the best information ping Rob Klingberg on the forum.

Before wiring up the actual National Mall MOC, I needed to have a very basic lighting testbed for developing a rudimentary control system.  The first image shows a schematic of that testbed.  The second image shows the physical form of the schematic.

Having a 1-to-1 correlation between the 9-LED control board and the actual lights allowed me to focus on programming the BrickPixel Arduino shield to drive the control board without having to keep tracing wires to find out if the light effect I'm seeing is actually the one I am programming.

For me, this setup has been extremely helpful in writing and debugging the lighting effects code that will be used in NaMaLiCS.


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