OK, after one board does a lot of things this page shows some more specific applications, all of them building on the flexible PIGGYAXE motherboard you have already used. Same motherboard, different daughter-board and of course software. This board (above) has a potentiometer for selection duties (if desired), a servo output to power and control an R/C servo (radio control), an LED to provide visual indication and a sound output fitted with a suitable capacitor for DC blocking. There remains an input for either a push-button or in this application (a coin-operated money box), a piezo trigger unit. The concept was envisaged as the basis for an interactive moneybox. Drop some money in, something happens, in this case, the servo waves a flag, the LED flashes, a tune plays, then the servo waves again and the process is ready for the next donation. The potentiometer could be used to select from one of several tunes, because, trust me on this, after open morning you will hate the single tune you tried first!!
Moving on, here is the 3-servo driver with position potentiometer and servo select button. A lot can be done with this, set each servo position in turn, drive each servo back and forth as a flag waver (at a variable speed), have it user-triggered by money drop, PIR etc. Youtube video of the waving box here triggered by PIR…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vaj_tiqDFFM
This is simply a user prototyping board, with plenty of connections for +ve, 0v and all the I/O. Can be handy to just try out an idea etc.
The picture sequence above shows the way to preserve your wire connections to your pieces of LED tape, should you choose to cut them into shorter pieces for cost or driver capability reasons. I’d recommend pre-tinning the wires ends and the solder pads on the tape itself. Then trim the ends of the wire back to about 3 mm, then simply touch the two together with the soldering iron. Too much iron burns away the flux and actually impedes the joining process. Once happy, check for the absence of short circuits and then slide on a suitable piece of heat-shrink tape and shrink away preferably with the correct tool.
Above shows the simple 3 channel power driver, basically the RGB board from the first PIGYAXE page but with the ability to control either power LEDs or the 12 volt tape. As with the other 12 volt driver boards, there is a 5 volt regulator on board to feed a stable 5 volts down to the Picaxe chip below. The potentiometer is available for selection duties and there is a push button input for either PIR, piezo, LDR or indeed, a push button.
Saving the best untill last? Infra-Red Remote Control is entirely possible with the 08M2 and the code is very compact to get excellent functionality from the hardware. Like all the power driver boards, there is a 5 volt regulator on-board to supply the IR RX and the Picaxe below. The rest is similar to the other power drivers (choice of driver transistor, TO92 or E-Line) with 12 volts being fed in at the top of the board. More details about IR on the Picaxe below.
This shows the Infra-red receiver board, complete with 4 power drivers, 12 volt regulator and IR receiver circuitry. The wonders of Picaxe include the ability to send and receive the SONY IR protocol codes, so you can either use a Sony remote control to control this unit, or use a Picaxe to control a Sony device. I use a Sony Experia Android tablet, mainly because its got Sony IR built in already, so I can control stuff around the lab with my tablet. Bluetooth would be better, but that is a whole league away from KS3 work. There is a matching 4 channel IR transmitter board, designed to fit into 1/3rd of a 3 AA battery box, the idea being that you then can reliably and ruggedly case your remote control. To squeeze it all in involved using the built in pull-up resistor facility of the later 08M2 chip, but it makes a neat solution. With 128 commands to choose from, its easy to have dedicated remotes for all your various hardware.
The picture above shows the tiny 4 channel transmitter board. The 08M2 features pull-up resistors that can be enables in software. This allowed me to update the original” Rudolf The red nosed reindeer” pcb (A Revolution Education product) whilst making it small enough to fit into one compartment of a 3AA battery box, with or without an on/off switch. With the incredible range of clock speeds you can even slow the picaxe down to 31KHz at which point it uses a couple of 100 uAmps, so you don’t really need an on/off switch. It does take a moment to react to your pressing of a button though. User choice….?
If a simple on/off of each button for each channel is not enough for you, then it is entirely possible to configure a PIGGYAXE RGB multi-board pcb as a 15 channel (or 15 choices) device as follows: Replace one of the output LEDs with a suitable infra red LED – use a lower than usual value series resistor to drive it (10R) – they are designed for high pulse currents. Fit a normal (cheap) LED in the colour of your choice – this will illuminate whilst transmitting. The software needs to read the ADC driven from the potentiometer which you calibrate in 20 degree segments. Depending on which segment the software ‘thinks’ it it in (channel number) it then transmits the code you want by using a push-button on the digital only input. To save a lot of dial twiddling, I wired a second ‘all-off’ button into the remaining output, but wrote the software to turn on the internal pullup resistor on that pin so that pressing the button delivered a low and so the ‘all off’ command gets transmitted without turning the dial, something which may get tedious. Just a suggestions, your choice of course.
The super simple command ‘toggle’ can be used to good effect here. Pressing each button in succession toggles the state of the LED it relates to….range is around 6 metres in normal lighting. With 15, or , at a pinch, 16 channels, you could individually control 4 differetn sets of 4 LEDs using different Piggyaxe 4 channel IR Power drivers.
You will need a 12 volt power source suitable for your LEDs – up to 2 amps is enough for most designs, beyond that the cost of the LEDs or LED tapes gets a bit much!!