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View Full Version : Has Anyone Tried Ultrabright Blue/Green/White LEDs with the LED64?



Clavis
12-08-2007, 01:34 PM
Hi. I plan to ask Santa for an LED64 controller this year :wink: , but all the things I want to do involve high-brightness blue, true-green and/or white LEDs. I saw it mentioned in another thread that LEDs attached to an LED64 "don't put out a lot of light", which worries me, but on the other hand, the stats I've been given for the LED64 say that an LED would get 3.3V @ 30mA, which seems like plenty for at least some of the lower-voltage high-brightness B/G/W LEDs out there.

My plans in general involve things like putting a white LED under every square of a chessboard, putting translucent diffuser material over them and perhaps coloring the alternating squares, then using glass chesspieces and having a chess program light up the pieces it wants me to move for it (so I could play my computer using a real chessboard!)... or creating 21 RGB squares by using 3-diode RGB LEDs to create a sort of super-Simon that could show you 100 colors instead of just 4! But you can't really do stuff like this unless the LEDs are lit up to their normal full level.

So here is my question -- has anybody actually hooked up a high-brightness blue, green or white LED to an LED64 output and cranked it all the way up to see what would happen? Any success? Please let me know! I don't want to buy an LED64, only to call the next day for a Return Authorization Number because none of my potential plans for the controller turned out to be possible!

Thanks a lot for your help! Trossen Robotics rules!

kdwyer
12-08-2007, 01:51 PM
Neat ideas, and I'd also be interested to know about the LEDs. 3.3v at 30ma does sound sufficient to me, but I haven't tested it either.
(But what do I know?...)

Clavis
12-09-2007, 04:39 AM
For example, check this out:

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=160-1728-5-ND

The link is for a Digikey white 5mm LED, rated for 13000 millicandelas, 3.3V @ 20 mAh. Sounds like it matches up perfectly to the LED64... but maybe, because the LED is actually blinking on and off really quickly, the total output is actually much less?

Damn, I hate having to buy one just to see if I can *use* one... but I might have to!

kdwyer
12-09-2007, 09:12 AM
Only costs a couple of bucks to get a dozen or so and try... but I already have a large pile of assorted LEDs (no LED64) to work with. If I didn't have so much football to watch I'd decorate Otto with some Xmas LEDs. So, he remains unadorned. After I get his outer shell constructed and mounted I'll have to do it then anyway. (January's tasks...)
At least you plan on using the LEDs for a purpose, for my use it'll be just bling.
Not that that's a bad thing...

Clavis
12-09-2007, 10:54 AM
Only costs a couple of bucks to get a dozen or so and try...

Oh, no, I meant I hate the idea of buying an LED64 unit and then discovering that it doesn't really work with anything other than standard red/yellow/lime-green LEDs... :rolleyes:

Alex
12-09-2007, 01:44 PM
Hi Clavis,

Welcome to the community!!

I've used the LED64 with various projects we've put together at Trossen Robotics, and I love it! It's insanely easy to use, so long as you know basic programming.

It's difficult for me to say just how bright it is though, because it's really a matter of opinion. What may be bright for me may or may not be for you, but IMO, so long as you're using LED's that are pretty well matched up for the specs, they'll be pretty damn bright for most applications

Those high-power LED's are a bit dim with the LED64 because they're demanding way more than what the LED can give.

The LED's in the digi-key link you gave should work great though. Just make sure the voltage and amps match up with the specs of the LED64.

Hopefully that helps you out at least a little:) If I can clear anything up, let me know!

kdwyer
12-28-2007, 03:48 PM
More as an afterthought...
The Oopic flavor of microcontroller has support for an 8x8 button matrix in the IDE.
That's, um... 64, right?
Nothing to help with the power specs, but this might make control easy.

Clavis
03-22-2009, 12:12 PM
Say, I see that Trossen offers a new RBG LED (@ http://www.trossenrobotics.com/triple-output-led-rgb.aspx ).

I don't suppose you guys have tried the LED-64 with this new LED of yours? I'd be very interested, if they work well enough together, in ordering the LED-64, 21 of the RGB LEDs and the power supply you offer, IF that's what *you* guys use to test it! ;)

Alex
03-23-2009, 10:14 AM
Sure it's possible. There's a bit of extra work involved and I think you have to use up 3 ports on the LED64, but it's definitely possible. This thread (http://www.phidgets.com/phorum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2321) might help you out a bit too. Sorry, I'm not an EE guy to put it into my own words:(

Clavis
08-31-2009, 05:18 PM
Hey, I just wanted to update this thread with a message that I finally ordered an LED-64, and I've hooked it up to a bunch of different color LEDs, and they *all* look great! White, pink, pure green, blue... all the higher-voltage LEDs look fine. White/blue LEDs have gradually gotten lower and lower in terms of their voltage needs, it seems: there are plenty out there with ratings low enough that the LED-64 has no problem with them. I can't wait to use this thing!

So that's my verdict: Though I haven't tried to light a room with it yet (I'm just using it for indicator light duty, although they look pretty bright!), the LED-64 works great with blue/white LEDs. Thanks, all!