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Radio Controlled LEDS?

Discussion in 'Electronic Projects Design/Ideas/Reviews' started by crazylegsmurphy, May 27, 2008.

  1. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Torben

    Thanks sir! I'm heading out to BC in August, and if your help continues how it has, I'm taking you out for steak! (If you happen to be on my driving path! :) )

    Audioguru,

    On these forums there are probably a lot of people with their own reasons for doing what they do. I'm never once said, "Someone make this for me, I'm too lazy." I never said, "I don't feel like putting in the effort, so someone tell me what to do."

    I have went out and found the info I could. When someone posts something I don't get, I google it until I understand it as best I can. Last week I couldn't read a schematic, but now I'm starting to understand them. I didn't really know last week what half the stuff was that were on those circuits, but I'm starting too.

    Did I know that Arron's transmitter sucked...no, how could I? I tried it, it failed, and now I'm trying to figure out why.

    And you're right, I know very little about "cooking", but I gotta start somewhere, and I may as well start with something that interests me instead of those stupid LED flasher kits for $59.99.
     
  2. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Once again there are only a few decent RF types here, I'm not one but Audioguru is. He's a grouchy old analog sort of fellow while I'm a grouchy old digital one :) It's like finding a HAM in the land teaming with the Internet crowd. If there was an easy solution I'm sure he'd have posted it. Build the simple transmitter, try adjusting it so it only transmits a foot. Won't be easy, some days it might work ok other days not so good. Almost everything reacts to RF signals either reflecting or absorbing them. Even Sun-spots can cause all sorts of grief with radio.

    Check some of Audiogurus old posts, you'll see he hangs on and helps long after the rest of us have given up. *(I've only seen him give up once)
     
  3. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Ok cool!

    So it seems there is no simple solution. Is there another way? Is there an unconventional way of doing this? Will IR be better for this project?

    My main question is people keep saying that making the transmitter go a foot is like pure crazy talk. I don't understand though. Why do those little mini RC cars work at only 6 feet, but the big RC cars work at like 100 or more?

    There has to be something that is limiting the range, can I not simply choose to limit it more?
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Blueroom,
    I am not an "RF person".
    I learned a little about RF about 45 years ago.
    I built a kit FM tuner about 44 years ago.
    I made a simple FM transmitter from a magazine project about 43 years ago.
    I fixed and improved an FM transmitter about 3 years ago after a NOOB asked why it didn't work.

    I have seen many lousy radio products that work very poorly and some that are excellent.
     
  6. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    This is what happens when you mix 'alpha males' together. Gotta sort out the rational order of things through lots of fighting. The both of you could argue the reasons behind this or that particular sentence or phrase to your own benefit easily, and it wouldn't solve anyone's electronics problems or questions. Right and wrong back and forth and eventually it becomes a 300 post long thread that has answered no one's question and done nothing but waste the emotional time of posters. How about everyone calls it a loss, draw, or a win as your ego sees fit and collect your thoughts and ideas in a new calmly layed out post in a new thread so that I won't spend this much of your time typing again about something that serves no purpose, and who's effort (my own) this post will likley waste as the following post will invariably be another fragment of previously mentioned conversation to throw one's manhood into pointless to no useful outcome.

    We're at 100+ posts now, another week and it'll be 250 and someone will be screaming about religious belief or how left handed smoke shifters work, and other forum posts that may possibly deserve the time will go unanswered or one sentenced because we're all typing in here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  7. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    I thought about making a new post and cutting down the information so it's kind of a fresh start, but I wasn't sure if the Admin would appreciate that. I know some forums frown on that type of thing.

    If it would help, I could make a new post, and lay out my thoughts in a less random way. If you guys think that would help.
     
  8. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    You have new information to process, ask your questions, don't state anything or argue with anyone that responds, if someone corrects you in an offensive manner ask them why they did it and ask them for more information web sites or whatever to clarify what they're responding about, just DON'T ARGUE. Leave the ego at the road, if no one else does you'll at least be on the moral high ground at that point, take whatever information you can get and learn, discuss and rephrase and repostulate, whatever. Progress don't get bogged down. If you find yourself asking the same question again with different words, don't post, you obviously missed something. Even in a post that doesn't get fully answered you should always learn enough that the next phase is asking a different question or increasing your knowledge about the topic through discussion of the topic at hand not personal stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  9. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Sceadwian,

    Getting bogged down is exactly what I want to avoid. I think I'll make a new post. I'll be a little more up front with what I'm doing so I might eliminate half the questions right off the bat...plus there is too much random in this post for anyone to follow.

    For all those who have posted here with good info....don't bother restating it in the new post, we can work from where we are at. I don't think anyone is going to read through this post with all the "junk" in it.
     
  10. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    I have an idea that may work.
    A single master unit with an rf receiver and the LEDs themselves act as a transmitter to the...
    Slave units which contain short range RF transmitters and optical receivers.
    .
    The catch is when any slave is close enough the master will modulate its optical lights and all the slaves will also turn on their unmodulated lights. If the master goes out of range all units will turn off. It may not be perfect and the range will vary but it should be workable and not overly complex.
     
  11. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Ahh, I see where you're going. What would happen however if you brought one master, and one slave together? Would the slave not turn on without the presence of the other slave?
     
  12. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Yes, although a more advanced design could address that with a two channel radio or some sort of data packet on a single channel. A simple burst packet from slave #1 then a burst from slave #2 with some sort of random retransmit time to lower the collisions between the slaves.
    A tiny microcontroller design would offer the most flexibility, might even be possible to combine a short range radio like the ones built into RFPICs
     
  13. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Blue, that's what I was thinking too. It seems to me that relying on three frequencies is asking for troubles. It seems the simplest thing would be to try and stabilize one (or two) channels with a unique ID, then it seems more likely to eliminate interference from other RF signals because only one has the ID.

    The trick is to find the best way to send the signal.

    Someone suggested the RFPIC's somewhere else, but I wasn't able to get an answer as to whether they were omni-directional or not, or if I could adjust the range.

    You're thinking along the lines I was though. The only thing I thought different was that I felt all three had to send an receive...but in your Master/Slave idea it really doesn't matter I suppose because as long as three are together it doesn't matter cause any of the two together simply wouldn't work right?
     
  14. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    It's the antenna that determines the directionality, not the transmitter. Holding the rocks upright and a simple vertical antenna should work.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Word! That's kinda what I figured. Putting an antenna up the middle of the stones. There would be issue with a bit on the top and bottom perhaps, but I don't think it would be that much of an issue in this case...

    It still brings us to the issue at hand though, which is how to get that signal with a reliable transmitter. If the RFPIC have one built in, it may just solve the problem of actually having to make one...and all I would have to do is worry about what frequency it's on, how far it'll go, and what data it's sending.

    Plus it would be super compact.
     
  16. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    RGBrainbow on the first page suggested this one.

    RFPIC
     
  17. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  18. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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  19. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    They look like compete test solutions, the RFPIC itself is pretty tiny.
     
  20. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Sweet! Ok, going to go read up on it. That looks promising....very promising.
     
  21. crazylegsmurphy

    crazylegsmurphy New Member

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    Hmmm, it seems you're right. I suppose with that I could plug in the RFPIC's, program them to transmit how I need them too.

    Microchip RF Pic kit?

    I found this one as well.

    With both of these, I don't think the range actually matters does it. I mean the devices can transmit over a mile (as it claims), but I pretty much need them to talk to each other on my desk. The chip itself has the transmitter unless I'm mistaken, so the trick is to limit it's range.

    This is some of the features in the RFPIC PDF:

    - Adjustable transmitter power consumption (Which I assume means the range is effected by this no?)
    - 0.6μA SLEEP with watchdog enabled

    PIC PDF

    On page 54 it has some basic schematics...it appears that it might be fairly easy to limit the signal by limiting power to the antenna?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008

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