Originally Posted by BigDickChoppas
Why not have the Arduino hooked up to some type of switch that could turn on an external 12v power source that is connected to the LEDs?
That is what the LED driver is for. It is a high-speed switch. The LED's are not just "on" and "off". Colors and brightness are controlled by PWM. You have one PWM channel for each of the primary colors. Changing the frequency of the PWM changes the intensity of the LED. This is how you make different colors. (For a explination of PWM, see here --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation
). PWM is driven a very high speed (like atleast 120 Hz). Therefore, a mechanical switch will not work at such high speeds. You need a MOSFET or power transistor as a switch. That's basically what I was trying to explain to everyone in my first post. *facepalm*
The LED driver/controller i linked you to was the first link that came up so you could visualize what i was talking about. If we can figure out the voltage and current that the LED strip uses, I can take some time and come up with links to LED controllers that would work specifically for your application. We are going to need a 3 channel LED controller, or to purchase 3 different LED controller....one for each of the primary colors red, green, and blue.
Kylepdalton is likely wrong about the voltage regulation. A strip of LED of that size demands some sort of regulation, if it did not that would be a very poor design. LEDs are VERY sensitive to minor changes in current/voltage, and tend to draw slightly more current as they heat up. For 1-5 LED's I would say hook it up without any regulation. For a huge (and relatively expensive) strip of LED's, you need some type of voltage or current regulation or you could end up ruining the whole strip of LED's. A LED controller/driver will have this regulation build in.
I did some more digging and LED controllers are super easy to find. Even Radio shack sells them. As this point, i feel it would be silly to reverse engineer the existing LED controller given how controllers are to find.
Originally Posted by Kylepdalton
My last idea for you if you want to keep the remote functional. Is to grab a IR LED receiver or even strip the on the current controller out. Connect it to the Arduino and make it "listen" for a command from the IR receiver. You'll basically point the remote at the reciever and record the signal that comes from the remote. Once your store that signal you can wrap some statements that will make the arduino change colors, flash, dim...really whatever you want.
The best way is to use an oscilloscope or logic analyzer to figure out the remote commands, but those tools costs thousands of dollars. Kylepdalton has a really good idea! Making the Arduino "listen" to record command could easily and cheaply done .
That got me thinking, crackzattic, what electronics tools do you have access too? Are you in a situation where you would have access to a oscilloscope? A variable power supply? Are you proficient at soldering? What is your programming background?Edited by crimsontears809739 - 2/21/13 at 10:44am