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DIGITAL LIGHT WAND (Version 3)
Here is the tutorial for the latest version of the Digital Light Wand. This version uses the NeoPixel WS2812 RGB LED Light Strip and also incorporates an SD Card reader and LCD display to give you the ability to select different Bitmap images and send them to the light strip as you wish. The original version of the DLW used the HL1606 RGB LED Light Strip and the second version utilized the LPD8806 RGB LED Light Strip.
Here are the details for the newest version of the DLW using the NeoPixel WS2812 light strip.
Download the following Files and images:
1) Click here to download the Wiring Diagram for the NeoPixel WS2812 Digital Light Wand
2) Click here to download the Arduino Script File to download to your Arduino Mega Board
3) Click here for a page that will display the parts and assemblies used in the Digital Light Wand
4) Click here to download a PDF file with instructions on how to create Bitmap images for you DLW.
5) Of course you will need the Arduino IDE software
6) You will also need the Adafruit Neopixel Libraries for the Arduino
You will also need to make sure the libraries for the LCD board and the SD Card reader are installed with your Arduino installation. If you are not familiar with the Arduino, you will need to learn how to install the Arduino IDE software along with the libraries needed for this build. There is some basic information on this in the Original Tutorial below but you may need to do some research if you run into problems. There is plenty of information out there on doing this so I will not re-invent the wheel on that part. Just don’t be afraid of it because it is really not difficult at all.
Here are more details showing parts and assembly of the NeoPixel WS2812 Digital Light Wand.
More WS2812 Info recovered from previous blog (click below)
Here are links to all of the comments and suggestions recovered from the previous BLOG for the NeoPixel WS2812 version of the Digital Light Wand. Please search through these first if you are having problems getting something to work or if you have any questions.
For reference, here are some links to the original tutorial and videos. These tutorials are useful to help folks that might not be as DIY inclined as some of us to see how to assemble or come up with other ideas on how to create a Digital Light Wand.
Original Tutorial for the HL 1606 RGB LED Light strip. (Warning! 30MB PDF File)
More HL1606 Info recovered from previous blog (click below)
Here are links to all of the comments and suggestions recovered from the previous BLOG for the original HL1606 version of the Digital Light Wand. Please search through these first if you are having problems getting something to work or if you have any questions.
More LPD8806 Info recovered from previous blog (click below)
Here are links to all of the comments and suggestions recovered from the previous BLOG for the LPD8806 version of the Digital Light Wand. Please search through these first if you are having problems getting something to work or if you have any questions.
YouTube Videos for the Original HL1606 Digital Light Wand.
Video showing the original Digital Light Wand in action
Tutorial – Digital Light Wand – Part 1
Tutorial – Digital Light Wand – Part 2
Tutorial – Digital Light Wand – Part 3
Tutorial – Digital Light Wand – Part 4
Here are some links to some of the old files for the older Digital Light Wands.
Original Digital Light Wand Tutorial (PDF)
Original Digital Light Wand Code Generator by Phil Wright
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Single Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Mega board v3.0
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Dual Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Mega board v2.0
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Dual Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Due board v2.0
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Dual Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Mega board v1.2
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Dual Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Mega board v1.1
Arduino Script for Digital Light Wand LPD8806 Dual Strip with LCD, SD Card, and Arduino Mega board v1.0
Digital Light Wand HL1606 All Length Excel Spreadsheet v3.1
Digital Light Wand HL1606 All Length Excel Spreadsheet v3.0
Digital Light Wand HL1606 48 Light Excel Spreadsheet v2.5
Digital Light Wand HL1606 48 Light Excel Spreadsheet v2.0
I made a bunch of changes to the code when I built my lightwand. I 3D printed some parts to make it easy to build and use. I can post the stl files if anyone is interested.
In the code:
– Ability to chain files sequentially
– Folder support on the SD card, helps organize files
– Holding the button down to change brightness and other settings was tedious, so now the longer you hold it down the faster it goes
– Save and load settings
– Some built-in test patterns. The most useful is probably the checkerboard for checking your walking speed.
– Cancel button to kill a running file
– Autoload of saved settings after reset
– Scaling of larger bitmaps to the actual pixel count, it could be improved, it just ignores some of the rows, I’ll work on that later
– The file displaying doesn’t start until you actually release the button, I found this nicer
– Lots of internal code changes to make maintaining it easier and safer
I’m a retired software engineer just learning to work on small systems like the Arduino
Here’s the code:
Please add comments on there for any features you want or any bugs you find.
I’ll probably add the STL files for the 3D parts later after I have them refined a bit more.
And a picture of the actual wiring harness.
I used a phone USB battery charger from amazon instead of the AA’s and voltage regulator, it gives a much brighter display for longer.
Dear Michael, Im currently trying to build this digital light wand because I thought it be an interesting piece of equipment for me as a photographer and fun project however I’ve had basic electronic experience prior to this, I’m stuck with a problem of powering the whole thing for some reason I’ve tried using a 10.5v psu but no luck the v regulator gets warm but nothing powers on I’m confused as to why this is happening and was hoping you’d have some input I’ve powered it though momentarily by using the usb and plugging into my laptop but it’s not enough power to power it completely I’m confused though as to why it powers through my usb plug but no the psu I’ve followed the wire diagram completely and doubled checked to make sure I didn’t make a mistake can you help
Sir, I try to Build DLW but “Gamma Table” error popup during uploding code in arduino maga board, pl help me
Im going to start creating a digital light wand of my own in the new year. I have asked around a few of my more technical minded friend for advice and Ive been recommended to use a raspberry pi instead of an Arduino board. Do you have any advice for me? Is it best to stick to your notes? I will keep you updated with my progress once I get started.
Hi Zac, I have not worked with a pi at all so I am not going to be much help in that area. I did read at one time that the pi was not really suited for driving the Addressable RGB LED Light strips and that is probably the main reason I haven’t looked into the pi. I have been thinking about getting one of the new Arduino Zero boards and adopting it into a Digital Light Wand. It has a MUCH faster processor (48 MHz as opposed to 16 MHz) while still having the same amount of memory as the MEGA for program code. I will create a new tutorial if I give it a try but I don’t have much time to play with that at the moment.
[…] Luckily, Michael Ross already built something like this and it has some of the features, that I want. Software wise it runs an Arduino sketch. Hardware wise I think it is a bit dated and way to big. I am not a fan of the large Arduino MEGA and the LCD Display shield as it makes the device unnecessarily large, so I decided to swap some parts. […]