CRNW LED Lighting, Round 2

While I was in Indianapolis, I received a call from DHL…  They had a box from China, and I hadn’t been home for the first two delivery attempts.  Woohoo!  The LEDs for lighting the layout arrived (all 500 feet of warm white and 250 feet of cool white) early!

When I arrived back in Colorado (which turned out to be a long and annoying tale on its own – thanks a lot, United…), the other piece of the puzzle was in the mail – an RGB LED strip.  As you’ll recall, my plan was to combine two warm whites, a cool white, and an RGB strip, so that I can vary both the intensity and color of layout light.  Eventually, I plan to integrate that with the fast clock system so that over the course of an operating session, the light will change to model the real change in daylight.

While I want to get going on benchwork again this weekend, I couldn’t go get more lumber because it’s (quite unusually) pouring rain outside and I loaned my truck to a friend.  So, given that I had some power MOSFETs and a MRB-GIO sitting around, I decided to try building a prototype MRBus light controller.  Turns out it was pretty darn easy, aside from some thinking about correct snubbing on the FETs to prevent inductive kick from killing them.  I’ll post a schematic soon, but for now, I’ll show some pictures of the prototype.

In the pictures, you’ll see the MRB-GIO, the breadboard with the power drivers and snubbers, my trusty Lambda power suppy, and then the test LED strip, showing all the different ways it can be turned on and dimmed.  Then there’s also a couple photos of some early tests – I could just send intensities over MRBus to the controller, and lights would change.

This is going to work beautifully…

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