RGB LED Strip Controller for LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT

EV3Lights
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Some may have seen my article, “Using WS2812B Addressable RGB LED Strips with Arduinos“, back in September? As can be seen in that article, controlling Addressable LEDs is pretty straight forward with a basic knowledge of the I2C protocol. I had planned to cobble together interface to allow RGB LED Strip to be Controller by either a LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 Brick, but my teaching commitments and over projects seemed to have forced the idea onto the back-burner. Thanks to Mindsensor, I have no need to warm up the soldering for the idea as they have come up with a ready assembled interface.

EV3Lights

Mindsensors Kit:

The Mindsensors Kit includes the following Components:

  • EV3Lights controller
  • 1 meter RGB LED strip
  • 12V Power adapter

 

RGB LED Strip Animation

EV3Lights is a controller to control RGB LED Strips using EV3 or NXT brick. You can control the light intensity of three colors (Red/Green/Blue) of the LED strip independently from your program via each LED’s unique I2C Address.

RGB LED Strip Animation

Connecting EV3Lights Wiring for EV3Lights EV3Lights may be connected to any of the sensor ports of NXT/EV3 using standard NXT/EV3 connector cable. In your program, select the appropriate port number to which EV3Lights device is connected.

For Powering LEDs use a standard 12V power adapter with barrel connector. If you are using a longer LED strip, be sure to match the Power Rating of your LED strip with that of the the power adapter you choose.  While connecting LED strip, be sure to match ‘R’, ‘G’, ‘B’ and Power pins of your strip with the markings on the EV3Lights device.

I2C Address:

Factoy default I2C address: 0x2c

I2C Registers:

EV3lights I2C Table

Programming Environment:

Ev3Lights is supported for use in the following platforms using software blocks/libraries.

EV3-G IDE (for EV3 or NXT Brick):

To use capabilities of EV3Lights with the EV3-G IDE, you need to to the following:

  1. Download EV3 Blocks for EV3-G 
  2. Install EV3 Blocks for EV3-G
  3. Download EV3-G Sample Program and modify it to suit your needs.

Note: When using the EV3 Programabgle, ensure to use a firmware version of 1.03H or 1.03E, or higher on your EV3.

NXC/BricxCC:

Library functions (for NXT Brick) are available fo Download.

RobotC:

The RobotC drivers for the Ev3Lights will be available via the Third-Party Driver Suite in the near future.

Conclusion:

The Ev3Lights Controller from Mindsensors is a great novelty controller to have in your kit to give the “Wow!” factory next time you display your LEGO Creations, or to light the Christmas Tree for the kids.

I look forward to adding a Ev3Lights Controller to my array of Sensors and Controllers from Mindsensors sometime in the New Year.

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