Jump to content


Recommended Posts

I have several of these case fans installed on my PC. Each fan uses four standard 5mm LEDs like the one pictured here.

  1. I'd like to replace each LED with an RGB LED controlled by a ws2801 ic. I plan to design a small PCB which would include the ws2801 controller along with a 5mm RGB LED. I would probably just control the whole thing with a Launchpad and use the USB to UART connect for communication with a visual basic or python app on the PC side.
  2. The board I'm planning would almost identical the Sparkfun ws2801 breakout, the only differences being the dimensions and LED type. This will be the first PCB I've ever designed so I'm hoping the 43oh community will be able to help me with some advice and hopefully double checking my work.
  3. The PC side app would allow for the user to select any color or animation. Another mode I'd like to implement would be a visual temperature monitor that would fade the LEDs from blue to red based on ambient or CPU temp.


Phase One:

  • Design PCB: Would you guys recommend I use Eagle PCB for this? Any tutorials you would recommend? I'll be doing this over the next few weeks or so depending on my class work load.
  • Order PCB: I'm going to need 8 to 12 identical boards (depending on price breaks) for two to three fans. Whats the recommended budget PCB house around here, Itead/Dorkbot?

Phase Two:

  • Write embedded application: I'm thinking a MSP430g2553 should be fine, It's overkill really.
  • Write PC side application: A GUI that runs in the background and hangs out on the task bar would be awesome for this. This will be another learning curve for me.


That's all for now, let me know what you guys think.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you ever used Eagle before? I use DipTrace. It is a billion times more intuitive. The autorouter is not great, but I do RF boards mainly, so autorouting is always going to be bad. Anyway, DipTrace is like a cheap version of the old Protel, with the added benefit that it can import Eagle footprint libs into DipTrace.


I've played around for an hour or so in Eagle before. I haven't heard of DipTrace before. It looks like there is a limited freeware version of DipTrace available (very limited budget, so free is a requirement). This board is about as simple as it gets so the crappy autorouting shouldn't be too big of an issue?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...