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Pololu led strip for MSP430

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I want to make a network controlled WiFi strip and was looking for solutions. I ran across the classical "Mosfet RGB trick" and so on. I also saw that Pololu provided a more a less plug and play solution for these led strips. https://github.com/pololu/pololu-led-strip-arduino . I downloaded the source and just tried "compile" in Energia, of course it was complaining ;-). It complained about <EEPROM.h> which I changed by the MspFlash library, then it complained it couldn't find the _enable_irq() and _disable_irq() methods which I changed by _enable_interrupt() and _disable_interrupt(). I also did the following includes.

#include "Energia.h"
#include <msp430.h>
#include <legacymsp430.h>

So basically after some trial and error, basically including the right libraries and changing some names I compiled and got a success message. But since I'm not owning one of these strips I couldn't really test it. So I wonder if my modifications make the library really work? I provided the source code, so if anybody could take a look I'd be more than happy.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I really recommend trying out Electric Imp for this. You'll be up and running at least 4 times faster!


The problem with wifi devices is that the solution requires knowledge of some web programming as well, imp's cloud takes care of a lot of this for you.

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Nice. Actually I'm only a hobbyist. I'm studying applied computer science (nearly finished), so web programming is fine for me. I'll struggle more to get the wiring and hardware setup right ^_^ . My stuff hasn't arrived yet, getting impatient now. :laugh:

That's a field of study which will reward you well throughout your career! I would say with determination, you will get it up and running with any approach. You'll find that part selection is pretty critical to success.


I'm an EE with about 7 years experience and became a hobbyist about 4yrs ago . I still remember my first hobbyist project. I thought that I could build my own quad copter from scratch. From the BLDC drives to the wireless controller. I got done with my first hardware design and then hit the wall from a programming perspective. It was just too complex for a first project. Like 100x too complex... Yours isn't that complex but still with the components that you are thinking, it will be a healthy challenge.


For those just getting into the hobby, I try to help identify a clear and easy path to complete the project because that's what really gets you hooked on it long term. Starting with a platform that makes a project a 1 month job instead of a 6 month job is a big deal IMO. I'm still mastering this myself but it allows you to complete more projects with less time.


As I see it you have

1) Get rgb led strip talking to uC

2) Get wifi up and running

3) Define wifi protocol to interface to code in step 1

4) Write web interface to talk to code in step 3

5) Improve system reliability, wifi robustness at all steps

6) maybe setup some mini-server to host the web app


With the Lauchpad + esp8266 you will definitely feel each one of these steps, steps 2 and 3 will likely be the most difficult.


With cc3200 steps 2 and 3 become easier with Energia and the pre written libraries.


With Electric Imp steps 2-6 are practically done for you and integrated into a single environment. Step 1 is straight forward too with the example code.


In any case 43oh is a great community with really smart people who always help out. It's also the most project oriented community forum I know as well.

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I think I'll use MQTT to talk with the ledstrip. I think this is the way to go, because it's lightweight. For the server side I'll try to thinker around with nodejs. If a manage to create a REST API in node, the possibilities are more a less endless (web app, android app, iOS app). As you've mentioned above I will get stuck every now and then at steps 2 and 3. But I've already discovered that this community is a great way to get help! I'll try to document my adventure and make a nice post on my blog about it.

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Documenting your journey would be awesome, I would suggest blogging short, informal updates on a regular interval. Strangely people are more apt to read 10 separate 500 word blog posts than one 5000 word blog post. Even if the 5000 word post is written 100x more eloquently.


NodeJS is awesome and so is MQTT. MQTT might be overkill for this application but a good skill to have none the less.


Here's a bare bones example for the imp using just a parameter in the HTTPS request, it's about as easy as it gets:



Make the "led" parameter into "r" "g" and "b" and your off to the races.


Imp uses squirrel which is nodejs-ish. It's a little obscure but parallel enough.


Would be interesting to try it both ways. Maybe I'll buy one of these led strips too.

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