Comments: EL Sequencer/Escudo Dos Hookup Guide

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  • -------------------- Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues --------------------

    Using 12V to Power Both the EL Inverter & Microcontroller

    If you are using a 12V wall adapter to power the 12V Inverter, you would still need to provide power to the microcontroller side. One solution with your 12V wall adapter to provide power to the 12V inverter and Atmega328P is to get a barrel jack adapter to 2 pin JST adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8734 ], thus connecting the 12V wall adapter to the “BATT IN.” This is assuming that your wall adapter is using a center positive barrel jack. From there you can connect the 2 pin JST labeled “DC Out” to the 12V inverter’s input voltage.

    To connect the 12V inverter, I recommend using the male DC barrel jack adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10287 ] and a 2-pin JST jumper wire [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8670 or https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8671 ]. You will need to wire strip the cable to be able to connect it to the screw terminals.

    Lastly, you would need to add a solder jumper to SJ1 so that you bypass the voltage regulator between your external power (“BATT IN”) to provide power to the inverter’s “DC OUT”. This will provide power to your 12V inverter’s input.

    Soldering the 2x XBee Female Header Pins for EL Sequencer

    Be careful how much solder you add when soldering the 2mm 10pin XBee Socket [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8272 ]. If you add too much solder, the XBee will have problems when inserting the XBee into the sockets.

    Nordic Transceivers vs XBee Series 1 vs XBee Series 2?

    I personally have not tested the Nordic Transceivers with the EL Sequencers but it looks like there can only be a maximum of 6x in the network. I recommend using the XBee transceivers. The XBees are easier to use and you are able to use more in the network. I also recommend XBee Series 1 as opposed to using the XBee Series 2. The Series 1 transceivers are easier to use, faster, and reliable. There was more of a latency with the Series 2. It might be due to the mesh network. Both have different applications so in the end it is up to you to decide what would fit best. For a comparison between series 1 and series 2 try looking at this article [ http://knowledge.digi.com/articles/Knowledge_Base_Article/The-Major-Differences-in-the-XBee-Series-1-vs-the-XBee-Series-2 ].

    Logic Levels for EL Sequencer?

    Considering that the EL Sequencer runs off off 3.3V, you do not need the XBee Explorer Regulated boards or the XBee shield when using an XBee. The exception would be for your "master" controller which would be 5V. This is assuming that you are using a 5V Arduino Uno.

    Latency with XBees?

    Keep in mind that the more patterns that the EL Sequencer has to run when being controlled via XBee, the longer it can take for it to respond if you have the "master" controller tell your "slave" EL Sequencers to run a different pattern. This is probably because the EL Sequencer has to run through the sequence to turn on/off each of the channels. If there are delay functions being used, it can run slower depending on how you wrote your code. Your "master" controller should have all the patterns to control each of your "slave" EL Sequencers based on the serial data sent. Try using different ASCII characters to turn each channel on and off.

    Automating and Syncing to Music

    Besides manually programming your EL Sequencer to trigger the channels, try automating the sequence and syncing it with an audio track using Vixen. This was found by a member in our technical support department.

    • Hi I am new to Xbee and had a few questions in relation to the Sequencer and escudo boards. First off if i connect the escundo dos board to an arduino is there any way to add a xbee or other wireless reciever to the arduino with the escundo dos sheild connected? For my project i am planing to use multiple escudo dos sheilds to controlly lights and therefore need to be able to send them all a signal at the same time. Based on that info what Xbee would you recomend?

      • Hi,

        Adding XBees to UART Pins

        If you are using the EL Escudo dos, it is possible to add an XBee. You would just need to use either the hardware or software serial UART on the remaining pins left on the Arduino. If you are using the software serial pins, I recommend checking out the Software Serial library.

        Looking at the schematic for the shield, it appears that the hardware UART and pins 11, 12, 13, and A0-A5 are available. I usually recommend using the Software Serial on pins so that there is no bus contention and risk of bricking your XBees.

        The EL Escudo Dos was designed for the Arduino Uno R3 footprint, so it would be better to us the ATmega328P for your microcontroller. Something like the RedBoard w/ ATmega328P or the Arduino Uno R3 versions would be sufficient. There are limitations when trying to use other microcontrollers (i.e. ATmega32u4, ATmega2560, etc.) when trying to use the Software Serial Library on certain pins.

        With that said, you could stack the XBee shield on top of the EL Escudo Dos. You just need to reroute pins 2 and 3 for the XBee to pins that are not being used by the EL Escudo Dos. You could use the XBee Explorer Regulated and wire power and the UART pins to the Arduino. You just need to find a place to mount the board in your setup.

        XBee Series 1 and Series 3 Modules

        I recommend using the XBee Series 1. The manufacturer of the transceivers (Digi) are replacing those with the XBee Series 3. Luckily, you can still use the XBee Series 1 Firmware on the Series 3 modules. Once you select the firmware, both versions can communicate. Try looking at our "Exploring XBees and XCTU: Starting with X-CTU" for more information about using XBees and configuring them.

        Technical Assistance

        If you have further questions, you may want to check out the SFE Forums if you need further assistance.


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