Raptor12 Wireless AC Dimmer

Christmas, Halloween light string controller that is wireless, 12channel dimmable AC controller, with an AVR for $30

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Its wireless, 12 channel controller for AC light strings for $30

Connects to Standard Protocols
E1.31 (ethernet) | Renard (usb/rs232) | DMX (usb)

12 channels
This could be pushed higher if needed but, most light displays use 3 or 4 strings of lights RGB+W on elements of a show if you notice both divide nicely into 12.

Minimal Complexity/Components:
In its simplest for ac light controller requires only a few components detecting zerocross, microcontroler, and a way to control high voltage mains. Most controllers use a standard 6v transformer and a lm7805 regulator, Transformers add $5-10 to the bill of materials and do we really need it? Nope, also because we don't have a transformer(isolated supply) We don't need the optoisolators they add $1.25 per channel to the cost.

NRF24l01 Modules spi interface

Low power
1-2 watts used by the controller / nrf receiver

-Smallest case readily available in DIY market (TA-200 )

Currently in diy controllers (like renard SS16) and equivalent wired controller costs $80 with shopping around. Then to make it wireless requires an additional $10-30 depending on what you chose.

That is still a bargain compared to commercial controllers like Light O' Rama.

CTB16PC-ReadyToGO $259.95   +  RF-V5-PAIR $249.95

So at $30 and wireless I plan to cheapen this little hobby that already costs way too mutch:) To my knowledge this will be the first AC diy controller to be wireless from the start.

Designed to connect with all transmitters from http:/ (stocks comparable boards for other devices) More info HERE

The reason for going this route is that I spent a lot of time last year with komby(Greg) perfecting a related project using the same protocol, it ran perfect so doing it again. (also cant beat $1-2 for rf modules ) Also great excuse to expand komby's rfcontrole lib to incude AC leading edge dimming.

  • 1 × ATMEFA328P-AU 8-bit Microcontrollers - MCU 32KB In-system Flash 20MHz 1.8V-5.5V
  • 2 × Fuse Clips PC FUSE CLIP 5 MM 3517 Keystone Electronics

View all 32 components

View all 47 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Back of ACLogic:

    Make sure you assembly from the correct side:)

    Solder the atmega(expand)

    Microelectronic stuff:

    • atmega328p
    • 22pf cap x2
    • 16Mhz Crystal

    Axial Components:

    • 4.7KOhm Resistos x13
    • 10ohm x1
    • 1MOhm x1
    • 120kOhm x3
    • 3kOhm 1x
    • 22k 1x
    • 5.1v Zener x2

    Transistors and Fets:

    • MPSA42 x1
    • Tip 120 x1
    • IRF640 x1

    Surge Suppression:

    • 150v 15J MOV

    Front of AC Logic:

    Axial Components:

    4.7kOhm x3

    22kOhm x1

    330KOhm x2


    .22uf x3

    Voltage regulator:

    L78L33 x1

    PIn headers:

    2pin male x1

    5x2 female x2

    12x2 female x1

    5x1 female x1


    Green X4

    Red x2


  • 2
    Step 2

    Axial Components:

    Were going to start with the polarized components theses only function in the correct orientation. The way to determine the way the go is simple, look for the band around the diode in theses case it is black. Match the band the the symbol on the pcb that also shows a band.

    D4 and D5 are Zener diodes theses controls the final voltage that the regulator circuit puts out if you get above 5.1v here is where you want to look for bad solder joints, or components the wrong way around.

    Now components without orientation, they can be placed ether direction. R22 is a 10 ohm resistor that forms an RC filter with C2. Basically it cleans up some of the noise the regulator can toss out.

    If you get no voltage at all out of the regulator this is a good component to check. ITs the final components before the voltage gets to the zeners and to the rest of the controller.

    This zerocross detection circuit, R15 is a 1 mega ohm resistor, again orientation dosen't matter here ether direction will work.

    If you get random dimming look no further than this resistor. Note: you might want to double check this components because if you put the wrong component here you can fry the micro controller.

    R3-14 are 4.7 killo ohm resistors theses connect the atmega to the SCR board. Don't forget R16 this is used to pull the reset bit high so the micro will turn on.

    If your micro is nto doing anything look at R16. If you have a broken channel with and channel indicator led that is not lit look here.

    Theses are another critical set of resistors these setup the biasing of the transistors in the regulator. R17 R18 & R29 are 120 killo Ohm resistors.

    Theses are another critical set of resistors these setup the biasing of the transistors in the regulator. R19 is a 3 killo ohm resistor

    Theses are another critical set of resistors these setup the biasing of the transistors in the regulator. R21 is a 22 killo ohm resistor.

  • 3
    Step 3

    This is a .22uf capacitor, this is non polerized ceramic so it can go ether direction. This helps controle the clipping voltage of the main fet.

    C3 and C4 are small .22pf theses are not the same as the perviose step. Theses capacitors setup the imedance for the 16mhz crystal.

    This is another place to look if the micro seams dead.

    X1 is a 16mhz crystal the clocks the micro, if you have a 3 pin ceramic resonator you can also use it here but you need to exclude C3 and C4 if you do.

    This is another place to look if the micro seams dead.

View all 13 instructions

Enjoy this project?



Johnny wrote 03/08/2015 at 16:47 point

Hey Travis, can I please have a look at your schematic, as I'm curious about how you went about driving your mosfets? I'm in the process of designing my AC switching circuit and too have decided to move away from triacs, as they can only do leading edge. It's amazing how you have done this with such few components.

  Are you sure? yes | no

KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 03/09/2015 at 00:50 point

The micro is basicly directly connected tot he gate via 4.7 resistor. p5 goes to the other boad and directly to the gate.

This shoudl still be correct

  Are you sure? yes | no

Johnny wrote 03/09/2015 at 02:54 point

Oh so your design switching rectified DC? I though you might be driving AC with anti-series mosfets. But then I was thinking, how did you have a isolated DC voltage for each gate pair. I was hoping you knew of a readily available and cheap photovoltaic mosfet driver ic.

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KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 03/09/2015 at 03:55 point

Yep exactly everything is DC. Well kinda I am not filtering it so its still pulsing like ac.

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teemonie3 wrote 09/15/2014 at 21:05 point
Are you still looking to make these kits?

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KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 09/15/2014 at 23:28 point
Very very close. Waiting for one more board revision before i pull the trigger on a large order.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Neon22 wrote 06/27/2014 at 02:09 point
Komby link above is bad - points to:
IMHO your homepage: needs some kind of explanation of what a Kombie is and does....

  Are you sure? yes | no

Neon22 wrote 06/27/2014 at 02:13 point
ahh. I see its on a subdomain
Maybe a link from back to there would be useful ?

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KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 06/27/2014 at 02:23 point
Not really my site :) I am just using his code as a starting point. And I already forked code for my project back:)

I am trying to use hackaday projects as the page to get info we will see how it works. MY other project i just used a wiki

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KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 06/27/2014 at 02:25 point
Also link fixed.

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Adam Fabio wrote 06/07/2014 at 03:32 point
Incredible job an your wireless light controller project, thank you for entering it in The Hackaday Prize! Being wireless, does your protocol have error detection and/or correction built in? Documenting information like that will help with the connectedness portion of the contest.

  Are you sure? yes | no

KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 06/07/2014 at 03:45 point
I have thought about it but no with streaming protocols dosen't make sense because the next frame will be there with in a few ms generally 10-50ms. Right now its basically DMX over the NRF radio.

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Mike Szczys wrote 06/05/2014 at 15:46 point
You're well on your way with this one. Thanks for submitting it to The Hackaday Prize! I would recommend adding something to the Project Details that talks about the connectedness (why you chose to go the route you did, how the protocol works, and how it could be adapted to work with other types of nodes in a system, etc.). Good stuff!

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BrendanMatkin wrote 05/15/2014 at 19:56 point
Hey it looks like you are planning to sell kits or completed versions of these. If so, how much are you thinking it will cost and when will they be ready? I have an artist friend who needs 100 channels of low power dimmers in the next couple of months and I think this might be the best solution!

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KingOfKYA(Travis K. ) wrote 05/16/2014 at 01:22 point
MY goal is to have a group buy for the boards and possibly Bill Of materials. Assuming I don't need to run another pcb. some time near the end of JUNE. I will update the project page when i get ready to do that. Target price is gonna be $25-30 for a kit.

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Eric Evenchick wrote 05/12/2014 at 15:01 point
Neat design, bonus points for the warning about the supply not being isolated!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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