Sending Artnet to WS2811 LED strips

There are lots of information on how can we drive WS2811 strips on internet but almost none about how to receive Artnet and drive WS2811 led strips at the same time. Here I try to explain how to get Artnet to WS2811 and the starting point on how to build one yourself.

Teensy microcontroller

Not so long ago I discovered the pjrc forum, the official forum of teensy microcontroller. But what really cached my attention was the thread that talks about controlling Artnet to WS2811 using teensy and a OctoWS2811 shield.

OctoWS2811 diagram

This is specially useful for controlling large led installations as it greatly reduces complexity by using just one device working as Artnet to WS2811. It also greatly reduces the cost as the Teensy micro controller is inexpensive and the software runs on code maintained by the community. (you can find a good repository on github here).

You can find all the information to build yourself one on pjrc’s forum and in the documentation of OctoWS2811. The building and setup is quite straight forward and it does almost works out of the box. As a test set-up I used an arduino ethernet together with some code that I personally modified (extracted from git hub’s Christof Guillermet excellent sketch) and build an Artnet sender. The testing worked great and I could achieve frame rates of about 150 fps using just the arduino. (I’m using Artneominator excellent software in order to monitor artnet information)

Next post will be about a LED installation that I’m working on and how I made it to connect Chamsys  with the Artnet to WS2811. And hopefully some footage of the yet to be build installations.

Consider also using Pixel Controller, a nice free application that can run large arrays of pixels at a higher frame rate than the usual 33 fps of most common lighting software.

 

Keep you posted

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