Simple Renard RGB+W

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Simple Renard RGB+W 32 Channel DC Controller

SR RGB+W populated.jpg

Disclaimers

The standard disclaimers pertaining to the information contained on this wiki page are listed here.


Important Note: The Simple Renard line is being replaced by the Renard Plus line of controllers. PCBs are still available here.

Introduction

What is the Simple Renard RGB+W?

The Simple Renard RGB+W is a low cost 32 channel DC controller designed to drive low current DC loads like RGB+W LED flood lights (such as DIYC Flood, Mighty Mini or Frank's Super Strip). Unlike other DC designs like the REN48LSD , the Simple Renard RGB+W makes use of a different PIC, the PIC18F4520. This PIC allows 32 channels per PIC to be controlled compared to the usual 8 channels per PIC (16F688) used in most Renard designs. This allows a smaller board and lower total cost. The design uses low cost NPN bipolar transistors to switch the loads to ground to power the outputs.

The board is capable of switching 5-24VDC at up to maximum of 500ma per channel for a very short period of time you should not exceed 400ma per channel for continuous use. The outputs use RJ45 jacks to provide easy access to the high channel count outputs. Power is supplied to the board thru two separate power inputs that allow a total of 7A to be supplied to each half of the board. The board requires either a 5vdc well regulated supply or a good 9-24vdc supply. An on board voltage regulator provides the necessary power for the PIC and transistors on the pcb.

For higher current DC loads it is also possible to connect DC SSRs to the output of the Simple Renard RGB+W to drive high current DC loads such as long LED RGB strips, motors or other inductive loads.

The board was designed in the Fall of 2011 by Mactayl and tstraub, inspired by n7xg, and based on original concepts by p.short, p.rogers and budude.

How does the Simple Renard RGB+W work?

The Simple Renard RGB+W uses a similar architecture for the logic portions of the board as the RenardSS series of boards. Sequence information is passed from a PC running Vixen or other sequencing program via an RS-485 interface. The RS485 chip receives this information and turn into standard TTL logic levels that the PIC can understand. The PIC reads in the data and if it determines that the information corresponds to itself, it updates the dimming levels of all 32 channels. It removes this information from the stream and feeds the rest out to the RS485 chip which translates it to RS-485 levels for the next controller in the line. It is important to realize that the information is removed from the stream and that the resultant leftover stream will have all of the data offset by the 32 channels of information used by the Simple Renard RGB+W. For example, if you have two Simple Renard RGB+W, on Vixen you would configure a single Renard plug-in with 64 channels. The first Simple Renard RGB+W consumes the first 32 channels of information leaving only 32 channels on it's outputs. The second Renard RGB+W will see this incoming data as controller #1 again and assume the data is for it. This is very much different than standard hard/soft-coded DMX or LOR devices that use a set address yet still pass on the entire stream to the next controller on the line.

The PIC in the Simple Renard RGB+W uses the internal PIC oscillator.

So - now that the PIC has the updated dimming levels for all of it's channels, it enables each of its outputs using PWM or Pulse Width Modulation. It is important to grasp that the voltage levels are not controlled - it is the amount of time on and off that is varied within a small cycle of time for each update. It seems logical that to dim things you would just change the voltage from 12v to 9v for example. Instead, the voltage is on at the full 12v for x amount of time and then it is off (0v) for the y amount of time - it is not something in-between. The cycle time is controlled by the PIC in the case of the Renard RGB+W. In RenardSS boards, they use a Zero-Cross (ZC) signal which is created by an opto-isolator attached to the AC line (either directly to the mains or via a transformer and in both cases through some resistors to limit the current to the opto). Since the Renard RGB+W does not have any AC supplied to it, the PIC basically makes up it's own timing but it closely resembles what is seen with normal ZC usage.

The Simple Renard RGB+W uses sourced outputs and not sinked outputs like the RenardSS controllers. Why is this? Because the PIC needs to turn on a transistor and to do this, it supplies 5v on it's output which turns on the transistor (via a resistor to limit the current) which allows current to flow from the collector to the emitter of the transistor. The emitter is directly connected to ground so basically, the transistor sinks the current from the LEDs (or whatever you have attached to the output) to ground. The positive voltage from the DC power supply connects directly to the device you have attached and this completes the circuit.

Revision History

The Version v.1b is currently the most recent version of the Simple Renard RGB+W in production.


Simple Renard RGB+W Parts

In addition to the PCB, you will need the following components:

Mouser

PartDescriptionMouser PNQty
P1Fixed Terminal Blocks 5.08MM VERTICAL 2P wire protector571-79694922
C1,C2Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Leaded 35volts 100uF 6.3x11 20% 2LS647-UVZ1V101MED2
C6Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC) - Leaded 0.33uF 50volts X7R 10%81-RDER71H334K1K103B1
C3,C4,C5Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC) - Leaded 0.1uF 50volts Y5V +80-20% 2.5mm L/S81-RPEF51104Z2S2A03A3
D2Zener Diodes 4.3 Volt 0.5 Watt)78-1N5229B1
D1Zener Diodes 9.1 Volt 0.5 Watt)78-1N5239B1
IC1RS-485 Interface IC LP Diff Pairs595-SN65LBC179P1
IC3Linear Regulators - Standard 1A Pos Vol Reg512-LM7805CT1
IC & Component Sockets 40P DUAL WIPE DIPSKT517-4840-6000-CP1
IC5Microcontrollers (MCU) 32KB 1536 RAM 36I/O579-PIC18F4520-I/P1
ICSPHeaders & Wire Housings FLAT HEADER 6P Straight Post tin571-64045261
JP2 XBee headerHeaders & Wire Housings FLAT HEADER 5P Straight Post tin571-640452-51
Shunt for XBheader and Vreg bypassHeaders & Wire Housings Mini Shunt .177" height737-MSC-G3
JP3 Vreg bypassHeaders & Wire Housings FLAT HEADER 2P Straight Post tin571-64045221
J1-J10Ethernet & Telecom Connectors 8 PCB TOP ENTRY 571-5556416-110
Status LedStandard LED - Through Hole YELLOW DIFFUSED78-TLHY54051
Power LedStandard LED - Through Hole RED DIFFUSED78-TLHR54011
RX/TX LedStandard LED - Through Hole GREEN DIFFUSED78-TLHG54011
R1,R2,R6Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 1.0Kohms 0.05299-1k-RC3
R3,R7Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 330ohms 5%299-330-RC2
R4Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 10Kohms 5%299-10k-RC1
R5Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 120ohms 0.05299-120-RC1
R9,R10Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 27Kohms 5%299-27k-RC2
R11-42Carbon Film Resistors - Through Hole 820ohms 5%299-820-RC32
T1-32Transistors Bipolar (BJT) 600mA 75V NPN863-PN2222AG32
PIC BypassHeaders & Wire Housings NARROW FLT HDR 3P Straight Post571-3-644456-31
IC & Component Sockets 8P DUAL WIPE DIPSKT517-4808-3004-CP1


Click Here for Mouser Direct Project BOM

The Kit is available at DIYLEDExpress.com

Housing

The Simple Renard RGB+W was designed to fit in the CG-500 Demarcation Enclosure available from numerous vendors including www.diyledexpress.com and www.wlcventures.com

Building the Simple Renard RGB+W

Assembly

The Simple Renard RGB+W is a simple device to assemble and test. It is easiest if you build the units by inserting the various components from smallest to tallest .

  1. Begin by inspecting the PCBs to look for any defects such as cracks or breaks. The holes on the board should be open on both sides. Then inspect and sort out the various parts for the board.
  2. Install the resistors:
    1. Install the 1K ohm resistors at locations R1,R2,R6. The resistor are not polarized, so they can go either way.
    2. Install the 330 ohm resistors at locations R3,R7. The resistor are not polarized, so they can go either way.
    3. Install the 10K ohm resistor at location R4. The resistor is not polarized, so it can go either way.
    4. Install the 120 ohm resistor at location R5. The resistor is not polarized, so it can go either way.
    5. Install the 27K ohm resistors at locations R9,R10. The resistor are not polarized, so they can go either way.
    6. Install the 820 ohm resistors at locations R11-42. The resistor are not polarized, so they can go either way.
  3. Install the capacitors:
    1. Install the 100uf Electrolytic Capacitors at locations C1,C2. The capacitors are polarized. The side of the capacitor will have a stripe on the negative side. The long lead is the positive side, and it goes in the hole marked with a +.
    2. Install the 0.33uf Ceramic Capacitor at location C6. The capacitor is not polarized, so it can go either way.
    3. Install the 0.1uf Ceramic Capacitors at locations C3,C4,C5. The capacitors are not polarized, so they can go either way.
  4. Install the IC sockets:
    1. Install the 8 pin socket at location IC1. The notch on the socket should face the right side of the board, matching the silkscreen image.
    2. Install the 40 pin socket at location IC2. The notch on the socket should face the right side of the board, matching the silkscreen image.
  5. Install the diodes:
    1. Install the 1N5239 diode at location D1. The diode is polarized and it can only go one way. The end with the band (cathode) goes towards the left side of the board.
    2. Install the 1N5229 diode at location D2. The diode is polarized and it can only go one way. The end with the band (cathode) goes towards the left side of the board.
  6. Install the transistors:
    1. Install the PN2222AG NPN transistors at locations T1-32. The transistors are polarized and can only go one way. The transistors should be installed with the flat side matching the silk screen image. T1-16 on the top side of the board should have the flat side facing to the right side of the board. T17-32 on the bottom side of the board should have the flat side facing to the left side of the board.
  7. Install the light emitting diodes:
    1. Install the Red LED at the location marked Power. The LED is polarized. There is a flat side (cathode) that has a short lead and it faces towards the right side of the board.
    2. Install the Yellow LED at the location marked Status. The LED is polarized. There is a flat side (cathode) that has a short lead and it faces towards the right side of the board.
    3. Install the Green LED at the location marked RX/TX. The LED is polarized. There is a flat side (cathode) that has a short lead and it faces towards the right side of the board.
  8. Install the headers:
    1. Install the 5 pin header at location JP2 (RENW header). The short side of the header strip goes into the board.
    2. Install the 2 pin header at location JP3 (VREG bypass). The short side of the header strip goes into the board.
    3. Install the 3 pin header at location JP4 (PIC bypass). The short side of the header strip goes into the board.
    4. Install the 6 pin header at location ICSP (PIC programming header). The short side of the header strip goes into the board.
  9. Install the 5v linear regulator at location IC3. The voltage regulator is polarized and goes only one way. Gently bend the leads of the regulator at the location on the leads where it changes size down at a 90 degree angle towards the flat side of the regulator. Apply thermal grease to the flat heat sink side of the regulator and fasten it to the pcb using a #4 screw and nut.
  10. Install the RJ45 jacks at locations J1-10. Gently align the eight wires with the matching holes and snap the connector to the board. Solder the connector to the circuit board being careful to not short out the connectors.
  11. Install the 2 terminal strips at locations TB1,TB2. The side where the wires enter under the screw should face the right of the board.
  12. Install the jumper shunts:
    1. Install the shunts on the headers according to the Header Settings listed below.

Initial Testing / Final Assembly

  1. The first thing you will want to do in any PCB construction project is to double check that you have all components installed and in the proper orientation. You will then want to inspect the board for any cold/bridged solder joints. Take your time with this step and go over each and every joint.
  2. If you have any of the IC's (IC1, IC2)installed - remove them now.
  3. Connect your power supply to the “TB1 (V+1)” - it supplies power to controller portion of the board as well as outputs 1-16. “TB2 (V+2)” is a separate input to drive outputs 17-32. Note that the ground is shared between the two inputs. If you are using a well regulated +5vdc power supply as your power input, the regulator circuit should not be installed. However, you must manually bypass this by placing a jumper on header JP3.
  4. Turn on the supply and verify the power LED lights up. Verify you have 5v between pins 11 and 12 on the PIC socket as well as between pins 1 and 4 on the 485 chip socket. Install all of the IC's if this passes.
  5. Install the ICs:
    1. Install the PIC18F4520 in the 40 pin socket at location IC2. The IC is polarized. Gently install the IC so that the notch faces towards the right matching the socket and the silkscreen.
    2. Install the SN65LBC179P in the 8 pin socket at location IC1. The IC is polarized. Gently install the IC so that the notch faces towards the right matching the socket and the silkscreen.

Congratulations! That completes the construction of the Simple Renard RGB+W !

Programming the PIC

The Simple Renard RGB+W does not use the default Renard firmware used on other Renard devices. You must program the Simple Renard RGB+W with the special firmware listed below. You can plug your PICKIT programmer directly on the ICSP header making sure to align Pin1 on the ICSP header with Pin 1 of the PICKIT.


Final Testing

The Simple Renard RGB+W has three diagnostic LEDs.

  1. The Power LED is lit when +5vdc is available to the PIC from either the voltage regulator circuit or voltage regulator bypass, if it is installed and +5vdc is applied to TB1 (V+1).
  2. The Status LED flashes on and off when the power is applied and the PIC is properly programed and running.
  3. The RX/TX LED flashes when serial data is received or transmitted


The design is fairly straight-forward and as long as you are sure of the voltage inputs and the PIC is flashed properly you should not have any issues if your soldering is good.

The data wiring of the Simple Renard RGB+W is the same as the RenardSS series so you can follow the cabling requiremnents for that.

Connect the Simple Renard RGB+W to your PC using standard wiring practices as on the Wiki for other Renard controllers. Develop a Vixen sequence to turn on/off each channel in groups of four using the appropriate Renard plug-in. Channels 1, 5, 9, etc should have the same programming but only have 1 channel in the group (1,2,3,4) on at a time. This helps ensure you have unique channel addressing from each RJ45 output.

With the sequence running, plug in a RGB+W device such as a DIYC Flood or Super Strip strip into each RJ45 and ensure each color turns on in order. Once that is complete you change the on/off to ramp up/downs to verify dimming operation. Finally, you can perform a full load test with 8 devices installed.

The Simple Renard RGB+W can be used to drive other devices as well of course. The Mighty Mini floods can be wired using normal RGBW wiring since the MM end of the cable goes into terminal blocks versus an RJ45 jack. Another popular flood is the ChristmasOnManor Rainbow Flood. This is an RGB (no white) flood so it only uses 3 channels. The wiring uses pins 2, 4 and 8 to drive Red, Green and Blue. Note that pin 6 - or the 3rd channel is not used here. You have a few choices - in Vixen simply skip that channel, or if you really want to use that channel, you will need to do some creative cabling or not use the RJ45 jacks at all and wire the 3 channels directly to the board.

Mounting in Housing

TBD

Jumper Settings / Headers

JP1 PIC Option

This header is currently unused. The default position is no jumper.

JP2 XBee Header

This header is used to connect a XBee Wireless module directly to the Renard RGB+W. If you are not using a XBee Wireless module, the default jumper position is a jumper across pins 4/5.

Pin Layout
1 = +5VDC
2 = N/C
3 = GND
4 = RX from 485 chip
5 = RX in to PIC

JP3- Vreg Bypass

This header position allows you to bypass and omit the on board voltage regulator if you are feeding TB1 (V1+) with a well regulated +5vdc. The default position is for no header if you are using the on board regulator. Only install jumper on JP3 if you have omitted C1 and IC3 and if TB1 V1+ is +5VDC and well regulated!

JP4 PIC Bypass

If you are using Start Address Programming, you can use the PIC bypass to allow the data to flow thru the Simple Renard RGB+W without the usual Renard "address eating". If you use a jumper across pins 1/2 then the data stream that comes into the device goes out exactly as it came in with no addresses consumed by the Simple Renard RGB+W. The default position is a jumper across pins 2/3.
Pin Layout
1 = Data In from RS485 IC
2 = Data Out to RS485 IC
3 = Data Out from PIC

ICSP

This header allows the PIC to be programmed or reprogrammed while still plugged into the circuit board. To use the ICSP header plug your PICKIT programmer directly onto the header, making note to align pin 1 of the header with pin1 of the PICKIT.
Pin Layout
Pin 1 = MCLR
Pin 2 = +5 volts
Pin 3 = GND
Pin 4 = PGD
Pin 5 = PGC
Pin 6 = PGM/RB5

Power Requirements

The board requires either a 5vdc well regulated supply or a good 9-24vdc supply.


The logic portions of the board require a steady +5vdc supply. This can be supplied in two ways on the Simple Renard RGB+W. If you use a well-regulated +5vdc power supply, you skip installing the voltage regulator and capacitor and install a jumper across the JP3 header. This will feed the power from the TB1 (V+1) jack directly to the logic components. Obviously care must be taken to ONLY use a 5vdc supply - if a 12v supply is connected in this configuration, you will probably lose your PIC and RS485 chips in one shot. If you are planning to use a 9-24vdc supply then you must install the regulator circuitry. This allows the power supplied on the TB1 (V+1) connector to be converted down to +5vdc for the logic components. It is important to realize that the 5v created is only used by the logic components, it is NOT sent out to the outputs of the Simple Renard RGB+W. The outputs always follow whatever you place on TB1 (V+1) and TB2 (V+2). The two connectors are separated so it is possible to run different voltages on TB1 (V+1) and TB2 (V2) (say 5v and 12v). Here again, extreme caution must be taken to ensure you do not mix up supplies or plug your device into the wrong outputs (say a 5v strip into a 12v output). In addition, you must ensure that the two power supplies will work harmoniously with a shared ground connection since the ground plane is shared between TB1 (V+1) and TB2 (V+2).

TB1 (V+1) powers Channels 1-16. TB2 (V+2) powers channels 17-32.

Connecting up the Simple Renard RGB+W

Computer Setup

VIXEN Settings
The Renard Simple RGB+W requires the Renard Dimmer [Vixen 1.1.*] or Renard Dimmer (modified) [Vixen 2.*] Plug-In.
Renard Dimmer Plug-In Settings:
  • Protocol Version: 1
  • COM1 (or whichever COM port you are connected to)
  • Baud: 57600 (default firmware value, if firmware is changed then this needs to be changed to match the firmware)
  • Parity: None
  • Data bits: 8
  • Stop bits: One
  • Hold port open during the duration of the sequence execution: Checked

Data Connections

The Simple Renard RGB+W should be connected to a PC and can be driven by the standard Renard Plugin in Vixen.
J1 is the data input to the Simple Renard RGB+W
J2 is the data output from the Simple Renard RGB+W

Outputs

J3 is Output channels 1-4
J4 is Output channels 5-8
J5 is Output channels 9-12
J6 is Output channels 13-16
J7 is Output channels 17-20
J8 is Output channels 21-24
J9 is Output channels 25-28
J10 is Output channels 29-32

RJ45 output jacks are wired as follows:

Pin 1 - V+
Pin 2 - First Channel Output
Pin 3 - V+
Pin 4 - Second Channel Output
Pin 5 - V+
Pin 6 - Third Channel Output
Pin 7 - V+
Pin 8 - Fourth Channel Output

The outputs are switched to Ground by the transistors controlled by the PIC.

Power Connections

Warning...The Simple Renard RGB+W does not have an on-board fuse. You must use an external/inline fuse holder with a 7A fuse for each of the two power inputs for safety.

TB1 (V+1) supplies power to Outputs 1-16 and also supplies power to the Voltage regulator to power the on board circuits.
TB2 (V+2) supplies power to Outputs 17-32.

Firmware

The Simple Renard RGB+W makes use of a different PIC then the usual PIC found in most Renard devices. The Simple Renard RGB+W does not use the default Renard firm. You must make use of the special firmware listed below to program your Simple Renard RGB+W. The Simple Renard RGB+W firmware only runs Renard protocol. A DMX version is currently being tested and should be available in May 2012.

The Simple Renard RB+W has two versions of the software available.

  1. There is one version of the software that makes use of the full 32 channel for RGBW use.
  2. There is also a second version of the software that only makes use of 24 channels for RGB use.You must choose the operating mode for the 24 channel firmware. There are two choices:
    1. Drop the fourth channel on each RJ45 jack for generic RGB layout.
    2. Drop the third channel on each RJ45 jack for use with RGB Rainbow Floods.

Unlike typical Renard firmware, you must make changes to the .inc file, not the .asm file to adjust the operating parameters.

  1. You must modify the firmware in the .inc file to match the correct baud rate of your data network. The Simple Renard RGB+W runs at 57.6k or 115k baud rate. The default baud rate is 57.6K.
  2. You must modify the firmware in the .inc file if you want to use a different start address for the device. The default address is 0. You can find more info here on Start Address Configurations.

Downloads

Simple Renard RGB+W Firmware (32 channels) RGB+W

Simple Renard RGB Firmware (24 Channels) RGB

Schematic

File:SR RGB+W sch.pdf

PCB

SR RGB+W.jpg

PCBs are available from N7XG (Dean) or kits are available at diyledexpress

Design Options

  1. The two banks of channels, 1-16 and 17-32 can be configured to operate at different dc voltage levels by following the instructions above.
  2. The Simple Renard RGB+W can be configured via firmware to use either a full 32 channels for RG+W use or 24 channels for RGB use.
  3. The Simple Renard RGB+W can be directly connected to a REN-W board via the JP2 header.

Other Information

TBD


Simple Renard RGB+W Discussion Threads

Interest thread
Thread 1


FAQ

TBD