Minimalist DIODER hack requires no external microcontroller

pic_dioder_hack

Hackaday reader [chrysn] picked up a 3-button RGB model DIODER light from IKEA and thought he might as well take it apart to see what he could do with it. Having seen several DIODER hacks featured here, he knew it was easily hackable, but he didn’t want to simply rehash what other had already done.

All of the DIODER hacks we have come across thus far incorporate some sort of AVR chip or add-on board to expand its capabilities. [chrysn] saw that the controller already had a PIC16F684 inside, and thought that installing his own firmware onto the existing hardware would be a far more simple solution. He installed a small programming cable onto the DIODER’s control board, and using his PICkit2 programmer, flashed the chip with a custom firmware image.

His modifications worked great, and [chrysn] says that there is plenty potential in the existing hardware to have all sorts of fun with it. Even so, he notes that there are several AVR-flavored drop-in replacements that can be used if that happens to be your microcontroller family of choice.

Comments

  1. Eirinn says:

    Lucid sofa lightning GET!

  2. Per Jensen says:

    Cool. They upgraded the hardware. Before it was a tiny PIC16F683 in SO-8 housing, an 78l05 v-reg and three NPN-transistors in TO-92 housing. Now all SMD :-)

  3. doragasu says:

    Looks nice. I think I’ll buy one to hack around.

  4. Bigdeal says:

    Still, it’s expensive for what it is (50 euros).

    I have the first-gen RGB dioder and my remarks are:

    – 700ma power supply won’t support more than ~6 strips
    – NPN transistors won’t support long arrangements either (it’s great that they moved to a FET instead)
    – Color fading pattern is simplistic and doesn’t go through enough colours

    That’s why I decided to replace the microcontroller and drivers on mine. I am precisely in the middle of making it much nicer. I will submit it to HAD once finished, maybe there is room for YET another Dioder hack :)

  5. Bigdeal says:

    Oh, also, the white balance is not great (green is way too bright, blue is very bright too and red is not bright enough). So, in “white” mode it is more like super-cold blueish white.

    Should I have to do the same project again, I’d look at those chinese LED strip sellers…

  6. uC says:

    A very nice hardware breakdown, and a nicely written article.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Martin D. says:

    @IKEA:
    1. Add an unpopulated ICSP Header (adds no cost except one-time engineering costs)
    2. Release schematic (optional)
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!!!!

  8. NewCommenter1283 says:

    im totally on Martin D’s side.

    when an ICSP header is added to this DIODER, you have a dev system to compete with arduino ect, oh, and an extra external conector to the outside for those unused GPIO’s.

    AKA u can program it as a wireless Ambilight clone, or twitter notifier, cpu, temp ect ect ect.

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