[DIY] Selfmade AmbiLight using LED Strings

Discussion in '[DIY] User Showcases' started by Lightning303, June 27, 2013.

  1. Lightning303
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    Hi there,

    i would like to showcase my selfmade ambilight system. I already made a post in a german thread about ambilights (here), but i thought our international forum users would find it interesting aswell.
    First, why am i doing this showcase/tutorial/documentation? Well, when i set my mind to building an ambilight and did my research on it, i found a lot information about ambilights using led strips or led boards, but only one where somebody used led strings. And i wasnt really satisfied with this one.

    So i decided early on that i wanted to use led strings instead of strips. Here some comparisons, first the strings i will use, and then strips.
    50pcs-Waterproof-DC5V-WS2801-pixel-module-LED-Colorful-String-Smart-RGB-Pixel-Direct-Light.jpg 5v_digital_ws2801_ic_rgb_5050_led_strip.jpg

    I decided to use strips mainly because they are much cheaper, atleast here in germany. Also the strips use defused leds, while the stripes use normal smd leds. I however dont know if this actually makes a big difference. I wanted to be on thei safe side.
    Using strings however brings up a problem. While you can just glue stripes on the back of your tv and you are good to go, you have to be a bit creative with the strings.

    As i have some background in processing metal, i decided to build a aluminum frame that holds the leds and that you simply screw on to your tv using the VESA holes.
    I planed this frame out on paper and then implemented it in CAD.

    Zusammenbau.png

    The frame consists of 6 aluminum profiles that get screwed together. I will add a PDF with the technical drawings for everyone interessted.

    To speak to the leds, we also need a controller. I used the SEDU Board, a controller build specifically for ambilight. You can however also use an Arduino.

    So, after the planing i bought everything i needed. Here is my list.

    - Sedu Board: 39€ + 5,90€ shipping (http://shop.led-studien.de/product_info.php/info/p141_SEDU-Lights-Board-V2.html)

    - 50 WS2801 RGB LEDs: 65€ incl. shipping (ebay germany, you can get it half the price if you buy directly in china)

    - 20x20x1,5x6000mm Alu L-Profil: 7,99€ + 6,90€ shipping (ebay incl. cutting)

    - 5V, 4A Powersupply: 0€ (old USB hub powersupply)


    The aluminum came cutted as i requested (2x80cm and 4x50cm).

    2013-05-15 13.37.43.jpg

    Next marking the spots where to drill later on.

    2013-05-15 13.53.21.jpg

    After that, punching the the holes, to make it easier to drill precisely.

    2013-05-15 15.31.26.jpg

    For the drilling i highly recomend a mount for your drilling machine. I had to drill 62 holes and 50 of them where 12mm in diameter. And even with the mount it was not easy.
    Sadly i have no pictures of me drilling :(.

    The results.

    2013-05-15 23.58.00.jpg 2013-05-15 23.58.21.jpg

    Now mounting everything together and making a first test on my tv.

    2013-05-22 00.46.04.jpg 2013-05-22 16.57.46.jpg

    Next we prepare the leds. Sadly no pictures again. But its not that hard and well documented by others if you need help. Its just 4 cables that have to be connected correctly.
    After that we add the leds to the frame. Its easiest to add them in the sequence atmowin expects them as you will have less work with the software later.
    So, looking at my tv from the front, the first led goes in the top left corner and then the string goes clockwise.

    All mounted together and screwed to my tv looks like this.

    2013-06-18 16.45.50.jpg 2013-06-18 16.46.03.jpg 2013-06-18 16.46.14.jpg

    For software we use atmowin, mediaportal (of course :)) and the atmolight plugin.
    To get the best results you have to calibrate the leds using atmowin as not all colors of the leds are as bright as the rest. For me i had to tone down blue a lot and green a bit.
    Here is a nice tutorial for that. It however is in german. http://www.computerbase.de/forum/showthread.php?t=1030747&page=63&p=13467165#post13467165

    Also you have to configure the live parameters. Here are mine, you should however play with them yourself a bit.

    AtmoWin Config.png

    So here are two test videos of my ambilight system.



    For everybody interested, in the spoiler tag is a video of the same scene without calibrating and tweaking my leds and atmowin.

    Show Spoiler
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c51b0yMky0

    You can see very nicely that in dark spots the leds are still on. Also, the colors dont match that good.










    I hope some will see the strings as an alternative to strips and got inspired by my project. Its also a lot of fun to plan stuff like the frame and then build it, instead of just glueing stripes to your tv :).



    I would be happy for suggestions or criticism.

    Marcel
     

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  3. azzuro
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    For criticism :
    Good work, i have see your frame on german thread, but i don't speak german.
    So, i start !!!
    - i think your powersupply is limit : 1 Roundled = 60mA x 50 = 3A
    - Why your LED are set for light on the Wall and not on the border of screen ?
    - can you share your Cad file ?
    Your project is 100%, what i want make. but i don't have the TV for that

    Wonderfull
     
    Last edited: June 27, 2013
  4. Lightning303
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    So making this post in english already paied off :).

    Yes, every LED uses 60mA, times 50 is 3A. My powersupply which is from an old usb hub provides 4A. So enough for the leds and the sedu board.
    Edit: Oh i see what you ment, i wrote 2A in my initial post. Thats wrong, it outputs 4A. :)

    I hope i understand correctly. You ask why my leds shine directly on the wall in a 90° angle instead of, lets say, 45° angle, or even 180° away from the tv?
    Like this?
    [​IMG]

    Some do that, i dont like it. My wall is the surface for the light, not my ceiling. The leds have a big angle in which they emit light, thanks to them being diffused. When watching a movie in the dark, my living room gets well illuminated by the leds even though they are pointed directly at the wall. :)

    Yeah, i added them as a rar. I used AutoDesk Inventor. So i have no idea if you can open them with another software. Im not up to date on these things anymore :). Also it was a quick and dirty thing, not something you would show your boss/professor.

    What kind of tv do you have? Why would that not work for you?
     

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    Last edited: June 27, 2013
  5. kilik360
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    Wow ! thank you Lightning303, questions will come later...

    I've found a new project !
     
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  6. kiwijunglist
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    Can you configure LEDs so they always emit 20% white light while video is playing. It has been shown its better for your eyes if you have the area around the tv lit up, because otherwise your eyes dilate/constrict too frequently when watching tv in a dark room, this gives you tired eyes after watching a long movie.
     
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  7. azzuro
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    Yes, but for you as your TV is not on the wall, is better !!!
    for me the TV is planned to be on wall ;) ( it's an old cathodic yet lol )

    About Cad software i use Acad everyDay but not for 3d thing only pipeline / architectural
     
  8. azzuro
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    100% agree with you, but you are not FANATICS lol ?
     
  9. Lightning303
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    Lightning303 MP Donator

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    You can adjust the Darkness Limit in atmowin, this has the effect that even dark areas are lit. Have a look at the video in the spoiler tags. I didnt like it, so i changed it to how it is now :).

    Yeah, for tvs mounted to the wall its better to use something thin, like stripes. However it would be possible to mount this frame between the tv and your wall mount.
     
  10. kilik360
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    Hi Lightning303 ! Thanks for your great thread you inspired me ! Come see my thread in my signature.
     
    Last edited: July 19, 2013
  11. Lightning303
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    Thats very nice to hear :). Your project looks great. Maybe you could make an english thread aswell for all of us that dont understand french :).

    Regarding my project, i changed my AtmoWin settings a few week ago and have been testing and loving them since then. I changed mainly the filter parameters, but as i have not seen anybody else run settings like these, i thought i would just show them and explain them.

    AtmoWin Config.png

    When running with the old setting (300ms, 30%, 50% for filters), i got really good results in demos, like my Polka Laser Show video. However when watching television or a movie it was to hectic for me, even with the filter. So i changed the threashold to 80%, that way it is really rare that the color of the leds change instantly. Pretty much every colorchange is done with the filter. I also changed the time the filter is running from 300ms to 150ms to get a better response. I find that these settings are way better for watching normal tv, series, movies. However, there is of course a downside, the Polka video and other demos with very fast color changes dont look that great anymore. But i havent encountered any of these scenarios in my normal day to day use.
    Maybe others can test these settings aswell and can give some opinions on them.
     
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