"The Plan" version 2.0

Having learnt much about Arduino,  AVR, PIC, I2C and electronics in general my Christmas lights project is coming together well.  Here is the plan (version 2.0).......

The Master

The master unit is responsible for interfacing with the PC to receive the pattern to display, then managing the display on one or more slave units.  It is also likely that the master will control a number of light sets itself, reducing the number of slaves needed.  The master will be as followings;
  • Custom Arduino on strip-board
  • I2C connector for clients
  • Serial connection for PC (via USB->Serial cable)
  • Darlington Array (7 display channels)
  • SD Card reader (SPI)
  • Status LED
  • Power LED

The Slave

The slave receives display commands from the master over I2C and updates the channels. The slave will be as following;
  • PIC 16F690 controller
  • I2C connection to master
  • 2 * Darlington Arrays (14 Channels)
  • Status LED
  • Power LED


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