This app allows you to wirelessly control a chain of one or more ShiftBrite RGB LED modules at a distance of 50 feet or more from a PC. You will need two Wixels to set up the wireless link: one connected to the ShiftBrites, running the ShiftBrite app, and one connected to your PC with USB, running the Wireless Serial App (Section 9.b). Using a terminal or your own software, you can send a series of hex characters indicating the desired color for each module to the virtual COM port. The characters are transmitted wirelessly, received by the remote Wixel, decoded, and sent to the ShiftBrite chain, causing each module to light up with the specified color. Approximately 1000 color commands can be sent per second, allowing large displays or smooth animations.
The ShiftBrite App is also compatible with the ShiftBar, which uses the same control electronics.
Follow the instructions for the Wireless Serial App in Section 9.b to set up and test a basic wireless serial link between two Wixels, using the latest version of the Wireless Serial App. Download the ShiftBrite App (v1.1) (20k wxl). Open it with the Wixel Configuration Utility, choose your settings, and write it to one of the Wixels. See Section 4 for more information on how this is done.
Connecting the Wixel to the ShiftBrite chain
The following connections should be made between the Wixel running the ShiftBrite App and the first ShiftBrite in the chain:
Additionally, the Wixel and ShiftBrites may share the same VIN as long as the voltage requirements for both modules are satisfied. For initial testing, you may alternatively use VALT to power the ShiftBrites from USB (see Section 5.a).
Using the ShiftBrite App
After making the correct connections and applying power, open a terminal program and connect to the COM port created by the Wixel running the Wireless Serial App. Type
To shift out multiple color commands at once, for example when you want to set the colors of the entire chain, type a series of single-color commands without pressing Enter, then press Enter once to apply them all.
The data consists of a series of red, green, and blue (RGB) values, as ASCII hex strings. Each value contains from 1 to 4 characters, depending on the value of input_bits, specifying a number from 0 to 2input_bits-1. When a complete set of R, G, and B values has been received, the values are multiplied or divided by the appropriate factor to match the 10-bit ShiftBrite data format and shifted out to the ShiftBrite chain. An Enter character (ASCII 10 or 13) causes the Latch pin to be toggled, instantly setting each ShiftBrite to its new color.