FoTW: LED strips made with terrible servo drives

We must have all at one point or another discovered a hack that seemed like an unbelievable idea, but it just have An attempt was made, but it turned out to be beyond the scope of what was possible small too far. Most of our time disappears without a trace and we end up shyly purchasing the right parts for the job at hand.

[Orionrobots] Discussed LED light strips with a YouTube fan. They figured that the LED strips contained off-the-shelf PWM drivers. Wouldn’t it be nice if every driver on the strip could be connected to a servo, making the strip a ready-made single-station SPI servo driver? Since he wanted to build a large multi-servo robot, he started working on the WS2801.

If you’re in the soldering area and have great soldering iron skills, it’s entirely possible to solder wires to a surface mount driver die. It was a bit of a challenge for a mere mortal, but he pointed out how much extra time it added to the project. Interestingly, when the servo is connected, the best way to describe it is that it vibrates a bit. In theory, the LED driver should be able to drive the servos since they can create the correct waveform. But in reality, the servo is designed to accept logic level inputs, while the driver is designed to be in series with the LED and control its current. Therefore, the voltage required for logic conversion cannot actually be fully achieved.

He concluded by recommending that viewers spend money on a servo driver board instead of trying an LED strip. We applaud his efforts, after all it’s a trick any of us might think of trying ourselves.

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