32 channel mains lamp controller

mai 21st, 2014
by jaanus
4 channel stackable thyristor board

4 channel stackable thyristor board

I needed a computer controllable 32 channel light dimmer for an art installation. After looking around a bit I found out that there isn't even a Arduino shield for the work. So I made a quick 4 channel stackable board to control lights.

The board uses SHARP thyristor based solid state relays to switch mains voltage. As normal with thyristors - all the outputs can be used as dimmers through zero-crossing detection.(Edit: It turns out since these have built in zero crossing detection, dimming is not possible) All outputs are able to handle 0.9 A / 200 W. We connected 40 W incandescent light bulbs to it but you can control whatever with it - lights, electronics, computers, motors etc.

The end device has Arduino as a controller, so all the lights can be switched from computer over USB. And since all the outputs are optically isolated from controller, the USB side is quite safe even in error situations. Also the Arduino can be reprogrammed for any preset pattern.

Get the controller source code from github: https://github.com/jaanuskalde/light-controller

Or buy it from my open source webshophttp://tech-thing.org/usb-controller-light-dimmer/

16 channels of mains switch

16 channels of mains switch

32 channel lamp dimmer overview

32 channel lamp dimmer overview

Back side of the device. USB and manual.

Back side of the device. USB and manual.


Posted in Small projects | Comments (2)

  • Leandro ütleb:

    Hi! Did you get your dimmers working with mains frequency?
    I had some issues trying to dim 50 HZ lights with an Arduino and a Zero crossing detector triac controller.

    Also, I couldn't open the schematic in your gitHub. What software do you use?


  • jaanus ütleb:

    No the dimming is not possible with these solid state relays.

    And I am using KiCad.

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