The Light Commander is a multi-output user-programmable power controller. Originally designed for use as a light controller on the original version of Parallax's ELEV-8 Quadcopter, it is equally well suited for any application requiring the switching of high current under programmable control. Based on the proven technology of the BASIC Stamp 1 microcontroller, this board is both simple to use and incredibly versatile in its capabilities.
The Light Commander has five high-power MOSFET outputs available to switch heavy loads. One output has twice the power of the others for applications that require unusually high surge currents like DC motors, rocket squibs, or solenoids. In addition to the high-power outputs, the board provides two undedicated I/O ports from the microcontroller. The applications for these ports are limited only by your imagination, creativity, and ability to program new functions.
For example, on the ELEV-8, Parallax engineers connected one port to the Auxiliary Channel of their R/C receiver to read PWM. This allowed the selection of different light patterns that were programmed into the board during flight by simply turning a knob on the transmitter. They used the second port to activate all kinds of other devices like a bomb-drop servo and camera shutter.
The I/O ports are laid out in a standard servo pin format and there is a jumper available to feed modest amounts of +5V power to external devices. There also is an on-board adjustable battery sensor that can trigger any event that you program (e.g. to flash lights or activate a piezo buzzer when the battery voltage gets low). Lastly, there is a pushbutton switch available that can be programmed for anything from simple On/Off functions to selecting different programs within the BS1 memory.
The Light Commander was designed for maximum versatility, so it adapts easily to a multitude of applications.
- Intelligent lighting, animation, and control
- Remote-control and scale lighting systems
- Night flying of multirotors and other model aircraft
Light Commander Features
The Light Commander comes with a demo program pre-installed that allos you to test its operation and any external loads that you attach.
- On-board BASIC Stamp 1 processor is simple to program with PBASIC
- Free Light Tool software makes it easy to calculate values for light patterns and trip voltage settings
- Ships pre-programmed with demo code for you to use or modify
- Five high-power ouputs (MOSFET)
- Regulated 5V output for external devices
- Two programmable I/O ports
- On-board switch with programmable functions
- Adjustable voltage sensor
- Voltage requirements: 6V to 18V DC @ 8 mA (idle)
- Power outputs: Port 3 = 4A; Ports 4,5,6,7 = 2A
- Communication: Serial for programming; 5V TTL (PWM) for light control
- Dimensions: 1.9 × 1.5 inches (50 × 38.4 mm)
- Operating temperature: 0 to +130 °F (-18 to +54 °C)
Note: To load a new program into the Light Commander, you will need the BASIC Stamp 1 Serial Adapter. If your PC does not have a DB9 serial port, you'll also need a USB-to-RS232 adapter such as one of those linked to on the Serial Adapter's web page. The option checkboxes at the bottom of this page allow you to add the Serial Adapter and an inexpensive USB-to-RS232 adapter to your order easily.
Light Commander Resources
Optional Recommended Products for this Item