Designing and soldering an Amblone board can by quite cumbersome for beginners.
Many people wonder what parts to get, have never soldered before or are just plain lazy...
Luckily for them, Justin Dignan now provides us with an alternative solution.
Justin has many years of professional experience with electronics and decided to design an Arduino shield for Amblone specifically. You can order one of these shields directly from him, or you can decide to create a similar shield yourself.
On this page, Justin will explain everything you need to know to build your own or contact him.
I, like you, found Amblone online. I wanted to make my TV cooler and to have something that no one else had. I can tell you that it is very much worth the effort. When I turn Amblone off now, it is like going from 5.1 surround sound to an old 70's stereo, only for your eyes. It definitely adds to your viewing experience and enjoyment.
While I was building mine, I discovered that I had the ability to make a shield for the Arduino that would seamlessly integrate it with the LED lighting setup of Amblone. So I set to work and designed my own board and etched it in my garage. I went through several versions before I had a workable unit I was happy with. Then I installed it on my TV and have been enjoying it ever since.
After a while I started thinking about all the other people out there that would like to have Amblone, but may not be able to do the things that I can, for whatever reason, lack of skill, equipment, etc. So I decided that I would make boards available for those people, so they too, could enjoy Amblone.
Ethernet cables are used to connect the Amblone shield to the LED strips. You have 2 options when it comes to Ethernet cables: You can buy ready made cables or you can make your own.
If you buy ready made Ethernet cables, 2x 2 meter (~6 feet) cables should be plenty. You then need to cut the cables in half. This will give you 4x 1 (~3 feet) meter pieces. This should be more than long enough to reach from your Arduino controller to the ends of the LED light strips for most TV's. If you have a really big TV, 60" or more, you will need to measure from where you mount the Arduino to the corners of your TV. If it is more than 1 meter (~3 feet), you will need to buy longer cables.
Once you have the correct length cables, you will need to check and see which standard they use. There are 2 standards: "A" and "B" (see pictures below). It might say on the package which one you have. If not, you can look at the colours of the wires at the ends and match them up to the diagrams below to determine which one you have. You will need to know which style you have when you wire the cables to the LED strips later.
Making your own cables requires several special tools that can be quite expensive. The crimpers alone can easily be €50,-. I am assuming therefore, if you are going to make your own, that this is not your first time making Ethernet cables. If it is your first time and you want to do it anyway, there are plenty of how-to's out there for you to read and learn from. That said, the only thing you need to pay attention to is which standard you wire the ends to, "A" or "B" (see pictures below). When you wire the cables to the LED strips later, you will need to know which style you have.
The Ethernet cables are set up so that pairs of wires connect to each color on the LED strips. i.e. 2 individual strands go to red, 2 go to green, etc.
You can solder the wires directly onto the LED strips, or you can solder connectors on both the Ethernet cables and the strips. This way you can simply unplug them if you need to.
Now that you have either purchased or made your board and have your Ethernet cables, it is time to install the shield on the Arduino and plug in the Ethernet and power cables.
- Justin Dignan
Philips and Ambilight are trademarks owned by Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
We are in no way associated with Philips, and we do not suggest we are distributing an Ambilight system. The names 'Philips' and 'Ambilight' are merely mentioned as a comparison with Amblone. We are not associated with any vendors mentioned on this website. We are not responsible for any of their products or services, nor the damage caused by them. We are not responsible for any damage caused by following any directions on this website.