16 Universe Controller

16 Universe

16 Universe – Revision A


16 Universe – Revision B


16_24 Universe – Revision D


This is a small custom controller that supports 16 universes of input data, with one universe of data each output. The board requires a daughter card to drive either pixels, Renard, DMX or matrix panels.

This board now has two revisions. Revision A supports the Ethernet card mounted to the circuit card with a right angle connector. Revision B moves the Ethernet connector to the side and it can be mounted either with a right angle connector, or solder hard with a straight connector. I prefer hard soldering the board with a straight connector, but it requires the removal of the Ethernet connector. Revision B also adds a Raspberry PI connector for directly driving the controller of the SPI port. And finally revision B adds a 5V regulator, for the controller board and Raspberry PI.

Supports 16 outputs of one universe each, 512 channels or 170 pixels (RGB)
Revision D adds 8 outputs of two universes, and 8 outputs of one universe
Revision D also adds the ability to daisy chain controllers
Support 8 matrix LED panels 16×32 (8 to 1 scan) 16M colors, 85 Hertz refresh
High performance controller, no dropped packets, scan rates up to 5mS
Supports both 5V and 12V strings
Supports gamma correction

Renard serial at 56.7K, 115.2K, 230.4K, 460.8K
DMX (Supports WS2822)
WS2801 and compatible
WS2811 and compatible
TM1804 (untested)
TM1803/TM1809 (untested)
TM1829 (untested)
Servo output support on outputs 9-16 (2 each output for total of 16)

NOTE: I have had two FPGA boards where the voltage regulator on the same side of the board as the FPGA had a poor solder joint on the large pad. It will result in not enough power for the Ethernet card, so there is no blinking LED’s on the FPGA board.

The firmware was developed in Quartus II, Web Version 9.1. However other versions should be able to read the source code. The top level design has a block that easily allows each of the outputs to be individually configured. The board files are in Eagle Version 5.3.

Recommended links for FPGA / Ethernet cards (two)

Ethernet Board
FPGA Board

Bill of Materials: 16 Universe BOM_Assy_RevD
Manual Pixels: 16_Universe_Manual_revE
Manual LED Matrix: 16 Universes Matrix RevB
Manual Raspberry PI SPI output (FPD): 16 Universe Manual PI SPI_rev-

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