A lot of the lights you will see on this website, and at my home, are controlled by a PC. The software is called Vixen, a great public domain application designed by K.C. Much of the hardware, controllers were either designed by me, or by friends over at DIYC.


The software used to control my lights is called Vixen.



Want to know more about automated Christmas lighting? drop over the DIYC and check out the ideas, hear what others are up to, and new projects.

GPW 204556

Christmas only comes but one time per year! What to do the rest of the year? rebuild a June 1944 Ford GPW jeep. Have a look at the project via the Tabs above.



I am a member of the Victorian Military Vehicle Corps, and you can see my 'other' website.




For the last two years, I have been using a LED Floodlight to increase the volume of color I can produce and wash the walls in a myrid of color . While I have liked the Floods, what I wanted was a floodlight with an integrated DMX controller, so I did not have to wire each flood back to a DC Controller seperately.


I mulled around with some ideas and decided to take a RGB Pixel by JEC, and modifity it to suit my purpose. The original JEX Pixels were designed as a single board Pixel, with 9 LED in red, green and blue.


The code was freely available and very easy to work with. The DMX address is coded into the HEX file, and then flashed into the PIC.




The board is a simple design, there are two sections to the design; the DMX controller, and the DCSSR.


The DMX controller consists of the Comms IC and the microprocessor, PIC 16F688. The SSR section of the board is simply just a FET per channel.


Euro style screw connectors are specificed for the board, and they are grouped in pairs (+/-) to make connections easy. They are labeled P1, P2, and P3.


The power input for the Flood light section of the board is via P4.


The DMX3 DCSSR is designed to switch DC loads between 0 and 60 Volts. The MOSFETs are rated to 10 Amps each, however as fitted to the PCB, I would limit to individual channel load to 2 to 3 Amps max. A suitable heatsink may be required.


Power Options


The Logic side of the board is designed to operate from a regulated power supply provided by 78L05 regulator. Bypass capacitors (C2, C3) are fitted for the regulator. The DMX3 board can be powered using a number of options:


1. Via the CAT5 Cable and P4. This is the 'normal' operation for the board. 12 VDC is injected into the CAT 5 with the DMX signal, and is routed to the 78L05 regulator. Power for the SSR section is connected to P4.


2. Via P4. Both the Controller and SSR sections of the board can be powered via P4, negating the need to inject power via the CAT5. A jumper is required for this option. The jumper is located to the right of P4, and is labelled PWR on the overlay. The minimum voltage required for this option is 8 VDC. While I have not tested this option above 24 VDC, the maximum rated input for the regulator is 35 VDC. In practice, the power dissipation by the regulator would be of concern.


3. Via CAT 5 only. This is similar to Option 2. The jumper is required to be fitted to the board at PWR. The limitation for this option is the current capacity of the CAT 5. The rated current capacity of a single pair of CAT 5 is 0.577 amps. The board uses three pairs and therefore the maximum current capacity of the cable would be 1.7 amps. Remember, while the cable may be able to handle this current, it will be spread across all of the DMX3 DCSSRs connected in this manner.




The schematic for the board is available. Click on the image.




Parts List


I have built a Parts List BOM in Mouser. Click here to load it.


Parts List - DMX3 DC SSR Version 1.0

Label Part Description Quanity
Q1-3 512-FQPF13N06L MOSFET 60V N-Channel QFET Logic Level 3
U 1 579-PIC16F688-I/P PIC16F688-I/P 1
U 2 595-SN75176BP SN75176BP 1
U 3 821-TS78L05CT TS78L05CT 1
  737-ICS-314-T IC & Component Sockets 14P 1
  737-ICS-308-T IC & Component Sockets 8P 1
RJ45 571-5556416-1 Ethernet Connectors 8/8 TOP ENTRY 2
R9-13 299-1K-RC Carbon Film Resistors - 1 K 5% 4
R1-4 291-120-RC Carbon Film Resistors - 120 ohms 5% 1
P1-4 538-39890-0302 Terminal Block 5.00 mm 2P 14-24 AWG 4
C1 80-C322C104Z5U Capacitor - Leaded 50volts 0.1uF 20% 1
C2 647-UKT1V100MDD Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Leaded 35volts 10uF 20% 1
C3 647-UKT1H010MDD Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors - Leaded 50volts 1uF 20% 1
  538-22-03-2021 Headers & Wire Housings VERT PCB HDR 2P TIN PLATING 1
  571-2-382811-1 Headers & Wire Housings ECONOMY SHUNT 1


Some parts are optional, IC sockets can be deleted as can P1-4, depending on the power and load connections.


Printed Circuit Board


A circuit board for the DMX3 DCSSR is available for sale.