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farbwerk - put color in your life! New 4x RGB LED controller

Donnerstag, 13. November 2014, 16:50

Throughout the last years we regularly got requests for a LED controller and we have invested a lot of time in developing an innovative LED controller. The result of this development is the “farbwerk”.



Due to the high processing performance (comparable to the aquaero 5/6) it is possible to display natural and smooth color transitions on 4 RGB LED channels.

The farbwerk offers 13-bit color resolution of 8192 steps per primary color while the aquaero only offers 8-bit with 256 steps. Because of the high resolution even color transitions with low brightness settings are almost continuously. The direct comparison to the aquaero is impressive.

We added an USB port to the farbwerk so it can be controlled by the aquasuite software. You can connect any number of farbwerk controllers via USB and have them all managed in the aquasuite.

The USB interface also allows firmware updates so that new features can be added. The controller offers plenty of memory and performance for new ideas.

Four analog sensor ports allow a direct control by temperature (-40 °C to +100 °C), voltage (0 to 3.3V) or resistance (100 Ohm to 25kOhm).

The operation and function set new standards as well there are a number of different ways how each channel can be adjusted:

1.) Direct color selection
Intuitive interface controls of the aquasuite allow a precise selection of the color and adjustments for the intensity and brightness.



2.) Adjustable color transitions
The aquasuite can be used to set color transitions which are continuously displayed with an adjustable speed.



3.) Effects
A brightness curve can be defined to add a pulsating effect.



4.) Control by sensor inputs of the farbwerk
The sensor inputs of the farbwerk can be used to change the color of the assigned channel directly. For example a color transition between 20 °C and 35 °C can be set in the aquasuite and will be processed by the hardware of the farbwerk. In this case, an USB connection is only necessary for setup and can be disconnected once the configuration is saved in the farbwerk.



5.) Control by aquaero / aquabus
Naturally, the farbwerk is another big player in our aquabus network. Each single channel (there are three per RGB channel, 12 in total) can be controlled by the aquaero as a dedicated channel. In the course of further development the RGB controller of the aquaero has been improved significantly and allows to control the channels of the farbwerk. The channels can also be controlled by sensors of the aquaero.

The new aquaero firmware 2000 can connect to two farbwerk units which means up to eight RGB channels respectively 24 outputs can be controlled.

Alternatively it is also possible to have the aquaero pass sensor values to the farbwerk. These values will be processed by the farbwerk like its own sensors.

6.) Software sensors (e. g. CPU load, network etc.)
Like the aquaero, the farbwerk can be configured to use software sensors. The communication between the aquasuite and the tools HWiNFO, AIDA and Open Hardware Monitor allows to use many different system values to control the channels. For example, the CPU load can be used to automatically adjust the color within a specific range. Since these software sensors can be also accessed via Bluetooth, it would be possible to display them on a smartphone.



7.) Bluetooth
As an option, the farbwerk is also available with Bluetooth instead of an aquabus port. For this purpose we offer an Android demo app and will also support the further development of apps and software by providing the necessary protocols and information. Basically all sensor values of the farbwerk can be received by Bluetooth to be displayed in an app for example.

It is also imaginable to use this for events like new massages, e-mails or unanswered calls that can cause a specific action of the farbwerk.



The demo App currently offered can only adjust the colors of the channels but we will enhance this in the future.

Downloads
Android App und Source at Github bzw. direct download as apk file
SDK for low level development


What can I connect?
The farbwerk is designed to control LEDs with a voltage between 0 and 24 V. When installed to a PC system, the power supply will be 12 V so the LEDs or strips must be designed to use this voltage. Outside the PC and with an appropriate power supply unit, it is also possible to use 24 V LEDs. The farbwerk provides up to 2.5A per single channel/color while the total load can be as much as 8 A (100 W at 12 V).

What else can I connect?
Instead of LEDs it is also possible to connect other 12 V devices such as fans. Generally the farbwerk channels can also be used as switching outputs with 2.5 A per channel to serve other purposes.

So anyone who plans to control its garage door with a farbwerk by Bluetooth, has only to tinker a bit. The outputs are open collector outputs; protective circuits (e. g. protective diodes for inductive loads) must be connected externally.

To support further development of software and apps we will publish a SDK for the USB, aquabus and Bluetooth communication. The already existing Android demo app will be provided with its source code.

The printed circuit board of the farbwerk is mechanically compatible to the poweradjust which means the bezel for the poweradjust can be also used for the farbwerk.

The farbwerk is produced in Germany and complies with highest quality standards. Each device comes with an USB cable and mounting accessories. Further accessories like LED strips, retaining frames, aquabus cables and y-adapters etc. will be available in our shop.

The farbwerk units are in stock. The variant without Bluetooth costs 29.90 Euro while the variant with Bluetooth will be available for 39.90 Euro.

As of now we also offer compatible Aqua Computer LED strips that match the farbwerk perfectly.





We sell first-class highly luminous 5050 LED strips with 60 LEDs/m that are matched to the farbwerk to offer a perfect experience. The strips have a performance of 14.4W/m and a width of 10mm. The strips are also available in a IP67 variant (protected against temporarily submersion). The normal strips are self-adhesive.

The following video demonstrates some of the available features:

917K

Junior Member

Freitag, 14. November 2014, 21:12

not bad,
I'm using somthing similar in my PC but with RGB+W led strips, does this controller can also be used with RGBW or RGB+W strips?

Thank you in advance.

Freitag, 14. November 2014, 22:40

I can't find it on the Aquatuning site.

Is it available now?

What part number should I be looking for?

RodeoGeorge

Freitag, 14. November 2014, 22:47

not bad,
I'm using somthing similar in my PC but with RGB+W led strips, does this controller can also be used with RGBW or RGB+W strips?

No, that will not work. The farbwerk controls three colors per channel but you would have to control four.

I can't find it on the Aquatuning site.

Is it available now?

It is a brand new product and no reseller have listed it yet. At the moment it can be only ordered directly in our webshop.

917K

Junior Member

Freitag, 14. November 2014, 23:02

Thank you for the answer.

mmm, it sound strange since with RGB+W led strips you can get the white colour connecting at the same time the R, G, B anode to the negative pole.
Infact this is the way that i get white working on the RGB+w strip that I'm using now in my system (I'm controlling it with the aquaero and an amp).
Maybe in future I should give a try to this controller :thumbup:

Thank you very much again.

Samstag, 15. November 2014, 07:59

it sound strange since with RGB+W led strips you can get the white colour connecting
R+G+B = White
Normaly you dont need a dedicated white color. A extra white color is only needed when the brightness from the RGB colors is to low.

Kosti

Junior Member

Sonntag, 16. November 2014, 08:00

Sounds great and since I got no reply from Jeaks this may have to do for what I am trying to achieve

With this product can I connected either common Anode or common Cathode 5mm-4-pin-RGB-Diffused LED?

I would like to use 2 X 4-pin LEDS into the Aqualis Res and the other 2 x 4-pin LEDS to the 2nd Aqualis Res and then somehow figure out how to control the colour based on temperature of the water so it shows this in the reservoirs

Say
Green = cool
warm = orange
Red = hot
or something like that

Also how much is this going to cost us Australians to get this ;(

I would like to buy one and shipped to Syd, can you send me the link :thumbsup:

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Kosti« (16. November 2014, 08:01)

917K

Junior Member

Sonntag, 16. November 2014, 15:07

it sound strange since with RGB+W led strips you can get the white colour connecting
R+G+B = White
Normaly you dont need a dedicated white color. A extra white color is only needed when the brightness from the RGB colors is to low.

Thank you very much for the answer :thumbup:

This is exactly what I meant.
I know that normally white it can be obtained mixing R+G+B but even if they are not so economical I prefer RGB+W led strips 'cause the white of the RGB only LEDs tends to violet.
This effect is quite noticeable when you try to light up a white object, like a sheet of paper with RGB only LEDs.

Thanks again.

Montag, 17. November 2014, 09:38

With this product can I connected either common Anode or common Cathode 5mm-4-pin-RGB-Diffused LED?

Also how much is this going to cost us Australians to get this ;(

I would like to buy one and shipped to Syd, can you send me the link :thumbsup:

Common anode.

Shipping to Australia is 34.90 Euro flat.

The products can be ordered here.

Montag, 17. November 2014, 10:49

Nice gadget! :thumbsup:

I'm using the RGB led directly from Aquaero 6 to show the delta air-water using colours. But only one led is not enough. Can the farbwerk be used with such imputs like the virtual sensors from Aquaero?.

And also, can the Aquaero read the temperature sensors connected to the farbwerk?. I'm already using the eight ones from the Aquaero, and I still need a couple more.

I know that I'm dreaming aloud... but it will be great to add some led strips to my system and configure them to be off except when the system reach some conditions, like gaming (that can be controlled automatically with two conditions in the system: delta air-water reaching some level and temperature read from a physical sensor attached to the GPU) to use some kind of combination of colour and pulsing to simulate "breathing", and also to light brilliant red pulse when some alarm conditions are reached in the Aquaero...

Those are only the first two "magical" options that came to my mind... if you give support to all the possibilities of such RGB controller and the aquabus connection, with the small modding of adding the controller and some led stripes my system will be reborn.
By the way, in the shop the farbwerk appears as "Article is in production. Estimated lead time 21 days". No way to get it earlier than that?.

Thanks!.

Goudman

Junior Member

farbwerk Questions

Montag, 17. November 2014, 10:52

There is RGB LED Strips and RGB LED Strips, IP67. Can someone tell me the difference between the two?
Also, the Farbwerk USB version and the Farbwerk USB Bluetooth versions: Does the Bluetooth version serve all the functions of the USB version but with the added Bluetooth option? Or is there some feature unavailable on the Bluetooth version that do come with the USB only versions?
Thanks You

Montag, 17. November 2014, 11:04

@josetortola: when connected to an aquaero via aquabus you can also use the virtual temperature sensors for the control. The sensors of the farbwerk are not forwarded to the aquaero. If you want to control a specific temperature you should connect this sensor to the aquaero. There is no way that this will ship earlier.

@Goudman: as written in text the IP67 is protected against temporarily submersion. It is not made to stay in water all the time.

The USB functions are all the same on both variants. The only difference is that the Bluetooth enabled variant can not be used with the aquabus. Its interface is required for the Bluetooth module.

Montag, 17. November 2014, 11:11

Is there going to be a Heatsink like the ones for Poweradjust ?
So basically, one of these can controll more Fans than a poweradjust,
2.5 Amps per Chanel with max total 8 Amps at 12 , whereas the PowerAdjust can have only 2.5 and 3 with heatsink.

I could use one of these to control two led strips via 2 chanells and still have afterwards 5 Amps worth of FAN power, provided the strips dont use more than 3 Amps, and if their short , they will surelly wont.

Did i got this correctly ?

Montag, 17. November 2014, 11:16

@josetortola: when connected to an aquaero via aquabus you can also use the virtual temperature sensors for the control. The sensors of the farbwerk are not forwarded to the aquaero. If you want to control a specific temperature you should connect this sensor to the aquaero. There is no way that this will ship earlier.
Thank you very much for the information.

Well it's a long delay, but I will wait. Already ordered it
:D


Is there any maunal for the farbwerk or any plans to make it?. Will be very usefull to see and understand the possibilities and also the capacities, like those of my previous questions and also if it can use imputs from two different sensors to only one control, if it can have different profiles and how to change them... you know, I would like to know all about it
:rolleyes:




And it's a pity that Aquaero can't read and use the temperature sensors from the farbwerk connections...

Montag, 17. November 2014, 11:52

How is one suppose to connect fans to it ? It doesnt have any fan related connector
I would probably need a connector that passes in the farbwerk LED outs (the ones that are 4), and make then the cables myself !

What connector is that ?

Montag, 17. November 2014, 12:25

@Bytales: the controller is made for LEDs and not really for fans. Well, you can connect fans but keep in mind that this controller works with a simple PWM output (180 Hz) which is the reason for the huge amount of power. Several fans do not like power based on PWM and will annoy you with a humming noise. The aquaero and poweradjust work with a clean voltage regulation which is much more advanced but can not provide this amount of power.

To be able to connect fans you will have to build an adapter. We will not offer any since as said this thing is made for LEDs and not for fans. The socket uses the common 2.54 mm pitch. I guess getting a regular connection cable for the strips an to modify it will be the easiest way ;)

@josetortola: there is no manual available yet.

Montag, 17. November 2014, 16:49

Let me get this straigth, while the controller can power fans, it is not so good at controlling them,
1)It is nevertheless possible to controll PWM fan with this PWM 180Hz signal it outputs ?
2)The 4 outputs have 4 pins each:
What are these pins for, and which of these pins could be used to power fans. Im talking here about a 3 pin fan or 4 pin PWM fan.

3)I was never intending on powering via the Farbwerk PWM fans, only normal 3 pin fans. Could these 3 pin non PWM fan be controllable via voltage reduction like one could do via power adjust/Aquaero ?

I can see you can output a lot of power for this controller by using a single molex connector, any reason why you havent made a Power adjust with 4 chanells, 2.5A each chanell and 10 Amps total power draw ? Is it because of the fact that when the voltage is dropped the controller heats up, so for so large Amper numbers it would have been an issue ?

4) Are you going to offer a Plug Based RGB Led, something that can be plugged in a reservoir to light the water ? Or do you have something similar allready that can be controlled with this controller ?

Montag, 17. November 2014, 17:02

You got me completely wrong with that PWM thing which is also the reason why you do not understand the difference which would also answer some of your questions ;)

PWM is the common abbreviation for pulse width modulation and in this case it means the power is controlled by a very fast on-off-on-off... sequence with 180 Hz and not by its voltage. It has nothing to do with the 4-pin PWM fans where a 4th wire with a PWM signal acts as the controlling signal for the speed. In this case the fan is powered with 12V all the time and an electronic inside the fans slows it down according to the PWM signal.

As said both have nothing in common.

If we take the 4-pin socket of the farbwerk pin 1 provides the power (12V) while pins 2 - 4 would be the ground.

We have no plans for a special LED here but it should be no real problem to get a 5mm RGB LED that would be compatible.

RE: farbwerk - put color in your life! New 4x RGB LED controller

Montag, 17. November 2014, 21:24

By the way...
The new aquaero firmware 2000 can connect to two farbwerk units which means up to eight RGB channels respectively 24 outputs can be controlled.

Is this firmware already released?.

Montag, 17. November 2014, 21:43

No, will be released with aquasuite 2015 when the shipping of farbwerk starts. Should be about the end of this month.