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I have an arduino project that is almost finished.

Now it controls a series of ShiftBrites(ShiftBrties being 10bit RGB LED's) now they use a simple 4 wire configuration(Data, Logic, Clock, Enable) and +5v and GND. its all done over a wireless setup. ShiftBrites are connected to a Arduino and an xBee module. (My basic setup http://ashleyhughesarduino.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/shiftbrites-and-the-arduino/)

The Problem is that the arduino can only output so much juice(Current) before everything starts smoking, my question is how would I connect it up so that the +5v comes straight off the power pack from the wall?

Connect to the Vin point on the arduino? or Connect the +5v before the arduino? ???

Thanks Hughesy

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ShiftBrites actually prefer to run on 5.5V to 9V. Most reliable results seem to be with 6 to 7 volts. Regulation is not too crucial, but switching power supplies work well and are smaller and lighter than transformer based supplies. Each ShiftBrite can draw up to 60mA, so multiply that by the number of ShiftBrites you have to determine the current rating of the power supply.

You definitely need to connect the grounds of all your supplies together. Just make sure the ShiftBrite V+ positive supply is not connected to the Arduino 5V supply if you are using different voltages! Actually, if you choose something like 7V you can power the ShiftBrite chain, and connect the same power to the Arduino VIN. The Arduino will regulate the power for itself.

This simple wiring is all done for you on the ShiftBrite Shield, you attach external power to the screw terminal and plug the ShiftBrite chain into the six pin connector: http://macetech.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=7

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, thanks for that I always run them at 5 volt which gives me problems sometimes, I will run pack at 7v and tie into the Vin and the normal GND. \$\endgroup\$ – Ashley Hughes Aug 29 '10 at 0:45
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The easiest way could be to use two power packs. Plug one into the Arduino and the other into your high current load. You just need to tie the output grounds together. Since it sounds like the ShiftBrite runs off of 5V you either need a regulated output power pack or a voltage regulator.

Alternatively you could make a power cable with one input connector and two output connectors. I believe you will need a voltage regulator on the ShiftBrite side.

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