LED map project

Hello All,
I have an LED strip map project.
There is a large physical map of London, and there are 105 locations that I am intending to mark using 12v LED strip addressable lights being driven by an esp32, or dmx512 usb dongle? The LED’s would be driven from a vehicle management software called Tranman. The program outputs a visual list that displays on a screen, but i want to drive the LEDs from this output? Each LED would be capable of being on generally for 2 to 4 hours. There would normally be up to maybe 10 LEDs coming on and off at various times.
Any suggestions would be appreciated

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I presume that the part that you want suggestions for is accessing the data in the visual display, because if you can’t do that the rest of the process becomes irrelevant.

The starting point would be to find out if the application supports a data streaming export function that can send the information that is being displayed direct to an external communications link, such as a serial port or through the network. The manufacturer would be able to advise about this.

If the data export facility is not included then it is possible that the manufacturer may have available an API that allows the user to write an add-on application that can capture the data and stream it to the external device. Again, the manufacturer would be able to provide details of this.

If that’s not available then there is a process called data scraping that can be used to extract data from a display. It is not simple, however, and commercial products can be expensive. Data scraping software would typically already include options to transmit the data to the external device.


Ok thanks, i will see if i can get more info about Tranman

Hello Jeff, I have been speaking to our IT, and they said that they can define a custom screen that just contains the map data. If they use this method, do you know whether a Raspberry Pi Pico, Arduino, ESP32 development board or DMX512 USB dongle would be best suited to drive a WS2815 12v addressable LED strip?

Having a custom screen does not resolve the problem of how you get the data off the screen and into an external device.

Any of those MCUs can drive the LED strip. Which one is best is going to depend on what other features you need, such as wireless/network/USB connectivity, disk drive/memory card support, memory size, speed etc. I can’t see that the dongle would work without an additional device to drive the LED strip.

You also need to work out how long your LED strip is going to be, because a very long LED strip using just a few of the available LEDs might not be simpler and cheaper than a hard-wired string of 105 addressable LED modules.

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Hi Russell,

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

As @Jeff105671 has identified the first major hurdle will be getting the data into your chosen microcontroller, from there we’ll have plenty of options.

If this is your first project using addressable LEDs I’d recommend checking our Adafruits Neopixel Uberguide (Neopixel is a trade name for WS2812 LEDs) which are the same as WS2815 LEDs apart from them being powered at 5V instead of 12V. There’s a lot of tips in there that can save some headaches later when scoping a project like this,