Stepping LEDs using Raspberry

Please see attached link to video.
Im new to the world of Raspberry, so bear with me.
I replicate older style railway signalling diagrams like the one that is shown.
I have already replicated quite a number of them so far and each one is different.

They all have LEDs in them that need to be stepped in a similar mode to what is shown although all would have different programming.

It has been suggested to use a Raspberry Pico for this design. Each Pico would go with the diagram to the owner of each diagram. I would also rather use some kind of battery to run these as a cable to 240 volt wont look good coming out of a picture frame.

In addition, some diagrams need more than the 26 inputs that the Pico is designed for. Therefore, saying if there is 5 minutes worth of stepping programmed and there is 35 inputs, I am looking at inputs 27 to 35 to carry on in the second Pico where the programming in the first Pico ended. Then continue to repeat the whole process over again.

Thanks in advance

Hi Darryl, welcome to the forum!

Cool project! I think you’re onto a winner with that idea, but there are a few things I’d mention:

  • IO expanders could be used to add GPIO if you only want to write one bit of code, though the challenge of making code that gets flashed to all Picos, and reads pins to determine what sort of device it is could be fun.
  • A battery could be inconvenient, you could always put a really big one in, but it’ll self discharge. Also you’ll have to learn how to put your Pico to sleep in between actions for the best power outlook. Maybe something like a wireless charging setup from the roof space could be an exotic but permanent and non-destructive solution.

Let me know if this sparks any further questions :slight_smile:

You can expand the available outputs with this device:

You set up a string of values representing a group of lights, then send the data to the shift breakout. using one clock pin, one data pin and a latch pin. When a light changes you change the corresponding value in the data stream and send the data again. You can mix the module with direct control by individual Pico pins.

Your first module provides 8 outputs at the cost of three Pico pins to control it: additional modules add 8 outputs with no extra usage of Pico pins.

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