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You are here: Home > Projects > Solas > About

 
Solas
About

 
 
 
About the Solas Board
Solas is a clockport device that adds addressable RGB LED strip support and a number of other features to a clockport-equipped Amiga. It started out as a simple adaptor to add LED strips to the inside of an A1200 case using power from the floppy power header, but has suffered perhaps the largest case of feature creep, now using the clockport to allow software control of the LED strips and a host of other features. It's still in development, but coming along nicely.

Oh, and it's even got a logo :)

Solas Logo

 
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The Board
The Solas board is designed to fit directly on the clockport on an A1200, and will fit around the ROM sockets and over the chip RAM / RTC area. It should fit with an Indivision, but it won't fit with a FastATA or a Mediator. But that should be okay, because the board can be fitted with a male clockport header instead and mounted elsewhere, connecting to the motherboard via a cable. This means it can be used in Mediator tower setups, and other Amiga models with clockports.

solasboard-1.jpg
Solas PCB Render

 
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Current Feature List
Solas has grown from a simple floppy power adaptor into a fully-fledged, addressable RGB LED controller. Currently the feature list looks like this:
  • Clockport Device
    • Fits directly on A1200 motherboard clockport header
    • Option to attach by a cable instead for Mediator users or other cases where accessibility or mechanical compatibility dictates
    • Supports use on clockport splitters, Zorro card clockports etc.
  • Addressable RGB LED strip support
    • Support for one or two strips of 5V addressable LED strips (sometimes known as 5VDG or D-RGB strips), commonly found in gamer PC cases and under names like ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light Sync...
    • Up to 100 RGB LEDs are supported on each strip, though limitations on power supply, update frequency etc. will apply
    • Software control of individual LED colours, presettable light patterns can be configured via software and
  • Configurable LED Responses
    • Independent LED profiles can be set to respond to different events
    • Responds to Amiga's audio output (e.g. VU meter or pulsing effects)
    • Responds to hard drive, floppy and PCMCIA activity LEDs
  • Fan Speed Controller
    • Variable voltage fan speed controller to allow speed control of most standard fans
    • Speed can be controlled via software or by the Solas board based on a temperature sensor
    • Automatic fan speed control implemented as a PID controller for smooth operation with minimum noise
    • Supports both 5V and 12V fans, one of each can be used simultaneously
  • Temperature Sensors
    • Up to three temperature sensors can be added - two LM-35 type digital sensors and one thermistor type sensor
    • Software readable via the clockport
    • Software calibration adjustments to allow for different sensors
    • Option to control the fan speed based on the input from any of the sensors
  • Clockport Splitter
    • Based on my original clockport splitter, but with added buffers
    • Provides three clockports for other devices (the Solas itself occupies the fourth device slot)
    • Can also be connected to an existing clockport splitter or non-A1200 clockport, but the splitter function is not supported in this case
  • Auxiliary 5V Header
    • Useful for powering additional peripherals such as Bifrost Heimdall without needing additional floppy cable power splitters
  • Additional Expansion Options
    • I2C port for additional expansion modules (firmware dependent)
    • Additional GPIO pins for further expansion in the future, e.g. JTAG master for updating firmware on other devices
    • Support for Bifrost Heimdall additional indicator inputs
It's still under development, so some features could change, but as it stands, that's the plan.
 
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The Software
The Solas board will work on its own without the Amiga getting directly involved - the LED control, fan control and HDD/FDD/CC0 signal monitoring are done automatically, and the settings are stored on the board itself. But most of the features are completely configurable, and to this end, we have complementary software to control the board. This lets you set up the board parameters, adjust the built-in LED patterns, set the fan parameters, read the temperature sensors, send custom LED patterns and more.

The screenshot below shows how the primary and secondary colours of the LED strip can be set, the speed the effect will run at, and the size of the effect. The two colours generally correspond to foreground and background colours, with the settings shown giving a green strip of 5 LEDs that travels back and forth along the strip, with the rest of the LEDs off.

rgbctrl-3.png
LED Settings

And this screenshot shows the fan speed controller. Here you can decide whether the fan should be manually controlled, or controlled based on a sensor reading and the given temperature setpoint. When based on a sensor, the fan speed slider is updated to reflect the current speed. A minimum speed can be set, below which the fan is either kept at that speed, or turned off completely. Fans don't work well below a certain speed, but each fan is different so this setting can be adjusted to suit.

rgbctrl-4.png
Fan Settings

The fan speed controller is implemented as a full-blown PID controller, which hopefully means optimum fan usage with a minimum of hunting or racing for a nice, quiet fan solution.

In addition to this all-in-one program, a commodity-style daemon is also planned, which will be controllable via ARexx, allowing practically any Amiga application to configure the board as needed, read the temperature sensors and fan speed, and so on. This will allow for things like LEDs responding to new emails arriving in YAM for example, or for a small application to display the sensor and fan information. API information will be available too for anyone wanting to write their own software for Solas or add support for it to their own programs.
 

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