CANifier 5V LED Support

My team is trying to find an LED controller to use on this year’s bot. We were wondering if the CANifier has support for 5V addressable LEDs. If anyone knows whether it has support, we would appreciate it. Thanks!

It should if it has a 5v digital output, although I’ve heard the CANifier is somewhat slow and you could probably get the same result with either an Arduino or the REV Blinkin (assuming they’re Neopixels or WS2812B LEDs specifically)

From what I’ve read in the canifier programming guide, I don’t believe it currently supports driving addressable LED’s. My team is playing with one this build season and it did make easy work of driving RGB strips though. Section 4.1 on pg 19 of the user guide states that future firmware versions will support addressable LED strips.

Adafruit DotStar LED strips can be driven directly from robot code using the roborRIO’s SPI port and a solid 5v power supply. We like the simplicity of them and how easy it is to connect robot commands to LED states.

If you want a cheap, highly customizable, and highly versatile LED controller that can be communicated with and used for dynamic light response, the answer is an Arduino. We used one last year, and if you get a case for it (or 3d print one :wink: ), you can keep those cables very tight. It allows for patterns, massive amounts of options, and the ability to change the lights based on feedback. It’s also very cheap with many options.

In 2017, 548 used an Arduino connected to the USB host ports of the RoboRIO to drive both addressable and 12v common anode strips through a simple shield with a few mosfets (message me for more info). This year, we hope to use the CANifier to handle the robot to Arduino communication along with the 12v strips directly to save on space and cable bulk, hopefully communicating to the Arduino over i2c or SPI if the software update comes out this season.

From the CTRE Users Manual …

Future versions of firmware will include…

  • General I2C/SPI support over CAN bus.
  • NeoPixel compliant protocol for addressable LED strips.
  • PWM output on PWM 3 (CS)
  • Custom control of PWM output period.
    … and future CAN bus features that communicate directly with Talon SRXs/Pigeon-IMUs/etc.

So not yet but coming at some point!

As some have mentioned the REV Blinkin

not only supports 5v strips and 12v strips natively, it also create the 5v with a power converter inside of the unit. We designed this so it is as easy as possible to add leds that you can easily control to your robot.