Arduino Mega2560 powers this color coding machine



The Color Machine (aka La Macchina Dei Colori) – powered by an Atmel-based Arduino Mega2560 – is used to teach children about RGB color coding.

“RGB color coding is used in all digital devices, [including] TVs, smartphones [and] computers. [With] 3 knobs, you can increase the percentages of red, green and blue separately – [as] the LED strip at the top of the machine lights up consistently with the color mix chosen,” Color Machine creators Fabio Ghidini and Stefano Guerrini explained on the project’s official page. “In this way approximately 16 million of colors [are] generated.”

Currently, the Color Machine supports four distinct operating modes: “let’s create colors,” “guess the color,” “the names of the colors” and “demo.”

Aside from the Atmel-based Arduino Mega 2560, key project specs include:

  • Hammond 1550NBK black aluminium box 250mm x 250mm x 101mm
  • Custom-designed front panel, aluminium 2,5mm
  • Rubber feet 19mm x 8mm
  • Rocket switch
  • Panel mount 2.1mm DC barrel jack
  • USB cable 30cm (to program the Arduino)
  • Wall adapter power supply 12V 1A
  • Three incremental encoder 24 detents 24 pulses Bourns
  • Three clear plastic knobs
  • Three rotary Encoder LED Ring Breakout Board
  • RGB backlight positive LCD display 20×4
  • Three panel mount momentary push button switch
  • Three button Quick-Connect Wire
  • 16 5mm RGB clear LEDs 10000 mcd
  • 6 Shift Registers 8-Bit – 74HC595
  • Custom-designed PCB for Arduino Mega
  • Custom-designed PCB for the LED strip
  • Custom-designed PCB for the RGB backlight positive LCD display
  • Three Custom-designed PCB for the rotary encoder LED ring breakout board
  • Trimmer 300mW 100KOhm
  • Steel hex skt csk head screw M3x20mm
  • Steel nut M3
  • M/screw Sltd C/s M2.5×12
  • Steel nut M2.5
  • Break-away pin strip, male header 2,54 mm
  • Electrolytic capacitors
  • Resistors (various values)
  • 4 / 3 / 2 pin jumper cables

The primary software routine was developed in-house, while LED strip control is managed by the ShiftPWM library (Elco Jacobs). Last, but certainly not least, reading of the rotary encoder is facilitated by Oleg’s “Reading Rotary Encoder on Arduino.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here. It should also be noted that the Color Machine was recently featured on Arduino’s official blog and is currently an interactive display at the Museum of Industry and Labour of Rodengo Saiano in Italy.

1 thought on “Arduino Mega2560 powers this color coding machine



  1. Pingback: RAMPS Part 2: Assembly RAMPS 1.4, Arduino Mega 2560, Step Sticks. | RepRap-India.com

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