Parade Lighting Control Project





Each year at the Mardi Gras party the Tech Krewe likes to build something new and unusual.  For 2015 we wanted to implement a central control panel for the lights mounted on parade floats.


Some floats would have strings of colored LEDs, switched on and off by relays and controlled by the TinySine TOSR4 WiFi-to-Relay controller.  People marching in the parade would have suits trimmed with EL wire, also switched by the TOSR relay controllers mounted in a pocket-sized enclosure.  The “Queen’s Float” was trimmed with RGB LED strips with an infrared controller, and we used the GlobalCache WF2IR controller to relay those IR messages.

Setting Up and Programming the Components

We began by experimenting with the TOSR4 relay modules, and found them pretty easy to set up on the local network thanks to the pretty good documentation provided by TinySine.  We were able to open and close relays right away, first by sending raw commands via Telnet, and next by using the sample Android app provided with the TOSR4.  This worked well for simple control of one device, but we wanted a single control screen for all the lighted devices, and we wanted to implement some synchronized color flashing, so we needed something more flexible than the test app.  I was just about to start building a new Android app when Shane suggested an alternative.

Compass Control Programming


Field Testing and Installation


At the Parade


What We Learned


Future Directions