Maestro 24 to control LED’s

Hello. I recently purchased a Mini Maestro 24 to use in my R2D2 build for the purpose of randomly moving his holoprojector eyes on a loop sequence. I only have 6 servos attached and It was easy to get the servos setup this way. I was wondering if it is possible to use the Mini Maestro 24 to also control LED lights to turn on at random intervals and fade to various colors. R2 has two process status indicator lights and one of them fades from red to blue and back at random intervals and the other fades from green to yellow back to green. Is it possible to use my maestro to do this? I have seen pictures online of the maestro connected to a shiftbar to change the LED’s but I have never seen the actual way to connect the wires to the maestro and what the process would be in the maestro program. The lights I have are Macetech Shiftbrite V2.0 and have pins for GND, D1, L1, E1, C1, and V+. I’ve also seen lights that only have +RGB. It may not be possible with only the maestro. If an Arduino Uno is needed how would I connect the pins? If this is possible and anyone could be of help it is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

-Jeff (Bob Loblaw)

The RGB LED options for use with the Maestro are somewhat limited due to either the LED strip’s tight timing protocols or that the overhead would be high enough that it would result in low refresh rates. The ShiftBrite and ShiftBar modules use a simple synchronous serial protocol, which the Maestro can handle. We have some example code for controlling them in the “Example Scripts” section of the Maestro user’s guide, under the “Digital output” heading. As described in that section, that example expects the clock, latch, and data pins of a ShiftBrite or ShiftBar to be connected to servo channels 0, 1, and 2, respectively, and these channels should all be configured as outputs. You can change this to use any 3 channel on the Maestro.


I know this is an old thread, so I’m sorry for resurrecting it, but I’m in the same situation as @BobLoblaw and wanted to see if there might be an alternate route.

Instead of controlling the LED strip from the Maestro directly, could the Maestro, at the start of a sequence, send a signal to a small arduino to tell it to activate a particular LED strip?

Hello, elixir.

Yes, it is certainly possible to have the Maestro send a signal to a separate microcontroller like an Arduino to have it trigger an LED strip. There are a few ways you could go about doing this.

For example, if you just need a simple trigger, you could configure a Maestro channel as an output. Then you could have the Arduino monitor the state of that pin to know when your sequence has started.

Alternatively, you could do something more complicated like use the Arduino to monitor the pulse width of a Maestro servo channel. This would give you more options for what to do with the signal (e.g. set up multiple triggers or use it to specify a brightness).

Another option if you are using a Mini Maestro (but not a Micro Maestro) would be to send serial signals and essentially make your own protocol. Using the Mini Maestro, you can send serial bytes from a script using the SERIAL_SEND_BYTE command. Information about that can be found in the “Command Reference” section of the Maestro user’s guide.