ShiftBrite / Maestro serial output

Our lab group just got the ShiftBrite LED module, which looks really flexible. We are currently using the Maestro Controller to actuate an arm.

I am wondering if it is possible to output serial data from the computer through the Maestro to the ShiftBrite, which essentially is an extension of a prospective command, that a Maestro Channel Output can output a given serial stream. Currently the only way for the Maestro to communicate with the ShiftBrite is to use a loaded script [like in the examples section]. It would be awesome for a computer interface to manipulate the ShiftBrite through the Maestro.

Any thoughts?


If you have enough channels available, the method described in this other forum post should work for you.

- Ryan

OK, that is a solution. Raises eyebrow
So the order is:
Computer->Write color position to Maestro Servo
Maestro Script reads color position, converts to 0-1024 intensity
Loads data onto the ShiftBrite


So for a shiftbrite, we need 4 Channels [Originally] + 3 Channels [Color Position] + 1 Channel[Enable Digital]
That makes 7-8 channels.
There’s gotta be a better way.

I wonder if it is possible to make a Maestro-Like controller for serial communication.


The example code Ryan linked to only uses six channels. Why did you say “4 Channels [Originally]” and why do you want to use the enable line?

Still, if the channel usage concerns you, you could follow the other suggestion at that link and send a “Restart Script at Subroutine with Parameter” serial command to send 16 bits of data at a time, calling a separate subroutine to toggle the latch pin.

What exactly do you mean by “a Maestro-Like controller for serial communication”? If you can re-program the Maestro to be exactly that thing, it should be obvious to you that we could potentially sell it pre-programmed that way. So I am not sure what there is left to wonder about. By the way, there are lots of different USB-to-serial, USB-to-parallel, USB I/O boards, and USB-to-SPI adapters out there that could also be used to control ShiftBrites.


Thanks for your help. Our project group has decided to use another controller for serial output. We are still using the Maestro for everything [Motors, Potentiometers] else though. It would’ve been really amazing if we had the one little board handle so much.

Okay, I am glad that you have a solution. But I am not sure if I was clear enough in my previous post - you can certainly have your ShiftBrite on the Micro Maestro, control it serially, and still have 3 channels totally free, which is as much, I think, as you can hope for on a 6-channel board.