Quick update to the home theater system. I installed the max with silverjaw lure (adds mpci-e and msata). To attach the lights, I also required a level shifter to take the 3.3V up to 5V required by the Apa102’s. Adafruit had just the component for the job: The 74AHCT125.
Here’s the panel with the max in there:
The results are pretty awesome. The APA102’s peform much better than the WS2801’s. No flicker. Fast, and most of all, more lights!
Next up is to add some buttons to turn the thing off when needed and add USB capabilities and a remote.