0

Neopixel Plug and Play
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:41 pm

Hello,

Working on a totem LED sign and The Mini Skinny Neopixel is small enough (w/ casing removed) for what I'm looking for. Although, I'm looking for quick and easy set up at the moment. Like using your touch wheel controllers even if it means limited function. I do have some tinkering experience and am sure I could work with arduino and a microcontroller but I am pressed for time and would prefer not to. Any ideas or suggestions to get the Neopixel running would be super helpful.

Thanks!
Alex H.

EDIT: Appears the Adafruit Trinket might be as good as it gets then? Or I if I can find a premade controller with correct requirements?

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by Naip on Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:28 pm

I have the same issue. I need a controller with preset programs that can fit inside a 1.5" Inside Diameter tube.
Naip
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by Naip on Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:28 pm

I have the same issue. I need a controller with preset programs that can fit inside a 1.5" Inside Diameter tube.
Naip
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by Disciple on Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:48 am

Hi. I hobby a bit with NeoPixels, and have been taught that they won't work without a controller and a program. A Trinket or Gemma can manage the colors of about 100, an Arduino about 500, an M0 Trinket a couple thousand. A goodly number of projects in the learning system show useful circuits and sketches that might adapt to your needs, like the Animated NeoPixel Glow Fur Scarf. See what you think. Best of success.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

Disciple
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:54 am

Thanks! That one will be useful. I have slowly realized that Im just going to have go for it haha. I'll share my build soon.

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 am

I have pretty come to the conclusion I believe but i would appreciate any insight on my wiring. I Imagine first pic (on left) is ideal since the feather will regulate the 5v down to 3.7v. I'm going to run a usb from my battery pack in a back pack up to the feather (8 to9ft, it's not ideal but I hope the extra amps will make up for it) where it will split into bare cables for the neopixel and also into a micro usb to power the feather.
EDIT: I meant 4.5 amps not volts
Diagrams.png
Diagrams.png (167.48 KiB) Viewed 155 times

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by Disciple on Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:29 pm

Hello again. I'm no qualified technician, but I'll role-play for a moment.
How many pixels will be part of this circuit? Enough to draw 4.5A? There's a safety limit for current running through these little circuit boards, and I'm sure 4.5A exceeds it. The official technicians will have recommendations for managing that much demand.

I should point out a second detail. Both circuit layouts provide 5V power to your NeoPixels, but data at only 3.3V levels. I'm told this difference in voltage makes pixel performance unreliable. One solution is to shift the data level up to 5V with a 74AHCT125 or something similar. Another answer is to power both Feather and pixels from a 3.7V rechargable. The Feather can even do the recharging (but a large capacity battery may take some time).
That's what I have at the moment. Hope it's useful.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

Disciple
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:58 pm

From my limited understanding of electronics, the NeoPixels (60pixels) will only pull the amps they need so 4.5amps gives it more than enough and will help with resistance along my 10ft USB cord (I doubt there's that much anyways). Because the feather will be stored in the top of a 9ft pole where it will control my NeoPixels and the power is going to be coming from my backpack where my charger will be because I'll be carrying it around EDC all day and need enough power to last around 8-10 hours.

With data, I'm super lost. I saw a few things about that but it doesn't click with me. I first assumed they meant that powering the pixels with 3.7v makes them unreliable. And I also assumed data is data and there's no difference. My things just got delivered and I suppose I'll have to try it out with 3.7v data because I really dont want pay to ship just thay 1 piece haha.

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Double checked NeoPixel Uberguide, more amps is good.

They say the logic shifter is neccesary. When powering it with 5v they require a 5v data signal. But it also says when "powering with 3.7v like from a LiPoly, a 3.3v data signal is OK". So I beleive I was hoping that I can maximize the brightness by giving the NeoPixels 5v power and it would be "OK" to use the 3.3V data signal. I saw a few projects that did this:

Festive Feather Holiday Lights, Bluefruit Controlled Macetech RGB LED Shades (also same setup but drawing power from usb on board, not directly)

I know my power is good and then if my data doesn't work out i don't think that'll cause any harm? But it just wont work. I don't have the recommended capacitor and resistor though. I saw most projects didn't bother including them. The Holiday Lights even has a lot more power and leds. Maybe I'll be good?

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by Disciple on Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:01 am

Well, I'll defer to the experts at this point. For my part, I'd really hesitate to send 4.5 amps through a single USB cord. Few NeoPixel projects light them all at full power, though, and maybe yours are for select color effects that consume only 1/2 to 1/3 of maximum. That would ease the demand. As for going without a level shifter, I guess you could try it and see. Might work, but no guarantees. Wouldn't want it to fail between rehearsal and showtime. Best of success for your project, and pictures of the WIPs and finals are invited.

Hallelujah!
Disciple

Disciple
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Neopixel Plug and Play

by alexshmalex on Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:56 am

Whelp I ended up buying the capacitor, resistor, and level shifter(same day shipped) because I figured better safe than sorry before I got to work.

After many hours of soldering with a soldering iron with a broken tip and my better one at work, I can't control my NeoPixels. I can power the Feather, run Blink test, command test (the setting from 6 to 4 which was set as default anyways, is set), and connect via bluetooth. I checked all my connections soldering wise (could be a little rough but they should be fine so lets assume these are perfect haha) and just general placement:

1. Data: Pin 6 goes in to Level Shifter "1A" pin and out on "1Y" and then to data input on strip (arrow going away from connection so its not output. it would be output if the strip arrow is pointing towards the connections correct?).
2. Power: Level shifter (direct 5V), Feather (via USB), and NeoPixel (direct 5V)
3. GND: Level Shifter (direct and on GND to 1OE on the shifter), Feather (via USB), and neopixel (direct)
4. 300omh resistor is in between output on Level Shifter and input on NeoPixel strip.
5. Capacitor is across main GND and 5V(negative end on GND).

I ran the strand test as described in the NeoPixel UberGuide, tried messing with the Bluetooth app, and uploading a few projects code. No luck, any suggestions/advice would be super helpful.

Thanks!
Alex H

alexshmalex
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.