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Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by mtyeager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:27 pm

I am finding the soldering of the NeoPixel 1/4 60 ring challenging. Are there any tips? The picture of the solders just looks like a bead of solder running across. Not sure how to make that happen. Or are there wires in each? How do you hold them in place? How do you prevent cross connections? Any guidance? Thanks.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by franklin97355 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:34 pm

When I've had to solder two boards together i will get piece of bare wire across the pads as support.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:00 pm

A short piece of bare wire as suggested above makes it easier to bridge the gap. But do take care to avoid stress on the ring joints after assembly since the weak point is the adhesive that holds the pads to the board. Too much bending stress on the joint can rip the solder pads right off the board.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by mtyeager on Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:14 pm

I don't think I'll ever be able to get this right. Any possibility of buying the ring fully assembled?

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:34 pm

It is easier to solder the wires to one segment first:

* Start by stripping several inches off the end of a longer piece of wire.
* Lay the tip of the stripped wire along one of the solder pads and solder it.
* After the solder has solidified, cut the wire so it overhangs by about the same length as the solder pad.
* Repeat for the other two pads.

* Next, position the ring segment so that the 3 overhanging wires line up with the solder pads of the next segment.
* Solder the overhanging wires to the pads - one at a time.

* When soldering the last segment - be sure NOT to connect the DOUT of the last segment to the DIN of the first.

We do not offer an assembly service. But you might be able to find some help at a local Maker/Hacker Space. You can find a map of them here: https://www.adafruit.com/distributors/

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by bcochran1 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi,

I have this ring also, but it might be an older version. I'll check the product description. I agree the ring segments are quite delicate. I had put my ring away and just brought it out again to inspect it. I can see that I did not do a very good job of the original soldering. I think I need to improve my own soldering using the methods suggested above. Probably I should also add 2 wires (for the entire ring, not per-quadrant) to the "+" and "g" pads. Then find a place to inject the data.

Thanks so much

Bob


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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by bcochran1 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:05 pm

Hi,

I looked at the "NeoPixel 60 Ring Wall Clock" project posted here to see if the ring used in that one had some special physical reinforcement on it. The project author did proper soldering work which certainly looks better than mine. No special soldering reinforcement is done in his project. The author taped the entire ring to some plexiglas ("black plexi" in the tutorial) to avoid jolting the ring too much.

I am thinking that I should get a large ceramic tile on my soldering platform and place my ring flat on the tile. Then repair my bad soldering, and also solder flexible wires to the G, + and DIN pads.

Thanks so much

Bob


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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by franklin97355 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:44 pm

Take a look at a uv bonding glue. Bondic is one I've used and it cures hard which would add support.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by mtyeager on Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:49 pm

For whatever it is worth - I decided to go a different route that I found easier.

Instead of trying to solder across the pieces with little wires, and the structural issues that brings, I soldered individual connectors onto each section as shown.

I am going to mount the unit in a circle on a faceplate and the wires will simply push through holes and be connected in the back. In the end it will look the same, but it stays more modular.

connectedneopixels2.jpg
connectedneopixels2.jpg (857.62 KiB) Viewed 106 times


One odd thing. I am running this from the RPi simple test python script. It takes a parameter for the number of NeoPixels which should be 60. But I had to up it to 80 to get them all to light up. I haven't gone through the code in detail, but if someone knows why that is, let me know.

Thanks!

Actually, now that I think about it. I didn't hook up a logic leveler... That's probably why they're not all lighting up normally...
Last edited by mtyeager on Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:58 pm

Looks like you have the RGBW version of the ring. Those take one extra byte per pixel for the white channel. You need to specify that in the code.

Find this part of the code:
Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
# The order of the pixel colors - RGB or GRB. Some NeoPixels have red and green reversed!
# For RGBW NeoPixels, simply change the ORDER to RGBW or GRBW.
ORDER = neopixel.GRB


and change the GRB to GRBW.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by mtyeager on Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:00 pm

Excellent! Thanks. Much appreciated.

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by bcochran1 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:00 pm

franklin97355 wrote:Take a look at a uv bonding glue. Bondic is one I've used and it cures hard which would add support.

Hi!

Thank you for the suggestion. I looked over the "Plastic Welding Starter Kit" for Bondic and will consider getting it. Like the original poster in this thread, I feel a certain lack of confidence in my own skill with very delicate soldering tasks. Those could extend to solvent welding tasks too, maybe. Then again, I can just order more quarter-sections of NeoPixels to replace the ones I destroy. Got to try and try again.

Thanks so much

Bob


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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by bcochran1 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:02 pm

mtyeager wrote:Excellent! Thanks. Much appreciated.

Hi,

Your ring sections are gorgeous! Great color!

Thanks so much

Bob

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by mtyeager on Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:03 pm

One thing that I am not particularly happy about is having to run under sudo.

I am guessing there is no way around that?

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Re: Soldering NeoPixel 1/4 60 Ring

by franklin97355 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:02 pm

One thing that I am not particularly happy about is having to run under sudo.
What does this have to do with soldering the Neopixel ring?

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.