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New to Adafruit! Please advise
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New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Tue May 08, 2018 11:20 pm

Hey all. I'm new. Like new new. As in little to no experience with this stuff but I have aptitude. I know what I want and what I need for upcoming projects but I have no idea where to start. Would someone be willing to point me in the direction of a 'back to basics' educating the uneducated with regards to simple programmable LED's and go from there? Thanks in advance and much appreciated if anyone can help. I hope this is the first post on to many adventures with Adafruit. Cheers !

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed May 09, 2018 6:13 am


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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:41 pm

Thank you so much . I received my first circuit playground today. Soon as I'm down with the basics I'll be keeping this topic alive for a while. My first project is rather ambitious. If I send blueprint specs for a design project would be able to make suggestion for hardware needed ? I'm not very attuned to dealing with blueprints but will be as detailed as possible.

Thanks again. The links you sent are great :D Keep up the Stella work

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:05 am

Post what you have & we'll take a look.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:32 pm

Thanks in advance but before I get to this rather ambitious project I'd like to figure out how to do something simple.
I'm using the circuit playground express and 'make code' on windows 10. I'd like to create my own animation for the NeoPixels to light up from 0 - 9 using desired color at the push of either A or B switch . I would like to push the switch once for the animation then again to turn it off, again going from Pixel 0 - 9.

Thank you again. You guys have been great help

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:19 pm

I'm using the circuit playground express and 'make code' on windows 10 . . .

Better to post that question on the Circuit Playground forum. The Circuit Playground experts can help you out better there.
posting.php?mode=post&f=58

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:21 am

Thank you again Bill for pointing me in the right direction.

Now I'd like to move back to a post earlier in this feed where I mentioned a rather ambitious project for a beginner.

To understand this and explain as best I can I have attached a rather rudimentary blueprint of what I would like to achieve.

It's a 3 sequence lighting animation and as you'll see from the picture hopefully, it contains 2 NeoPixel rings (One 24 pixel ring & One 16 Pixel ring). As for the center light in the diagram I am uncertain what the best choice would be . At this point I'm thinking a single Pixel housed in some kind of diffused lens maybe ??

I would like it all to be on one circuit and controlled in one programmed animation if possible. The description of animation is as follows.

Startup or sequence 1 would be Light 1 (24 pixel ring) all solid red and Lights 2 (16 pixel ring) and light 3 (single pixel ?? ) to be off.

Sequence 2 would have all 3 pixel sets (lights 1,2 & 3 in diagram ) changing to Aqua blue or Turquoise but light 2 (16 pixel ring) would power on in a clockwise animation.

Sequence 3 would have light 1 (24 pixel ring going back to solid red and the other 2 lights powering down. This time light 2 (16 pixel ring) would power down in a counter clockwise animation with light 3 (single pixel ?) fading out to off.

I would like to know if, first off this could be achieved and secondly what kind of hardware would you recommend to achieve this if possible. The mounting space for this project is limited so I would like to go as small as possible with wires, batteries, switches etc.

I understand that may be a lot to take in and if this needs to be moved to another post I'm sure you'll point me , again in the right direction.

I can't thank you guys enough already. You've been great and I'll look forward to your reply.

Neopixel circuit.png
Neopixel circuit.png (68.19 KiB) Viewed 162 times

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:36 am

Assuming 41 Neopixels (24 + 16 + 1), most any small microcontroller could handle the animation.

What is missing from your description is what triggers the changes in your animation sequence. If there is some external stimulus, it would be helpful to know, since that might influence the choice of a microcontroller.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:36 pm

My apologies. A minor mistake not to include that on my part.

I was thinking a simple switch or simple button controller and if possible a wireless one at that.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:02 pm

For a simple button or switch, you could use a Trinket, or Gemma:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3500
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3501

For Wireless, there are several options:
The Feather Bluefruit would let you control it from most computers or smartphones: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2829
The Feather Huzzah would let you control it via WiFi from your computer: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2821
There are packet radio and LoRa radio options also, but working with those is a bit more involved.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:53 pm

Thanks again . from the little I know and for the simplicity of what I want to achieve I think I'll go with the feather blue fruit. For the single NeoPixel in the center I was thinking of buying the Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2, unless you would suggest something else.

Before I purchase all the hardware and to clarify this project would take :

x1 Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE

x1 NeoPixel Ring - 24 x 5050 RGBW LEDs w/ Integrated Drivers - Natural White - ~4500K

x1 NeoPixel Ring - 16 x 5050 RGBW LEDs w/ Integrated Drivers - Natural White - ~4500K

x1 Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2

In addition what battery packs would you recommend to power this? again looking for minimal size possible due to space restrictions.

I appreciate your input. I'm grateful for having support on hand and to point me in the right direction. I would spend the time researching but this project is time sensitive and I've only discovered adafruit within the last 2 months.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:03 pm

The Flora Neopixel should work well for the 41st pixel. The Feathers have built-in LiPo chargers, so the simplest battery solution is a LiPo cell. Just plug the USB cable into the Feather to re-charge it. Battery capacity is usually a tradeoff between run-time and size. We carry a variety of sizes ranging from 50mAh to 6600mAh.

How long a run-time do you require between charges? With patterns be running continuously, or will there be some 'off-time' too?

The power demands of your project will vary somewhat depending on how many pixels are running at a time - and how bright you are driving them. This guide has some excellent advice on getting the most from battery powered Neopixel projects: https://https//learn.adafruit.com/sippi ... neopixels/

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:16 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:How long a run-time do you require between charges? With patterns be running continuously, or will there be some 'off-time' too?


The on time could vary from a few minutes to a couple hrs at a time before shut off. This animation is being used for a recording so I imagine I'll have flexibility for charging the device between shots. The video is also going to be in a low light setting so it wont need to be super bright while on

The goal here is ti have control over the sequences or animations to not have them change until the command (button pressed) is sent.

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:33 pm

So, assuming that you are running them at 50% of max brightness, the current draw for the 3 phases would be as follows:

Sequence 1: 24 pixels RED at 50% = 240mA.
Sequence 2: 25 pixels CYAN at equivalent brightness = 250mA
16 pixels CYAN - chase pattern with 12 on at a time = 120mA for 370mA total
Sequence 3: Similar to Sequence 2 = 370mA - but decreasing.

So taking a rough average, you can expect a current draw of about 300mA when running.

A 1200mAh cell would give you about 4 hours of run-time. And is slightly shorter than the outer diameter of the 24 pixel ring.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/258
A 500mAh cell would give you about 1:40 of run-time. And is substantially smaller.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1578

Image
Image

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Re: New to Adafruit! Please advise

by Electricslynky on Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:15 pm

Ok Bill , I've gone ahead and placed the order for the suggested hardware. Would you be able to point me in the direction for the suggested tutorials to achieve the programming, operation and animations for this project ?

Also can I give you/Adafruit reviews and feedback directly? You've been absolutely outstanding.


Ordered hardware:
Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 - Pack of 4 PID: 1260

NeoPixel Ring - 16 x 5050 RGBW LEDs w/ Integrated Drivers - Natural White - ~4500K PID: 2855

NeoPixel Ring - 24 x 5050 RGBW LEDs w/ Integrated Drivers - Natural White - ~4500K PID: 2862

Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 1200mAh

What will i need in addition to make this work? I have a soldering kit already. Any specific wires needed?

Thanks again

-Keeran

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