Introduction: Running 1 or 2 Cheap NeoPixel Rings

Picture of Running 1 or 2 Cheap NeoPixel Rings

Let me save you a bit of trouble.

The library here

https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoPixel

Will add "strandtest" and other things to your example sketches. You download the zip file and add library by zip file from the "Sketch" => "Include Library" => "Add.ZIP Library" menu in the Arduino IDE. I am using Version 1.6.13

Changing line 16 of strandtest to this

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(24, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

Will run two of these. Changing the number to 12 will run one. (default is 60) Daisy chain them by wiring DO ( data out ) on the first ring to DI ( data in ) on the second ring. You then wire DI on the first ring to PIN 6 on your arduino. Ground from both rings goes to Ground on the Arduino and 5 volts in on the rings both go to 5 volts out on the Arduino beside the ground pin.

At the beginning of strandtest in the code there is a warning about capacitors and resistors but running this off USB or 5 Volts you won't need them. Pardon my wiring it isn't color coded. And I added the header pins myself. It didn't come with them. You could also use this info to run a NeoPixle strip. Just change the count to the number of LEDs on your strip. Again if your strip has more than 24 LEDs or runs off more than 5 volts you will probably have to add the caps and resistors as pointed out in the Adafruit code.

Step 1:

Picture of

I got them here for $6 each which included shipping.

https://www.banggood.com/New-LED-Ring-12-x-WS2812-...

https://www.banggood.com/ATmega328P-Nano-V3-Contro...

I got the Nano there for $4.50

Adafruit also carries these and the quality is way better. But shipping was a little pricey so I got some knockoffs. However I highly recommend Adafruit. I bought an Arduino Mega there and it has been working flawlessly for years in my 3D printer.

https://www.adafruit.com/product/3350?q=neopi&utm_...

Step 2: Pin 6 to DI on Ring One Then DO on Ring One to DI on Ring Two

Picture of Pin 6 to DI on Ring One Then DO on Ring One to DI on Ring Two

If you want to run more than two you may exceed what your Arduino can supply, be cautious.

Step 3: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Headers added to ease in playing around with it. I suppose I could plug them into a breadboard like this but I think I'll work them into a pair of goggles or make ponytail holders for the wife. Never too early to start thinking about Halloween!

I hope you find this useful.

Step 4: And If You Tear a Trace Pad Off the Back This Is a Last Resort.

Picture of And If You Tear a Trace Pad Off the Back This Is a Last Resort.

Right after I uploaded this I tore off a copper pad from the trace. BUT! Turns out with a little swearing and a steady hand you can solder directly to the last LED above the solder pads and bypass the ruined copper trace! The microscope helps too but it can be done without. The pinout for the four corners going clockwise is ground (grey wire) Digital out (white wire) 5 volts (black wire) and Digital in (purple wire). Again pardon my wiring. It doesn't follow any logic. Ground can be identified by the small corner missing on the white case.

Step 5: A Closer Look.

Picture of A Closer Look.

Just for fun. Looks like a tiny city in there. Notice how ground has the little chip on it, digital out is just a big metal plate, 5 volts has all the little diodes attached to it and digital in is just another plain metal plate. I swear I only learn things when I break stuff.

Step 6: A Closer Look Lit Up.

Picture of A Closer Look Lit Up.

Here you can see two of the three LEDs in the pixel lit up. I know they look the same color but the little plastic window above them mixes the colors. This is also the clearest pic I got out of several thru the microscope. It is just starting to brighten up here.

Comments

Peterthinking made it! (author)2017-05-26

Took my remaining one and made it portable. That 9 volt plugs into ground and "VIN" on the Nano. It has a voltage regulator on board. I glued a couple small nuts to the back of the ring and magnets hold it to the case. I also have a couple small magnets holding the battery in the tin.

Peterthinking (author)2017-05-26

A little update. I tore one of the solder pads off trying to test fit them to some goggles. Bummer. Skip the header pins and use multi strand wire for these. Also work out some sort of strain relief. I'm thinking hot glue would do the trick. Looks like I got 12 neopix to salvage....grrrrr.

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