Here they are…

IMG_0001smAfter my little update post yesterday, the WS2812B LEDs decided to show up today. Despite taking longer than other packages from China usually do, I will say it was packaged well. It came in a properly-sized envelope and the LEDs themselves were in an antistatic bag (the first I’ve seen from any Chinese eBay seller) wrapped with bubble wrap. I’m impressed because I usually see things come from China in the smallest possible envelopes with things wrapped in plastic wrap. Anyways, let’s take a look at the LEDs themselves.IMG_0002smThese modules are a lot smaller than I was expecting (I’ve never used WS2812B LEDs before). I found them kind of tricky to solder cleanly.

Yesterday after I made that post, I started designing a single LED module similar to these but they have through hole pads to make the wire connections or add headers. After struggling to make solder connections on these look good, I’m still inclined on doing my own WS2812B boards to make it more convenient to solder a chain of them together.

To be fair, though, a smaller gauge wire may have helped here.

IMG_0003smI was up and running minutes after soldering them together, thanks to Adafruit’s NeoPixel library and the newest Arduino IDE that makes it so easy to install through the library manager. These LEDs are very bright and they produce colors that look better than the “dumb” RGB LEDs I’ve been using so far with the Light Show and other projects. I’m sold on going forward with these LEDs in my projects, even with the higher cost. I’ll need to familiarize myself with the library more before I can actually start adding them into projects.

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Out in the open (Open-source stuff)

My ATmega328p Breakout Board is now open-source! You can get the Eagle files on GitHub.

I will be throwing up more of my PCB designs on GitHub soon too.

I just wanted to leave a quick note that a new through-hole version of the ATmega328p Breakout Board is coming out very soon on Tindie (parts for it will be here next week!). My hope is that this version will be more accommodating to the majority because I know there are those who don’t like surface-mount soldering.

7-Segment Scrolling Message

I wanted to try creating scrolling messages across the 7-segment display in my 7-seg counter project. There were a couple issues though:

1. I decided to only use letters that were easily readable. Letters that are no good include K, W, and M. That limits the messages I could put across the display.

2. My original code couldn’t fit on the Attiny chip so I  stripped it all down just so that I could display the “Adafruit” text.

This is kind of why I wanted those LED matrices…

Wastebin Project – Ghetto Mountain (PS. I Love Adafruit)

This is another Wastebin Project (electronics experiment). It’s a cardboard cutout of Wonder Mountain at Canada’s Wonderland, with some LEDs pointed at it. It’s inspired by their 3D projection mapping show, Starlight Spectacular.
IMG_1010The original plan was to have different layers of the mountain separated far enough to put LEDs in between the layers to light up each layer. It didn’t look very good so I ended up just gluing all of the layers together which still left me with a pretty nifty cardboard cutout of the mountain. I still wanted to try lighting it up so I just put some RGB LEDs on a breadboard and bent them to try and light up sections of the mountain. The clear lens RGB LEDs would have been perfect for that but each color doesn’t shine at the same position so that didn’t work. At least I got to try my new diffused RGB LEDs.

It was fun to have a go at this, actually funny that I posted that video about half an hour before discovering my light show projects were featured on the Adafruit blog for Arduino Day. It really means a lot to me. Thank you Adafruit!

PS. I really need to fix up the Featured Project pages. Some of them may be (and have been) transferred to their own separate site. It’s been done for EERef and the Arduino Temperature/Humidity Monitor.