It’s that point of the yr once more if you gotta begin worrying in case you’ve been naughty sufficient to not obtain any items. Hopefully, Blinky Lights will appease St. Nick. Seize a strip of RGB LEDs, hook them as much as an Arduino and a Energy provide, slap on some code, and Bob’s your Uncle. However if you wish to retain your hacker cred, you greatest do it the laborious manner. Which is what [roddersblog] did whereas constructing his Christmas Starburst LED Stars this yr — and bonus factors for being early to the get together.
For starters, he received panels (as in PCB panels) of WS2812 boards from eBay. The benefit is it permits you to select your personal pitch and strand size. The flip aspect is, you want to de-panel every board, mount it in a jig, after which solder three lengths of hook up wire to every LED. He deliberate for an eight sided star with ten LED’s every. And he constructed three of them. So the wiring was, substantial, to say the least. And he needed to cope with silicone sealant that refused to remedy and harden. However nothing that some grit and willpower couldn’t repair.
For management, he select the PIC16F1509 microcontroller. This household has a characteristic that PIC calls the “Configurable Logic Cell” and this Utility Notice describes how you can use CLC to interface the PIC to a WS2811. He seen processing delays because of C code overheads that prompted him some grief. After some experimentation, he re-wrote your entire program in meeting which produced passable outcomes. You possibly can take a look at his code on the GitHub repository.
Additionally effectively price a glance, he’s received a couple of tips up his sleeve to enhance the standard of his home-brew PCB’s. He’s constructed his personal UV publicity unit with timer, which is an fascinating mission in itself. The structure is designed in Eagle, with a flood fill to reduce the quantity of copper required to be etched away. He takes a laser print of the structure, applies vegetable oil to the paper to make it extra translucent to UV, and doubles up the prints to get a pleasant distinction.
As soon as the sensitized board has been uncovered within the UV unit, he makes use of a weak however recent and heat resolution of Sodium Hydroxide as a developer to take away the unexposed UV photo-resist. To etch the board, he makes use of commonplace Feric Chloride resolution, which is stored heat utilizing an aquarium heater, whereas an aquarium air-pump is used to agitate the answer. He additionally describes how he fabricates double sided boards utilizing the identical approach. The top result’s fairly satisfying – take a look at the video after the break.