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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Xmas tree lights with the Raspberry Pi

Now I've seen many where people have cut the power line to the lights and run them through relays that you can turn on and off. Now that was my original idea for this year but after some researching I came across this brilliant article on the adafruit site by Tony Dicola https://learn.adafruit.com/neopixels-on-raspberry-pi/

My first stumble block was I needed to install setuptools so I could install easy install, but once I had this in place it was only a matter of minutes before I had the lights working.

So what do you need? Well neopixels rgb with a good power supply (5v 5a) is what I'm using. Power lead to power the power converter/supply some wire and a sn74ahct125n chip.


Now I needed something a bit more secure so wires didn't accidentally drop out so with Tony's great instructions I turned the breadboard diagram into a PCB board and got my friends at Ragworm to make me up a board (which are costly for the odd one boards). Ok I could have gone abroad but wanted to ensure I had it in time for Xmas.

After soldering up the bits and plugging into the gpio, I setup the neopixels and ran the strand test.py demo. It needed a tweak to tell it I was running 160 neopixels (which might be less when it's finally on the tree) but found it worked.

I have added some videos of it onto my YouTube page to show it working.


Next on my list is to turn the brightness down and make them glow Christmassy colours.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The MyPiFi 10 LED Bar on Kickstarter

I decided after using a great book for the arduino by Mark Geddes called the arduino project handbook that I needed something a bit more permanent for the LEDs and for future things, so I came up with this LED light bar.


It comes with two rows on the bottom, a male row and an identical row but with female headers, you don't even need to even put both rows in, but how many times have you got stuck on a project as you run out of one type of jumper cable that you need but have plenty of the other that you don't need?

So I decided to Kickstart my idea £6 a board and so far I have managed to decrease the size to 51x31mm and designed in a way that you can line all the boards next to each other and make one massive LED light bar.

Currently the 21 day Kickstarter is down to nearly 14 days left and 25% funded. There are plenty stretch goals listed should we go through the funded barrier early, so to enjoy some of these great stretch goals please get pledging early and lastly this should be with you in time to solder for Christmas Day.