Led Ring ideas?

  • Admin

    I just bought one of these:

    Has anyone done anything fun with this yet?

    Combining it with a distance sensor should give some neat possibilities like parking sensor or instant feedback for gesture control. Help me out here.. πŸ™‚

  • Hero Member

    @hek you probably found it but it looks exactly like https://www.adafruit.com/products/1586
    the video have some ideas. I am sure you will look smashing with the earings.

  • Hero Member

    @hek Oh! Oh! I know! a visual representation of the washing machine cycle! you can have the light spinning slowly during the wash cycle and fast during spin!!! (one track mind. sorry)

  • Admin

    @Moshe-Livne said:

    I am sure you will look smashing with the earings.

    Haha, probably! Was thinking of using them in a more permanent installation. But I guess cyborg glasses would be the next best thing.

  • Hero Member

    Install it surrounding a rotary encoder for visual feedback...

  • Hero Member

    make it into a binary clock that no one but you can read. or you can make it into a timer sensor with a magnet that will give visual effect of counting down (activated countdown from your phone?) or visual energy consumption of your house?

  • Contest Winner

  • Admin

    not fair @hek, now I had to order one as well πŸ˜‰

  • I have the 16 LED version and 5 of the diffused LEDs. So far I've only ended up using 2 of the diffused LEDs for a sleep light for my 4yr old.

    Haven't found any other real uses for them. I've thought of getting some of the strips and doing lighting since then I wouldn't need to replace bulbs/switches but so far I have been unable to get wife approval.

  • I have the 12 LED version and Im trying to find a way to select color via the vera edge ui

  • Admin

    Just got one with 24 LED's in the mail yesterday.. Also wondering what I should make with it..

  • Hero Member

    @tbowmo I still think a binary clock is ultra cool. 4 leds for hour (or 5 if you want 24h time), 6 for minutes, another 6 for seconds. should be very pretty if you play with the colours as well.

  • Hero Member

    @tbowmo another option is mysensorized egg timer. mount it on some base with rotary encoder. turn with visual response to set timer. count down will turn off led by led and alarm will also trigger event in HA

  • Admin


    Hmmm yeah, maybe.. I could also make a thermometer display, of the outside temperature.. πŸ™‚ Have to make myself another "sensebender" board, so I can make programs for the ring.. (I don't have any other arduino boards available at the moment.. and the uno I ordered on miniinthebox 2 months ago apparently disappeared in the mail..)

  • Hero Member

    @tbowmo Oh you poor sausage! (local saying, don't ask me why)
    Would have send you some of my nanos but would probably take longer than getting them from the moon.
    I think to make an impression it should be something that changes rapidly.

  • Hey Guys,

    I'm playing with this for a little while and I'm finding myself in a funny scenario.

    I have an arduino pro mini 3.3v feed with 5V directly in the raw pin from the PC via USB. Wireless connected to the VCC in the arduino.

    I have also one of this NeoPixel Rings (16 leds) connected to the same 5V source. Everything works fine, connected to OpenHAB via Serial gateway I get the current color set, I can set the new colors, send commands, etc.

    Now, the prototype works, it's time to set up the final build and use this!

    I have a 5V charger (you know, the regular phone charger) so I connect all to this and then the Ring starts to behave weird: Sometimes not all the leds are active, other times just sets the colors it wants not the command I'm sending from OpenHAB.

    If I dissconnect from the USB charger and connect back to the PC everything works.

    I've measured the connections with a multimeter and I can see 5Vs in the ring. My first thougt was: 'Dude, not enough power ... give it more' so I plug the NeoPixel Ring directly to one USB Charger and the arduino, etc with another. Same behavior.

    I know I'm missing something very basic, but I can't find what ...


  • Admin

    Putting a decoupling cap in the ring is recommended. Not sure if you have this.

  • I included a 100uF cap and had the same results.

    Honestly I'm starting to think that I burnt the ring but then I try again with the PC USB and everything works! .. little frustrating πŸ™‚

  • Hero Member

    @Dave-Dan Perhaps you are experiencing some sort of level issue, between 3.3V and 5V? But then it probably shouldn't work when connected to a computer. Still I'd try to use a 5V arduino -> 5V ring or 3.3V arduino -> 3.3V ring if possible. I think it should work on 3.3V without any issues.

    Worst case scenario, use a separate 3.3V voltage converter or use a level shifter / converter.

    I did Hek's Parking Sensor and has loads of issues with the ultrasonic sensor running on 5V and the Arduino on 3.3V. Signals wouldn't reach the sensor.

  • Thanks @bjornhallberg for the reply.

    yeah, I think I think that I'm having some sort of leveling issue ... maybe the PC is just simply balancing it and making it transparent for me but when I move to the converter, bubbles up.

    I've tried with a separate 5V to feed the Ring.

    I might need to test yout your said and move everything to 5V ... ...


  • I am having the same issue with a ping sensor. I've run it on a 3.3v Pro Mini with a boost to 5V for the sensor. Next I tried a Sparkfun Redboard because it has 5V for the ping and 3.3V for the radio. Both configurations worked well when connected to the PC. Both do not work with power from a USB charger. I tried several different wall chargers. One would not let it run at all. The others seemed to let it run once through the loop function. I thought something on the data pins of the USB might be an issue. Tried commenting out all my serial.print()s and turned off DEBUG. Didn't help. What is different between the PC USB and wall charger USB that could cause this?

  • Hero Member

    So you find very close to 5V at the pixel chip level while running?

    You are probably not missing something basic, but instead have a tricky marginal situation that's genuinely hard to debug.

    If it was low power from the 5v charger (just not enough milliamps available), you should still be able to control, say, one red pixel on at a time, even if "all pixels white" overloaded the power supply.

    The level shifting is one thing to check as others have indicated. Some 5v chargers run a little high (charge the battery faster?) which might make 3.3v logic driving data input of 5V pixel more marginal. You could insert a logic level shifter, or use a loose WS281x pixel running at the 3.3v between your Arduino and the first real pixel (adjust your code to send out one dummy black pixel before everything else).

    Alternately, you could insert a resistor in the data line. in case it has to do with transmission line effects. Say, 47 ohms - give or take.

    Also some of the cheap phone chargers have a very noisy power output. You might try using multiple bypass capacitors of differing values (eg: smaller ceramic for high frequency, higher value electrolytic for low, etc).

    This is one of those times that a 'scope could be handy - maybe even one of the very cheap ones, used carefully. I'd really like to see a trace of that power line.

  • It turns out I WAS missing something basic. The wall outlet I was plugged into was experiencing intermittent problems (loose connection) So the reason it worked on the PC and not on the charger was because the PC has batteries. Duh . ....
    I did improve my power set up considerably and learned a lot from the suggestions in this thread in the process of troubleshooting.

  • Maybe you can show your solar power output displayed!

  • Well, first of all thank you all for the help.

    I've been doing some tests this days ... also tried with the same configuration a relay node and had exactly the same issue.

    Well ... as soon as I changed the arduino to a 5V one, everything worked.

    Project completed. πŸ™‚

    Thank you all!!!

Log in to reply

Suggested Topics

  • 8
  • 90
  • 29
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1