Articles, Blog

Making An RGB LED Coaster Using The Piksey Atto : Demo – DIY #31

January 16, 2020

Hey everyone, it’s Frenoy here. And in this
video, I’m going to show you how I built this RGB LED coaster using the Piksey Atto. If you do work with a lot of Arduino projects, then I would recommend you check out the Kickstarter campaign for Atto using the link in the description. This specific project was actually the reason
why I decided to create Atto in the first place. We have a total of 22 WS2812B RGB LEDs
that are connected to pin 2 of the board. The power is obtained by a single USB cable
which can also be used for programming or serial communication, if you want to dynamically
change the RGB patterns. You could then program the LEDs to react to music or sounds for instance.
The PCB itself is very straightforward. We have the LEDs, the Atto and also this test
pad which gives you the data output from the final LED. This allows you to extend the total
number of LEDs or daisy-chain multiple boards. The LEDs are rated to draw a maximum current
of 60mA, but in my experience they seem to draw around 40mA which brings the total current
to about 0.9A. So make sure you use a suitable power supply which can deliver at least 1A
at 5V. We have previously created two USB power hubs which can be used for this. In order to assemble the PCB, you would need
the Piksey Atto and some RGB LEDs. I did not have individual LEDs with me, so I desoldered
them from regular LED strips like these. I simply soldered one pin each to keep them
in place, and then soldered the remaining pins. I used the same method to solder the
Atto. For the firmware, I decided to use the fastLED library and installed it in the Arduino
IDE. I then opened the demoReel100 example sketch, updated the data pin, LED type, and
number of LEDs. I then selected Arduino Leonardo as the board and uploaded the sketch. The
Atto uses the same bootloader and microcontroller as the Arduino Leonardo so you can simply
select that to upload the code. We will also release an update to the Piksey boards package
to allow you to select Piksey Atto instead – but this step is optional. At first, the LEDs did not work and I noticed
that the protection diode on the board started to get extremely hot. It turns out that the
orientation of the LEDs on the board was incorrect. The 3rd party footprint that I used for the
LEDs had a different pinout which meant that the LEDs were all connected with the reverse
polarity. I quickly desoldered all of them, ordered new replacements and then soldered
the new ones in place. This time with the correct polarity. And sure enough, the LEDs
started working. It was then time for a quick clean up, followed by adding standoffs to
raise the board a bit from the surface. I decided to use M3x8 standoffs and M3x6 screws.
Once that was done, I simply connected the USB cable to power it ON, and this was the
outcome. Needless to say, I am really happy with the
end result. Since the light bounces off the surface, you get a nice diffused effect as
opposed to staring at the LEDs directly. I have updated the design files for the PCB
and I have also added capacitors next to each LED as this is recommended. The version I
am using does not have these capacitors so it’s kind of optional. You can download
the design files using the link in the description. I do hope you liked this video. We will get
back to the regular DIY videos once the final demo video is released next. Thank you for
watching and I will see you in the next one.

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  • Reply id January 11, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Yeay, LED coaster =D

  • Reply id January 11, 2020 at 10:05 am

    can you put warm/hot drinks onto it?

  • Reply Jeremy Cook January 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Your tiny ATmega32U4 board looks really useful. Hope the Kickstarter goes well!

  • Reply id January 14, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    🔝🔝🔝already more that 50% funded in a few days =D

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