Installing Optional Components

Dan edited this page Mar 23, 2015 · 32 revisions

NOTE: You must either install the 300 Ohm resistors or short the jumper pads at R6 and R7 for the AllPixel to communicate with the LEDs!

2x 300 Ohm 1/8W DATA and CLK Resistors (R6 and R7)

These resistors add a measure of current protection to the Data and Clock lines on the LEDs. Some strips require one or both of these resistors to be installed to ensure correct and reliable use. Both resistors can be safely installed for use with all LED strips. NOTE: You must either install the 300 Ohm resistors or short the jumper pads at R6 and R7 for the AllPixel to communicate with the LEDs. Just a tiny amount of solder is needed to make the jump. As long as both sides are connected.

To install the resistors, bend the leads and one each in the holes for R6 & R7:

Flip the board, solder all 4 leads and snip them.

2.1mm DC Barrel Jack

The barrel jack allows for easy connection of an external LED power supply. The AllPixel is designed to safely handle up to 5A on this connection. Note that his connection will only power the LEDs and a USB connection is required to power and communicate with the AllPixel.

Insert the jack into the 3 mounting holes. The fit may be snug. Make sure it sits perfectly flush on the board.

Flip the board and solder each mount. Start by tacking each down with a small amount of solder so it doesn't move and then, one at a time, hold the iron tip touching both the post and the pad and slowly feed solder in until the hole fills. It will require quite a bit of solder. WARNING: The jack will be quite hot after this.

1N5817 Schottky Diode (a.k.a the USB Power Diode)

Note: If you aren't going to be powering your project from USB, skip this diode!

Installing this diode allows for very small runs of LEDs to be powered directly off of the AllPixel's USB connection. This would allow you to drive a few LEDs directly off of your PC or laptop without the need for an external power supply. The diode causes a slight voltage drop but will still allow enough to drive any 5V LEDs. DO NOT replace the diode with anything that would allow reverse current as that would mean that anything plugged into the optional barrel jack would send power back to the USB bus on your computer. Since the AllPixel supports up to 12V LEDs, THIS COULD HARM YOUR COMPUTER! We assume no responsibility for damage caused by bypassing the protection provided by this diode.

Be very careful to align the screen-printed line on the board with the silver band on the diode.

Flip the board and solder both leads, then snip flush:

Caution: This feature is intended to allow for a few hundred milliamps of current to the LEDs (Approximately 400mA).
Note: It is strongly recommended to limit the maximum LED brightness in software to decrease the total current draw when using the USB power diode. Using the BiblioPixel library, this can be done like so:

led = LEDStrip(driver)
led.setMasterBrightess(64) //set to 25% brightness (0-255 is valid)

1000uF Capacitor

This capacitor sits over the strip V+ and Ground lines and helps smooth out the power for the LEDs. Some strips are more sensitive to power rail conditions and recommend such a capacitor be installed for reliable use. Regardless of the strip type, there isn't any harm in installing this capacitor.

Insert the capacitor in to the C5 holes and be sure the align the negative side of the capacitor with the marking on the bottom:

As usual, flip the board, solder, and snip the leads:

4-pin Screw Terminal Block

The screw terminal block can be installed to enable quick connection and removal of LED strips.

The terminal holes are offset and should hold onto the terminal pins easily while soldering:

4-pin 0.1" Male Header

This header can be soldered in place of the 4-pin screw terminal to allow the AllPixel to be used on a breadboard.

The PowerTap

Click this link for a guide to Assembling the PowerTap

Unboxing | First Connection to Computer

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