This year I headed back to school. I spent a whole ONE day in-person class. Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year. Then the little ones wanted to know when the lights were going up. Lights? I hadn’t even tough of that yet, I was still thinking about gifts and the baking lined up.
I rummaged through the box of past projects, but it seems that setups of the past had all been repurposed. Well then, time for the one trick pony.
In the past my setups have used WiFi so people could control the pattern. This year there isn’t time to monkey and troubleshoot such a setup. I wanted a KISS-one-trick-pony. The only thing it should do is blink the string of lights with a couple of patterns, no options or settings to bother with. No worrying why can’t I change the pattern.
I have a couple of spare third-party Arduino laying around and that’s the ticket. I grabbed a little DC power strip I made for some stepper motors, added a third header with 2×470 Ohm resistors for the data leads, 5V header, and GND header. It ain’t purdy, but it works.
I have the first one done and need one more for the second strand of lights going in a different window. So the next night I dig around for some more parts and put the second one together. When digging I find my prototype shield that came with my Elegoo starter kit. This is the prefect place to put it to use. Version 1.0 was used as the template for the nice and neat version.
Three holes were made to accommodate the power barrel. It is a standard 3.5mm jack. A power supply of 5v, 5A is used to power both the Arduino and the lights.
Power and ground is run to the middle rails. From there it is broken out to the Uno and the lights. A screw terminal is fitted at the end to accept the tail for the WS2812. Yes, there is an error in how the wires are on the screw terminal. The colors are off, as the data should be the center line. I went by general color coding instead of looking and double-checking the wires. Just don’t use the color code to connect the wires. Butterfingers.
This version, version 2.0 came out quite nice. Since Solidworks was one of my classes this semester, I am working on a project box to have made for it.
There is still two weeks before school and a couple of days here at work, so this project hasn’t quit just yet. I found a deal on a extra couple of strings of WS2812s, so there is version 3.0 for the porch and three strings of LEDs. This one is going to the drawing board and will be done up as a PCB with a brand new Elegoo Uno R3.
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