A new kit, an LED festive kit!

We want to offer a kit that includes FEZ Crbuino Bee and some addressable LEDs. Lets call this “festive” kit for now!
Each meter in the LEDs strip has 32 RGB LEDs, individually controlled.

Why Cerbuino?

  1. It runs with no other modules
  2. Can wire the LED strip to the arduino headers
  3. Can control LEDx from XBee (including wifi XBee)
  4. Has gadgeteer socket fro expand-ability.

We will include a wiki page detailing everythgin so any begineer can use this kit. For 4th of July, halloween, Christmas, or any holiday you can think of!
The problem is that LEDs are pricey, about $35/meter. So what do you think the kit should cost and how many meters of LEDs? For example, the kit can be $99 to include 2 meters and cerbuino, or $199 to include 5 meters and cerbuino.

Any input?


An example of what you can do with these LEDs!


@ Gus - Hmm…those blinkies look a might familiar. :slight_smile:

You should touch base with @ ransomhall and see if he can swing another deal like the one he did for the recent group order. $15/m was the price he was able to get, and if you were planning to offer a kit based on these LEDs (the ones @ ransomhall found are both individually addressable, and waterproof), you could probably meet any minimum quantity relatively easily.

I think what would seal the deal for me is a package of:

[ul]LED Strips (I’d go for another 5m at least)
Cerbuino Bee
Mini Breadboard
4 male to female jumper wires and one m-m jumper (that’s the minimum needed to connect the signals, power, and both grounds)[/ul]

The duinoproto and mini breadboard are optional, but would make the kit attractive for prototyping in addition to just plain blinky fun.

Yes but you are forgetting that he doesn’t have distributors that want an arm and a leg and do not have a company expense :slight_smile:
You have seen this probably Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip - LPD8806 32 LED : ID 306 : $149.75 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

Youbetcha! First of all, great idea! What strips are you thinking of using? While the LPD8806 strips are more reasonable, the WS2801 gets you “single LED resolution”.

You will need to include a separate power supply for the strip for any size over a foot or two. Mileage will vary, but these things can draw a lot of current. I would suggest making a simple shield or module that makes the strip “plug and play”. This could also include the power supply mentioned above. A soldering requirement will turn off some beginners.

Yes, but not a very long one without separate power!

It would also be cool to pre-load the Cerbuino with a demo project, so the kit is literally plug and play.

I would think that you could get better pricing than @ ransomhall, not worse.

Another suggestion…assuming you were to single-source the strips, it would be cool to include a modified extender module (or something similar) with a matching connector for the strip. You could include the 5v (or 12v, depending on the strip) breakout on that board, which would make it easier to power longer lengths since, as @ ransomhall notes, you can’t drive too much directly off the mainboard.

And I agree 100% with his suggestion to pre-load the board with a demo program. Plug and play blinkies would be awesome!

Not answering the question asked but I think a LED strip module would be great… DaisyLink, somewhere between 10-20 LEDs each, beefier traces or maybe terminals to make power easy…

I think the best combo would be the LED strip (cut length per order) combined with a custom module & driver and end wires/connectors. No need to include a mainboard. The selling point for me would be the plug & play ease that comes with a module & driver. $35/m definitely seems high but checking eBay it does seem that is the market rate.

EDIT: BTW, I think someone should do some tests on the power requirements of these strips. I didn’t realize they were all going to light up by default when I first hooked them up to my Cerbuino. With no external power supply, the Cerbuino, connected only to USB, powered 3 meters of white LEDs w/o a hickup for approx 20 secs. Nothing was hot to the touch. I suspect they aren’t all actually illuminated simultaneously…

OK so how am I going to power at least a couple of 15 m strings and control it with Gadget?

I can only imagine what Pink Floyd could have done with this stuff at a concert, but I’m going to try :slight_smile:

@ Duke Nukem - Assume they would have smoked some Urban Dictionary: electric-puha and then gone - look at them pretty lights…

Yep. Something like racing a couple reds on a long strip will work just fine from mainboard power. I’ve found that mine start to blink erratically when I hit the current limit. To be on the safe side, though, first measuring current with all LEDs on brightest white is best to supply enough juice. Since a bunch of us now have the LPD8806 strips a reference table of LED count and current would indeed be handy.

Anybody powering up some red, white, and blue for the 4th? Don’t forget the camera!

So if I have the DP module, so I can pump in more than USB power, how much of this stuff should I be able to run before I need to start doing something exotic and bypassing the gadgeteer power path entirely?


At full white (all elements on full), you may get less than 1m (IIRC, USB Client DP is rated for 800ma when using a wall wart). According to the specs for the strip sold at Adafruit, they can draw up to 2A per meter.

How much?

That is indeed THE question. Time for a multimeter, or even better, this handy little board INA219 High Side DC Current Sensor Breakout - 26V ±3.2A Max [STEMMA QT] : ID 904 : $9.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits . I got a couple of these and will report back (hopefully) in the near future.

Cool… great to know! So looking at Digital RGB LED Strip tutorial - can I just not connect the +5 and GND to the gadgeteer system and pass them directly onto a power supply allowing the Hydra / Cerb board to simply supply the “logic” pins?


That’s exactly what I’m doing with my so-called Franken-PSU, mostly. I modded an ATX PSU (via a combination of Easily Convert an ATX Power Supply to a Lab Power Supply and http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-an-ATX-Power-Supply-Into-a-Regular-DC-Powe/?ALLSTEPS), and I connect the +5v from the PSU to the +5v terminal on the RGB LED strip, connect the signal pins and GND to a Gadgeteer S socket via the extender module (I’m using the Cerbuino Bee to run my LED strip at present), and then connect the GND from the PSU to a GND pin on the Cerbuino Bee (just be VERY careful that it’s GND you’re connecting to, as 3.3v is right next door).

With the PSU I modded, I can get around 22A at 5v, which will power two full reels of the LPD8806 LEDs that @ ransomhall ordered for a bunch of us. Might be overkill for some, but I’m actually preparing to mod another PSU, so I can drive 12v LED strips as well. :slight_smile: