Pixels part 3: FastLED

Posted on Tue 30 January 2024 in Making • Tagged with leds, electronics

In the first post in this series, I introduced RGB pixels, discussed the various types, and compared analog and true RGB pixels. In the second part, I covered wiring and shared my tips for reliably connecting to your microcontroller. In this third part, I will discuss the FastLED library, one …


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Pixels part 2: the hardware

Posted on Thu 07 December 2023 in Making • Tagged with leds, electronics

In the first post in this series, I introduced RGB pixels. I discussed the various types and compared analog and true RGB pixels. I also covered power requirements. In this post, I'll cover wiring and share my tips for reliably connecting to your microcontroller. I also include a basic sketch …


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An intro to RGB pixel LEDs

Posted on Mon 27 November 2023 in Making • Tagged with arduino, leds

RGB LEDs, sometimes called pixels, are lots of fun. Who doesn't like blinky lights?! They're not hard to use, though there's enough complexity to make these LEDs seem a bit daunting. In this post, I'll go through the basics to get you started on your blinky fun.

Traditional LEDs display …


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My first custom PCB

Posted on Wed 25 March 2020 in Making • Tagged with electronics, pcb

I had many troubles this year with my Christmas light electronics. Solder connections went bad multiple times. Wires got snagged and tangled during setup. It was tough re-soldering connections while sitting in a snowbank with the circuit hanging by its wires from a yard decoration.

I decided I could fix …


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Controlling Christmas lights with MQTT

Posted on Thu 02 January 2020 in Making • Tagged with python, arduino, xmas

I'm one of those Clark Griswold kind of guys that totally over-decorates his house. To make my lights more interesting, I've built my own light animation system which I call PiLit.

Of course, all my code is free and open source. Check it out at https://github.com/skypanther/PiLit …


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Streaming birdcam with a Raspberry Pi and picamera

Posted on Fri 04 May 2018 in Making • Tagged with raspberry pi, making, python

My darling wife got me a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and a NOIR Pi camera for my birthday so that I could set up a streaming camera to monitor our nesting bluebirds. Here's how I did it.

My first attempt was to use the Motion program as described by Hackernoon. It …


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