View Full Version : WS2801 Interest

08-30-2010, 04:01 PM
I'm develloping a new hardware PCBs around 2801 CHIP.
The idea is to provide a smallest PCB with WS2801 embedded to be integrated in your Christmas design (sorry but the English is not my native language, i hope you will excuse me;)

So this PCB can be integrated with your frames and existing RGB PCBs and RGB strings....

Today, we can found RGB Pixels, but not original creations who can permits to used more than 1 RGB Led or small modules.
The idea is to create a module with power management going from 5 volts, 12v, 24v until 24v or 48 volts to integrate your exisiting PCBs or use the ones i will propose...

Also the main current drain can go to 500 mA per output on DC power per color (RGB).

For that a group buy will be created quickly to be on time for this year...

Actuallly i'm finishing the PCB and a production of 1000 units is expected...
Pricing is not yet known, but as forums rules, needs to go the cheapest as possible :more less than $1 per unit...

If there is an interest for kits with components... Why not, but we are not here to make money, but more to propose inventive and usefull devices....

Some basic creative creations using yet this device WS2801:


Another one :

So now the idea is to provide a smallest PCB who can be adapted to all your needs...

Below my actual working PCB frames, just to let you an idea:



These 2 frames are in development too.
First one rectangular, can manage 12 RGB 5050 RGB Led with 3 channels connected to WS2801 module.

Second one is 4 channels manageable ( static + dimmer) as your choice and also connectable to WS2801 module.

So again, first productions will be for WS2801 module (1000 pieces minimum)

The other ones will be as option... ( i will need your feedback for that please).

Production expected for September and delivery for begin October to leave you time to build.

Components will be from MOUSER of course. But Added on shipment can be an option...

For moment, i'm waiting prices from providers... More ASAP...

Thanks to send me your interest on that and for your feedback....

08-30-2010, 11:08 PM
Sounds good, but according to the datasheet of the ws2801, you'll be needing transistors.
i must be blind cause i could'nt see any.

08-30-2010, 11:24 PM
You are right.
Needs 3 x NPN transistors.
The pictures are just samples of basic exisiting devices, to show you and understand better the idea.

PCB is still on design as by-pass of transistors must to bee an option, for those who wants just to use 1 pixel led. In these case, no transistor needed.

PCB will be multifunction : basic load 20uA up to 500mA and 5v up to 24v or more. These according to Datasheet.


08-31-2010, 12:06 AM
You are right.
Needs 3 x NPN transistors.
The pictures are just samples of basic exisiting devices, to show you and understand better the idea.

PCB is still on design as by-pass of transistors must to bee an option, for those who wants just to use 1 pixel led. In these case, no transistor needed.

PCB will be multifunction : basic load 20uA up to 500mA and 5v up to 24v or more. These according to Datasheet.


how will you make it multifunction, when one circuit is constant current, the other is constant voltage, page 10 of datasheet

08-31-2010, 12:56 AM
Multifunction means :
Depending on how you populated the board, you will able to drive from one to several led, and not a dedicated board for 12v for example and that's it.
So you can have 5v, 12v, 24v for example and mix different boards according to the Led frame you attached on the string.
For example 1 module of 3 leds then 1 module 12led etc...
Nothing complicate but mixing led frames can be original in the same chain instead to have a wire per frame going to a controller. There is like a ribbon, but modulable and built by yourself.

I just got the SW now for the controller and works great.

I'll need some time now for the PCB and burning tests before sending it to the PCB manufacturer and get firsts prototypes...

Interested on that kind of frames and WS Board?


08-31-2010, 01:12 AM
Hate to be a wet blanket, but I thought I should point out that the DIYC forum rules requires you to have been a member for a full year before you can run a group buy. So unless you have someone else stepping up (I'm not volunteering ... SWMBO would kill me) you may have an additional challenge to overcome as well.

08-31-2010, 05:00 AM
Thanks LabRat for your comments.

But technology advance today quickest and quickest; so why in this case to private some interested members to have users developments benefits participating on positive way?

If these rules acts as break engine, why not; rules are the rules....

From my side i'll continue to advance as only 3 months now before lighting...



08-31-2010, 06:00 AM
you say you'll be supplying parts from mouser? Mouser does'nt stock the 2801 chip do they?

Also, i suggest you check that you can actually get stock of these chips.. :-)

08-31-2010, 07:31 AM
All parts excepts the WS2801 who will be delivery with the PCB directly...

As you know very well, there is a patent PB with the export of this chip;)


08-31-2010, 09:41 AM
I think there are many here who would be far more interested in the ability to obtain WS2801s (even bare) than PCB designs based around a chip they can't obtain. :)

08-31-2010, 09:51 AM
Why PCB's they can't optain?:cool:

08-31-2010, 11:04 AM
Why PCB's they can't optain?:cool:
Many people here have the ability to design PCBs around surface mount components, and to either home-etch them or submit them to a board house.

HOWEVER, few people here have any decent way of sourcing bare WS2801s in "experimenter" quantities, especially those of us in the United States, thanks to the patent issues.

I think you would probably get some good interest from people for PCBs that were based on WS2801s, IF the group buy included the WS2801. Similarly, many here would have a decent interest in smaller (50-100) quantities of bare WS2801 ICs. If you have an "everything but the WS2801" group buy, you shouldn't expect too much interest, since the PCBs are kind of useless without the difficult-to-obtain chip...

08-31-2010, 12:04 PM
The idea is to proposed the WS2801 with the PCB for easy solution of course and not only the PCB.

May i missed something or maybe my description was not enough clear...

Sourcing the component is no such difficult if you have local contacts. But sending it on a board is something else less difficult.

This is how today we can get the ribbons and strips with this chip from CHINA. The only PB, they are sold as pixels only to create curtains or megatrees in most of cases.


09-01-2010, 05:03 AM
Just a little update of the WS PCB rush:

Less than 40mmx40mm
Chainable from Left to Right and output for third party frame leds.

Will be provided with WS2801...

09-15-2010, 01:11 AM
Here is the final desing :


the board is 3,5cmx3,5 cm

3x 5050 RGB led on board
1 x In and Out to chain the boards on strings
1 x Boosted Output for third party PCB led pannel ( max 500 mA per output)
Precutted to chain them by soldering pads between modules
Comming with white frame for easyest integration

First Proto expected in 2 weeks.


09-15-2010, 10:15 AM
HOWEVER, few people here have any decent way of sourcing bare WS2801s in "experimenter" quantities, especially those of us in the United States, thanks to the patent issues.

Has anyone actually had a shipment of WS2801's blocked by customs? I've ordered hundreds of the $6 DMX controllers and they each have a WS2801 along with samples of other 2801 stuff without problem. Does anyone have a weblinks that show the infringment? US Patent Office, US Customs, etc...

09-15-2010, 05:45 PM
From my side i didn't get any official document about Import Problems for this chip.
I got 1000 units this week:D, My german friends got 4500 units too:D.
My shipment was controlled and opened by customs for inspection and nothing special... Devices arrived safe without PB...

So who had PB on shipments with the WS2801 or other similar led decoders components?

10-11-2010, 07:37 AM
Firsts Boards arrived:


Led Side:


The Pcbs will come by layer 16 units, pre-cutted


WS2801 pixel led : 3x 5050 RGB Led 12v and 3 output RGB 500ma per module

Cheers.... Henri

11-28-2011, 12:19 AM
Can you set the circuit with tanzistor?
And I need to output to 12v 2A.
Ehank in advance for your response!!

11-28-2011, 03:16 AM
The PCB have 2 options :
1st one is to use it with 3x5050 RGB embedded.
2nd one, mosre interesting is to power External RGB Led Flood using the 3 transistors (option in the basic PCB), and you can command
what you want in 12v basic or more....
You can also use it to decode from WS2801 to regular RGB channels, or at least as amplifier to have big length between controler and pixels or between 2 pixels.
So a lot of functions from a single PCB.
My show this year will be only these modules , mixing stars, megatree,floods, etc.... ( with LSP 2.0)

Today, i can power up 24xRGB 5050 just using one module and 3 transistors with 12 volts without adding any external PSU.


11-28-2011, 05:27 AM
I'd have to have external RGB 3x2A.
Ehank in advance for your response!!

11-29-2011, 03:57 AM
As the 3 outputs are open collector in my WS 2801 module,
you will need to use it as brain and command device, then add power tansistors to support your load (3A).
That's fine and will work normally.
Just request some addons components to manage correctly the flood and additional Power supply, of course...

I will describe such use, later on, when my home display will be ready (i'm on rush actually installing all lights).


12-01-2011, 02:30 PM
awesome idea henri. glad to see your using up all the 5050 led lol. i have a surplus too that im looking for something to do with them. interested to see the boards for sale.

12-02-2011, 03:34 AM
Personnally, i have 3000 x 5050 and 500 x WS2801 chips on stock

Also too many components to solder and as usual, not enough time...

I need to build the lightshow this weekend all (waterproof) and 100% self build... A nightmare, but i'm near the end.
Hope to light all on Sunday...

100% WS2801 modules = around 800 selfmade modules with all cosmetic around (support design, etc...)
and the new modules from ED : EGC P12x and LightShow PRO 2.

I'll put some pictures asap.

have a nice day.


made in china
12-09-2011, 12:59 AM
Hey guys, I just wanted to chime in that I am also building high power lighting using WS2801 IC's.
I'm using compact 150W halogen outdoor lamps as hosts. I've designed small, 3 ch PCB's that use 1 WS2801 driving 3 constant current LED driver circuits that can be set for any current value. At this time, I have installed 2 PCB's in each housing to drive a 10W RGB LED, a 10W neutral white LED, and a 10W UV LED. The LED's are mounted on a heavy heatsink that couples to the body of the fixture. Each PCB contains a differential line driver and receiver to extend comms to at least 1000 feet.
Basically, each fixture will support up to 6 channels. I've chosen to use UV and neutral white LED to extend the usefulness of this lighting for any event. The UV can deepen the blue, and act as a black light. The white LED can make pure white light such as lightning flashes or general use while allowing the other colors to do their own thing.

02-02-2012, 11:02 AM
hey henri, jw how this is coming along, just came up a great idea for these or do you have a pdf of the file you could send me so i could try to etch my own. thanks alot