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Thread: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

  1. #1
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    Default Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    HI I am new to this and i am trying to learn how to setup vixen and Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811 addressable leds
    .
    I want to use a Arduino Mega 2560 board with vixen using ws2811 LEDS and using multiple channels to control the lights

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    Welcome to the forum .
    You may want to look at this thread HERE as it relates to what you are after.
    Last edited by angus40; 07-02-2022 at 04:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    You could use Arduino for pixels but I'd suggest using an ESP32 instead.

    ESP32's are just as cheap as Arduinos and they come with Wifi or Ethernet versions.
    Instead of writing code, WLED software can be uploaded to the ESP32 from https://install.wled.me/
    With a change in settings in WLED, it can receive E1.31 data from Vixen.

    E1.31 is widely used by other software too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    As mentioned, the ESP is a great option. You can also look at the ESPixelStick software which has been optimized for use in a show.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    5V arduinos do have one significant advantage over esp.

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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    please dont say it is because you can drive the pixels without a buffer on the output because that is a realy BAD idea. And many ESPs are 5v ready for the arduino environment.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. There is nothing wrong with that to get started. When you get started, the important thing is to keep it simple. And you're probably not driving more than 100 pixels anyway--you're happy just to make it work.

    To give a little more context: when I first did my own PEX arches, I plugged in 12V to the barrel plug on my Arduino Uno and ran a 300 12V LED strip directly off of vin, in the summer. Oh, it got hot all right. Touching that regulator was an excellent way to burn your finger. But that Arduino is still working (as is the arch). The advantage of that configuration was that the wiring was so simple. What fried another Arduino, though, was the rain. Okay, so I'm out a $3 Arduino clone; for reasons completely unrelated to having a network connection. I'm glad I am only out an Arduino clone and not an ESP. And I didn't have to mess with any of the rigamarole related to an ESP, since that was not the thing I was testing.
    Last edited by 1pet2_9; 07-02-2022 at 12:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    Quote Originally Posted by Maraku View Post
    You could use Arduino for pixels but I'd suggest using an ESP32 instead.

    ESP32's are just as cheap as Arduinos and they come with Wifi or Ethernet versions.
    Instead of writing code, WLED software can be uploaded to the ESP32 from https://install.wled.me/
    With a change in settings in WLED, it can receive E1.31 data from Vixen.

    E1.31 is widely used by other software too.
    If the OP has an Arduino and pixels that may be a great learning experience for him as he is new to the hobby .

    I am a fan of WLED as it has the canned effects down to a science but not its e1.31 capabilities .
    EspixelStick firmware is the king in reliable firmware for this usage.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    Quote Originally Posted by angus40 View Post
    If the OP has an Arduino and pixels that may be a great learning experience for him as he is new to the hobby .

    I am a fan of WLED as it has the canned effects down to a science but not its e1.31 capabilities .
    EspixelStick firmware is the king in reliable firmware for this usage.
    Agreed, it they already own the Arduino and the pixels, as that should be a good learning experience (particularly if a network connection isn't needed). If the Arduino is not already in hand, one of the other choices mentioned would be better for the longer term IMO.
    Phil

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Arduino Christmas lights using ws2811

    The 5V Arduino is also highly advantageous if you want to drive those big SSR's that can drive upwards of 10A. Those will not accept 3.3V. I did it from a Pi, but wiring those bipolars was a lot more trouble.

    That being said, I did just train a guy who is running a Wemos D1-R1 (ESP8266) directly from Vin right now. USB goes to his laptop, red wire to Vin, white wire to GND, green wire to...say...pin D5. Install FastLED Library, run the Example sketch. Done. Of course, if he ever attempts to add more run length to his wires, I will probably be getting a phone call.

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