Just got your AllPixel? Not sure where to start? Look no further!

Wait… what is the AllPixel you say? It is our USB controlled, universal controller for digital LED strips. Watch this for more details:

Now that we’re on the same page… start here:

AllPixel Quick Start Guide.

It will walk you through every step. From installing the optional components to running animations with BiblioPixel.

If you want to know more about BiblioPixel:

BiblioPixel wiki.

Need help getting everything setup? Want to show off what you made? Go here:

Maniacal Labs Forum

If you would like to acquire an AllPixel but missed the Kickstarter, have no fear! The AllPixel and PowerTap are now available for general sale on the Maniacal Labs Seeed Store

Want to to see more? Check out all our AllPixel / BiblioPixel related videos:

AllPixel Seeed

Good news! The AllPixel and PowerTap are now available for general sale on the Maniacal Labs Seeed Store

KermitFlail

For those that missed the Kickstarter or just want more, this means that you can order RIGHT NOW! They are being sold through our manufacturing partner Seeed Studio.

We realize that shipping from China can be slow and may not be convenient for everyone, but fear not, we are working hard to find distributors that will help bring the AllPixel a little closer to home for as many people as possible. Since we know our supporters are all over the world; if there is a domestic distributor you enjoy doing business with, please leave a link in the comments below and we’ll do what we can.

Just look at all the places the AllPixel has gone to already!
AllPixel Backer Map

Once you’ve got your AllPixel, don’t forget to check out these resources to get up and running quickly:

AllPixel Quick Start Guide

BiblioPixel wiki

Maniacal Labs Forum

So, grab yours now! Happy Making!

Now that the AllPixel boards are finally landing in the hands of our backers, I felt it was time to take on one of the projects on my very long and neglected to-do list. Something to clear my head a bit… but let’s be honest, it’s still going to be LED related :)

I’ve wanted a bias light for a long time and recently got the idea that it would be cool to make it controllable with an IR remote. I wanted to learn how to interface with an IR receiver on the Arduino anyways, so it was a good excuse. In total, this build was quite simple in terms of parts. All I used was:

Now, I know, some are going to ask me why I didn’t use the AllPixel… well, while I stand by it as an awesome tool, it would have been serious overkill and quite a lot more complex. The AllPixel requires another computer to control it, which would maybe have made more sense if I wanted to control it directly from a media PC or something, but I wanted it to be more standalone. If I ever want to upgrade this to an Ambilight clone, then the AllPixel would definitely be the way to go.

Speaking of overkill; I should note that using the WS2801 strips was definitely more complexity and expense than was needed. The best solution, since I wanted the strip to all be the same color, would be an “analog” LED strip without individual pixel control. This would have been much cheaper. Or even a 12V WS2801 strip where each “pixel” is 3 LEDs, which are also a good deal cheaper. But there’s cheaper and then there’s what I already have in my parts stock. Going with what I had on hand made it a nice and quick project. Just keep in mind, if replicating this, there are cheaper options if you don’t already have the parts.

The hookup is pretty simple. First, follow the TSOP38238 datasheep and connect pin 1 of the sensor to pin 2 on the Pro Mini, 2 to 3, and 3 to 4.

BiasLight

BiasLight

What I did with the pin hookup here is cheating a little. I didn’t want to require any fancy wiring, so I just use Arduino pin 2 as the input pin, but then set pin 3 as OUTPUT/LOW (Ground) and pin 4 as OUTPUT/HIGH (VCC). A nice little trick when you have extra pins and want to power something lower powered without having to connect to proper Ground and VCC. You just have to add the following code as the first thing in setup():

    pinMode(3, OUTPUT);
    pinMode(4, OUTPUT);
    digitalWrite(3, LOW);
    digitalWrite(4, HIGH);

Next, hook up the LED strip connection. I used a 4 pin JST connector (since that’s what is on the LED strip) and wired the Data line to pin 11 (MOSI) and Clock line to pin 13 (CLK). Then, VCC and Ground were connected to the VCC and Ground Arduino pins, as were two more wires that I connected to one of the handy screw terminal barrel jack adapters I keep on hand. Connecting the power this way allows powering both the LED strip and the Arduino off the same 5V power adapter.

BiasLight

For the software, I used a great IR library called IRLib which really makes reading the IR input super easy. The LEDs were, of course, controlled by the awesome FastLED which is also at the heart of the AllPixel :) You can checkout all the final code at the IRBiasLight GitHub repo but I want to make a couple notes:

  • Change the following line to reflect the total number of LEDs your strip has.
#define numLEDs 103
  • Every remote is different and uses different IR codes. So you will have to program the codes of the remote you want to use. The code outputs the code of every remote signal that it receives to the serial console. Just set the console to 115200 baud and then press the buttons you would like to use for each function and past those values into these lines:
#define BRIGHT_UP  0xE0E006F9      //Remote D-Up
#define BRIGHT_DOWN    0xE0E08679  //Remote D-Down
#define COLOR_BK   0xE0E0A659  //Remote D-Left
#define COLOR_FWD  0xE0E046B9  //Remote D-Right
#define HOME       0xE0E0B44B  //Remote Exit
#define SAVE       0xE0E058A7  //Remote Menu
#define POWER      0xE0E016E9  //Remote Enter/OK
#define RAINBOW        0xE0E024DB  //Remote Sleep

I used a remote from an unused device so that the remote codes would not conflict with anything. Even though I will program these codes into my Logitech universal remote, it’s unfortunate that the only way to do this is from another remote and not by directly entering a remote code. So, I cannot just enter any arbitrary code that I want. But it probably won’t be too hard for you to find an old remote lying around. Though, note that some may not work as it has to be a remote that uses a 38kH carrier signal supported by the TSOP38238. Most modern remotes use this frequency, but not all. So if nothing is output over the serial connection, just try a different remote.

The functions listed above perform the following actions:

  • BRIGHT_UP: Increase brightness
  • BRIGHT_DOWN: Decrease brightness
  • COLOR_BK: Increase color hue, cycles through full spectrum and then white
  • COLOR_FWD: Decrease color hue, cycles through full spectrum and then white
  • HOME: Revert to saved color and brightness
  • SAVE: Save current color and brightness for recall by HOME function
  • POWER: Turn the light off. Every other action turns them on
  • RAINBOW: Displays a rainbow gradient… because we can :)

All above functions except, of course, power will turn the LEDs on if they are currently off.

Post in the comments with any questions. Happy making!

WyoCube

We’ve shown off pre-production versions before, but our friends at WyoLum have just made the awesome TinyTiM available!

The TinyTiM, much like their larger TiM, is an awesome, well-made (by the same manufacturer as the AllPixel!), and versatile 8×8 LED matrix based on the WS2812 LED. And it’s 100% compatible with the AllPixel!

As usual, Justin from WyoLum is super awesome and sent us some early production boards…

WyoCube

WyoCube

Nope… it wasn’t just one TinyTiM… it was six!

Continue reading

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It’s been a long, long journey bringing the AllPixel to fruition and it is finally coming to the end… But now the real fun begins as the AllPixel finds its way into the hands of LED hackers and hobbyists!

The Kickstarter backer rewards have begun shipping out and, once those shipments arrive, the AllPixel and PowerTap will be available for general sale on the Seeed Store. We’re shooting for availability within the first two weeks of April.

While you wait, be sure to checkout the AllPixel Quick Start Guide and the BiblioPixel Wiki so that you can dive right in as soon as they are available. Once you have an AllPixel, check out the Maniacal Labs Forum if you have any questions, or would just like to show off what you’ve made. We would love to see what everyone comes up with so please don’t hesitate to share on the Show-And-Tell sub-forum!

If you want to be notified as soon as the AllPixel is available, be sure to sign up to be notified on the AllPixel page.

Stay tuned!!