WS2811 RGB strip Leds

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  • Hello, just got my Espruino, its working great! Its all pretty new to me though, so please forgive the basic questions.

    I am trying to work though some of the tutorials, and I had bought some addressable LED's, specifically these:
    1M 60LEDs/M WS2811 Led Digital strip light Dream RGB Individually Addressable 5V

    These are different to those used in the tutorial, so any tips on how to 1) connect these up to my Espruino and b) power them?

    Also, what is that purpose built looking "breadboard" you can see on most of the images on the tutorials? That looks like connecting pins up to things would be much easier - where can I buy one?

    Many thanks

  • ? There's a buying link at the bottom.

    or the pins on the board itself? (again, buying link there)

    I can't figure out from the picture which colours go where, but looking at an eBay link, the light itself should have DIN, GND and 5V marked on it all the way along.

    I think the end you want to connect to is the one with the single plug (and you just want to tape up the other end) - but I'd check what it says on the lights (one end of each little section should have DIN on it, the other should have DOUT or nothing).

    You then just connect as in the tutorial - Gnd->gnd, 5V->Bat, and DIN->B15. If you want to know for sure, take a zoomed in picture of one end of the LED strip and I'll see if I can work it out.

  • I get why there are two three wire plugs... but what's the pair of wires coming out? Just for connecting higher current power supply?
    Edit: On the WS2811, it's possible to separate the power supply for the LEDs from that for the control circuitry - that's probably what's being done here.

    Reversing Dout and Din doesn't kill anything (it just won't work), so as long as you get the +5v / Gnd right, you can try both ends for data. But you do need to be damned sure which is +5 and which is ground, the WS2811/2812 (but not 2812B) are notorious for dying if you put reverse voltage on them.

    Pin strips are wonderful - you'll also want the connectors for it. These are (at least by some vendors) called dupont connectors. I bought a whole set of 1~9 pin housings and hundreds of female pins, plus some pre-pinned dupont line (the stuff with no pin housings on it)... For more basic needs, these (­e-20cm-cable-Line-color-1p-1p-pin-connec­tor-/260980054045?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&­hash=item3cc39f981d ) for connecting pins to pins, or these (­e-Color-Jumper-Cabl-2-54mm-1P-1P-Male-Fe­male-20cm-/251178082666?pt=LH_DefaultDom­ain_0&hash=item3a7b61616a ) for working with breadboards (they end in a pin on one end, though you can barely see in the picture). That ebay seller's entire store is full of cheap wonders (his stuff usually makes it to the USA within 2 weeks or so, despite the much more pessimistic ship times given, not sure about the UK) - so I recommend looking through the other categories of items too... unless you're on a budget, that is - it's mighty easy to nickle-and-dime yourself to death there (I think i've given them close to $200 in the past month or so, just getting "Oh that looks cool, maybe I could use a such-and-such sensor for something, and it's so cheap" kinda purchases and they don't even sell the good LEDs!).

    Breadboards, I would recommend using only if you're really desperate, after you've broken up your furniture for fuel, and there's nothing else to throw in the fireplace to keep warm... But seriously, they're unreliable as shit, avoid them if possible (particularly if they're not new - they age poorly). I used them for a while, and I was spending more time trying to track down problems that turned out to be loose connections than I was on any other part of the project. And just the other week I sat around for a demo for like 10 mins while my friend redid a bunch of soldering assuming he'd burned out a part, only to find that nope, everything was fine, the breadboard just wasn't making good contact....

  • OK thanks guys. Gordon it was the Pin Strip I was after, cheers. Dr Azzy I'll skip the breadboards for now then!
    Thanks both for the links - my wife now has a lot more trips to the collection office coming up to pick up my "strange parcels from Asia" :)

    Here is a close-up of the LED strip:

    The extra red and red/black wires did throw me.

  • Whoa. Yes - it looks like green is actually +5v?

    But yes, it looks like that's the input end, and red=5v, black=gnd, yellow=signal?

    Do you have a link to where you bought this strip? It looks good (looks like they've tried to add some protection circuitry at the front).

  • As an aside - those are not WS2811's; The WS2811 is just a control IC, and the manufacturer of the light strip of whathaveyou would wire the IC up to an RGB LED. Those are WS2812's, with the control circuitry integrated into the same package as the LEDs.

  • It'll work same as if it were WS2811's. The control protocol for WS2811 and WS2812/2812B are the same. As for why the ebay seller put the wrong part number in their product desc, i'd say it was just the sloppiness typical of chinese ebay seller. At least it's not something that effects functionality.

    A WS2812 is basically a WS2811 die in the same package as an RGB LED, while the WS2811 is a separate IC that drives an RGB LED (look at the WS2811's here, see how they have an IC at the base of each LED - that's the WS2811, the LED is just a normal (non-smart) RGB LED)

    For strips and arrays, it's pretty much only relevant to the manufacturer of the strip/array - where the '12 is cheaper since you only need one part, assuming you want a 5050 package and are happy with their LEDs (standard RGB leds), while the WS2811 is more versatile and could, for example, be wired to 3 discrete LEDs instead of an RGB one, or a LED in a different package (like the WS2811 light string in the example)

  • Ok, thanks DrAzzy.

    As for actually powering these LED's, I understand that I can't rely on the power coming from Espruino as the LED's need more juice. There are separate red and black wires going into this thing which I presume is the power - could you please recommend a power supply I could purchase for this (and other similar electronic components)? Wall plug or from USB, anything really, I don't know where to start!

  • The simple solution to massive power at 5v is to use a PC's ATX power supply. There's plenty of info online, but you just short 2 pins out on the long white connector and it turns on, then you've got 5v at a million* amps.

    Having said that, to test it you might as well try it out by connecting it to VBat+GND on Espruino. There's a thermal (self-resetting) fuse on the Espruino board which won't let you draw more than an Amp, so you're unlikely to blow anything up.

    If you make sure you don't send values that are more than 63 to it you're unlikely to ever get to drawing more than 1 Amp.

  • How many Amps does a 50 led strip of ws2811s use when all leds are set to white?
    I've got some old psp chargers/supplys that are 5v at 2 Amps.

  • Well, if you assume 20mA/colour it's 50*3*0.02 = 3 Amps.

  • yes, it's right.
    you may see some introductions in following website:

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WS2811 RGB strip Leds

Posted by Avatar for Paulus_newbieus @Paulus_newbieus