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Designing the Charlieplex

A project log for Möbius Flex

My entry for the flex PCB contest. I'm not sure how well a flex PCB will work for an LED-studded möbius strip, but let's find out.

Chris MillerChris Miller 03/25/2019 at 22:290 Comments

I've never officially used charlieplexing before, so I wanted to find a good guide on creating the schematic.  I followed the great example at https://stkwans.blogspot.com/2012/05/designing-large-charlieplex.html

I decided that 60 LEDs total would result in a good spacing for the size available.  I am betting that some empty space between the LEDs will let the flex PCB twist evenly along the 120mm or so of strip.

The easiest way to lay out two double-sided strips of 30 LEDs was to create two arrays that each use 6 microcontroller pins.  That way they both have the same connection footprint, and it gives some symmetry to the design.  Half of the LEDs (even/odd) are on the back of the PCB.

I designed one half of the schematic in KiCad first, and once I confirmed that I could route it, I copy/pasted the schematic section and replicated the routing by hand.

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