Veranda Forsook

Blinkey blinkey lights on a brass band.

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Using LED light strips, Pixelblaze wireless microcontroller, Firestorm controller software, and a Adafruit PiGRRL Raspberry Pi develop a mobile light show on a brass band.

There are a million blinking lights projects, this one is mine. The goal is to build lights that attach to the outfits or instruments of a 11 piece brass band known for being very physically active during their shows. The lights should have a base construction that allows for lots of options for the individual to decide how to wear it and also be easily detached for cleaning or maintenance. Design choices were made based on scale, affordability, ease of use, goofproof manageability, and does it look cool. 

  • 1 × ElectroMage Pixelblaze V2+ WiFi LED Controller ESP8266 wireless light controller
  • 1 × WS2812B RGB LED Strip Light
  • 1 × Cloth for light defuser
  • 1 × 4xAAA battery holder 6v
  • 1 × Raspberry PI

View all 6 components

  • XLR, part of the complete balanced breakfast.

    Justin Sabe10/23/2019 at 17:09 0 comments

    Life hack: A 50 foot XLR cable is a good inexpensive source for flexible 3 core wire with a nice jacket. It ships next day from Amazon Prime and someday those XLR ends are going to be useful in fixing something. 

  • Features no on/off switch

    Justin Sabe10/21/2019 at 16:01 0 comments

    Each light string is powered by a bank of 4 AA batteries running at 6 volts plugged directly into the string and the Pixelblaze controller. There is no on/off switch in the circuit because that adds time, expense and complications to the build. Also if there is an on/off switch it will get bumped during a performance or add confusion in troubleshooting when time is short. 

    The Pixelblaze can run off a USB power bank but not provide full brightness through the USB connector. The usb connector is also prone to being unplugged or damaging if flexed the wrong way. The other consideration is either trying to charge a dozen power banks, or trusting each band member to charge them before the show. 

    I went with 4xAAA 6v because the controller and the particular string of lights I chose can be powered off the same bus. At full brightness the batteries get a little warm. At 33% they can run for several hours and are plenty bright. 

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