WiFi Aurora

Pi Zero WiFi Backpack for WS281x LED Matrices

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Mount a Pi Zero on the back of a WS281x LED matrix, add WiFi and software, then enjoy!

The Pi Zero plugs into the back of the Pimoroni Unicorn HAT. The Unicorn HAT is an 8x8 matrix of WS281x RGB LEDs. Adding WiFI and software to the Pi, turns this into a WiFi network controlled LED matrix. The only soldering required is to solder the headers to the Pi Zero. Logic level shifting is handled by the Unicorn HAT.

Configuration files for Glediator and PixelController.

binary/zip - 4.09 kB - 02/14/2016 at 02:39


  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Zero
  • 1 × OTG to host cable For USB WiFi or Ethernet
  • 1 × USB WiFi or Ethernet adapter
  • 1 × Micro SD card with Raspian Jessie Lite
  • 1 × Power supply for Pi and matrix 5VDC 4A

View all 8 components

  • Backed into a corner

    bbx10node02/12/2016 at 19:18 0 comments

    The build instructions are not done but are so long that I decided to simplify this project. I will save the work so far for another time. Including OLA adds a lot of complexity which is not really needed. I will try a simpler approach limited to the Unicorn HAT to simplify the hardware side.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1

    Prepare the Pi Zero and Unicorn HAT

    Plug the Pi Zero into the back of the Unicorn HAT. Plug the OTG to USB host cable or adapter into the Pi Zero. Plug the OTG cable or adapter into the Pi Zero USB port. Plug a USB keyboard into the OTG cable or adapter. Plug in an HDMI monitor using the mini HDMI adapter. The monitor and keyboard will be used to enter the WiFi parameters. Once WiFi is working, the monitor and keyboard are not needed.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Download and install Raspian Jessie Lite on a micro SD card from the following link. There is a link on the page for details on burning the file to an SD card.

    Plug the micro SD card into the Pi. Lastly plug in power to the Pi. You should see boot messages on the monitor.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Login to the Pi using the keyboard. The default password is "raspberry".

    Upgrade Raspian like this.

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

    To enable WiFi, modify the following file.

    sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

    Add the following lines to the end of /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf. Substitute your WiFi network SSID and PSK.


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