A noob's quest to popping his cherry connecting/powering Neopixel rings

From what I’ve gathered I’m now in the presence of electro-wizards, please have mercy on me for making this post.

Right off the bat I would like to state that I’m a complete and utter noob when it comes to circuits, converters etc. I’m a complete blank slate, knowing nothing, nada, zero, zilch. So, if anyone would be so kind as to aid me with the task at hand, please, feel free to talk to me as you would with a small child, that has fell down the stairs and been hit over the head with a baseball bat, repeatedly.

The idea is to make my own green LED camera ring light, hence why I bought two Neopixel rings off of Aliexpress. They came with the drivers already installed (see attached), a 3 pin male and female connector regulating input and output, thinking this would make my life easier.

Having the mind of a small man-child, my logic told me that I would be able to power both of them by using a USB charger to 3 pin male connector, and then that connected to a powerbank. I was wrong. This only resulted in one blinking LED, as if it were mocking me, which I’m sure it was.

If anyone would be able to help me along as to how to create a simple, yet effective and cost-efficient setup, I would be eternally within your debt, oh great wizard!

<rolls up sleeves>

OK friend. Let’s do this.

  1. How many LEDs total between both NeoPixel rings? This will help us make sure you can get enough current from the USB brick without overloading it. A link to the rings you bought could be helpful.
  2. You said they came with a driver. Do you mean a “controller”, IE, something that lts you set the colors and play some basic patterns? Or do you mean a current driver, IE power supply?
  3. Just want to confirm you have a Pixelblaze (which version?) and tried following the wiring diagrams on the Getting Started page. Can you snap a picture of your whole setup, showing the wiring?
  4. If your Pixelblaze is wired correctly, it might also be useful to see a screenshot of your settings page.

Let’s start there. Even small children who have been defenestrated through low windows and fed only coconuts have been able to get Pixelblaze working, so a bat and stairs case should be manageable.

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I don’t see a Pixelblaze.

Thanks for not shunning me and taking both time and effort to help!

  1. I got the 24 & 35 rings, so between both there are a total of 59 LED’s.
    DC5V WS2812B Led Digital Panel Matrix Flexible Screen 8*8 16*16 8*32 5050 RGB WS2812 Ring Individually Addressable Pixels|LED Strips| - AliExpress
  2. With driver I meant power supply. It’s just now (when you said controller) that I had the epiphany that I am going to need… yep, you guessed it, a controller!
  3. A Pixel-whatta-now?! This must be the controller you referred to in the previous question. No, I do not have one nor have I ever heard of it, which by now I’m guessing shouldn’t really come as shocker (considering my baseball past)
  4. I’m just gonna leave this one open… for the time being that is

From what I’ve gathered is that I would first need a controller which should be a pixelblaze before being able to move on, correct?

Now, for one more question. In my Googling attempts I ran into the following DC5V WS2812B Led Strip Digital Panel Matrix Individually Addressable With 5V Led Power Supply And SP110E Wifi Remote Controller|LED Strips| - AliExpress

< eyes start to open wide, pupils dilate, drool emanates from corner of mouth & mind goes ‘’OOOOH, Look at the pretty picture!’’>

Would this be the simplest possible setup available and, could the Pixelblaze you mention be substituted by the SP110E LED HUE controller or is that one just kaka?

Thanks - got it! This forum (Electromage), is pretty much dedicated to the Pixelblaze controller. Some of us might be willing to help you on other controllers, but in case it gets a little quiet I just wanted you to understand why!

Here’s the intro page for Pixelblaze

Based on where you’re at in your journey with LEDs, I personally would suggest you start with the controllers that start with the letter “SP”, like the SP110E one you found. SP105E, SP107, etc are also popular.

With these, if you just wire them up correctly, it’s the fastest route to having a variety of mesmerizing patterns and ability to select other things like solid colors.

If that goes well, and you’re thinking, “You know what, I really want to write code to make
It do exactly what I want,” then Pixelblaze is IMO the best answer. You got it - you’d substitute it in for the other controller.

For 59 LEDs, you might pull as much as 3.6 amps, which will be over the rating for most USB connectors. If you were an expert and could guarantee you’ll never accidentally run them all white at full brightness, you might get away with this, but honestly I consider myself an expert on this and still screw it up often, so my advice is to find yourself a decent 5V supply rated to at least 4A. They’re cheap and worth it.

Good luck!

The pixelblaze sounds and, after having youtubed some vids, looks outta this world awesome!
Definitely something I see myself using in the, hopefully near, future. Although for now I’m just babysteppin’ into it.

Thanks for your time and willingness of clearing all this stuff up for me, I sincerely appreciate it!

Over & out

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