Connection issues (etc) to Pixelblaze 2/2+

I’ve been enjoying dabbling with making my own pattern with Pixelblaze 2/2+ but have had some trouble.

It seems I’m having trouble getting/staying connected via wifi through my local wifi router.
I use to find and connect.
Part of it may have been the position of the PixelBlaze being on the verge of my wifi range(?)

Seem to have difficultly making the initial connection in my browser: sometimes it stays on the “loading…” screen to long periods. Sometimes it will connect but won’t display all the patterns. Sometimes it will disconnect. Sometimes the FPS counter stops working.
And sometimes, when editing a pattern, it will be stuck on the “generating preview” and the “save changes” will be disabled.
I moved Pixelblaze from a few inches from the floor to about a foot off the floor and it seems to have helped. But other wifi devices have a full-strength signal in the room.

Is the a preffered browser? Have tried Firefox and Chrome.

Also, sometimes when I boot up to cycle through the pattern playlist, it doesn’t start-up: no LEDs in the spool light up, or only the 1st LED is the spool stays on solid. But after several re-boots, its start the pattern playlist.

I have a 15A power supply and when I measured the current draw at full brightness, it was only ~1A seems have a have plenty of capacity.

Here is the connection status:
Connected v2.27 FPS:28.88 Mem:2111 Exp:-

I don’t know perhaps I may also be running out of memory. Is 2111 low enough to be an issue? What’s effecting the memory usage? Mainly the sheer # of patterns a have loaded?

There’s probably no way to display the Pixelblaze’s wifi connection strength?

Also, in the preview of the pattern, I have a string of 240 LEDs but looks like only the first 64 or so are shown in the banner. That’s normal?

Thanks in advance.

Hi @Craig ,
Yes, it definitely sounds like WiFi connectivity issues, but those can be caused by more than just signal strength.

Power is a big one, though it sounds like you have enough current handling. Are there long wires between the power supply and PB? Ideally PB will be as close to the power source as possible. Sometimes adding large bulk capacitors near PB can help.

Keeping the antenna area (the thin PCB that pokes out the top) clear will help too. Metal / wires, and some other materials can block the signal or detune the antenna.

2.4GHz WiFi also can have small dead zones, which are a function of the angle and wavelength, moving it around by few inches can help sometimes. Here’s a really cool video showing a 3D map of WiFi!

You can see WiFi signal strength in PB, though it’s not quite as cool.

  • For V3, you can see the signal strength as small blue bars in the WiFi tab when you do a scan.
  • For V2, it can only bee seen in setup mode, in setup mode during configuration you will be able to see PBs signal to the router in a scan as a percentage.

That is pattern memory free, nothing to worry about there. Number of saved patterns won’t impact WiFi or cause the disconnections you are seeing.

The live preview is currently limited to the first 100 pixels.

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Definitely sounds like wifi interference or insufficient signal.

It’s often possible to re-enable the save button by disabling (click on it until it turns gray) and re-enabling (click on it until it again starts regenerating) the preview bar…but for extra insurance it might also be good to copy the pattern code and paste it into a text file.

The above strikes me as an issue unrelated to wifi. Power related?

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I’m still having connection problems at start-up. Powers up for about 15 seconds then resets over and over.
I measured the supply voltage: between 4.4 to 4.7V
So yeah, that’s low. Probably keeps going into under-voltage lock-out.

Do you have any operating data? Like what’s the minimum operating voltage? What’s the maximum operating voltage?

I’m running 480 LEDs: 2x SK6812 RGBW reels, only about a quarter brightness.
I splurged for the 15A supply but I should be well under that.
The input voltage to the supply is 119V AC @ 65mA. So current draw at 5V DC is <1.5A.

I guess I gotta get another power supply :frowning:

Got any power supply recommendations?

Hey Craig - is it possible to connect your power supply (or run extra wires) close to the Pixelblaze? That should minimize voltage drop. I agree that your power supply should be enough of the global brightness setting is at 25%.

Does your supply have an adjustable output voltage? Mine usually have a small potentiometer.

No adjustment.
After re-connecting some wires, it went up to 5.1V at the PixelBlaze but it kept resetting every minute.
It connects briefly to WiFi, but then resets.

I went back to powering it from USB (not power adapter). The DC voltage is 5.05V DC with 2mV AC. From the power adapter, it was 5.16V with 13mV AC.

On USB power, the PixelBlaze doesn’t seem to have any trouble with it resetting.
So I’m thinking the AC component could be problematic.

But if I want to drive 480 LEDs at >25% brightness, I’m gonna have to use a power supply (not USB).
I’ll try to get a cap 1uF+ across the PixelBlaze supply and see if that helps in preventing the resets.

Right now I can drive 480 LEDs with very low brightness from USB only but the voltage drops to 4.80V. So that’s probably pushing it.

I added a 10uF cap at the 5V connector and that seems to have improve things when powered from the power supply/adapter. :slight_smile: