Last minute scramble before the Burn


TL:DR, I hired someone on Fiverr to help with this, after two weeks of back and forth he has gone the way of all the earth and now I’m stuck.

I’ve made my first mutant vehicle, the Nightstick. Imagine an 8’ long Mag-Lite being ridden around the playa by 3 or four adults straddling the body :slight_smile: The front reflector design is finished, low beam will be about 300 lumens, high beam will be, well, a lot more, like 25,000 lumens more.

What I need help with is the nighttime conspicuity. Ideally, it would work out like this. The scheme would include 4 strips of leds, 1 in front, 2 in middle that will have the same pattern (one on either side of the body), and 1 in the rear. I’d need to be able to treat them as 3 zones (front, middle, rear), and be able to run them independently. The end goal is to have 3 different “riding” modes.

Mode 1, off, everything is off.

Mode 2, riding, front is solid white, middle is some sort of fading pattern moving towards the rear (so it adds to the effect that we are moving), and rear is red/orange fade between the two (think funky brake light).

Mode 3, party, front/middle/rear all doing some rainbow fade patterns.

I’d want to be able to toggle between the three Modes using a 3 position switch. Currently I have a three position switch on the handlebars that controls the headlight (running halo, low-beam, high-beam) and could easily repurpose that 12v signal to toggle between riding modes (the stock headlight will not be used). I just dont know how to interface between the pixelblaze and that three position switch as a trigger for the different modes. Thoughts?

General questions:
-Can I use a 12v three position switch to toggle between some preset patterns? If so, which controller/s do I need?
-Any recommendation between WS2811-WS2815 strips? They all seem to be available on Amazon. I’ll probably get something IP rated for water. Do they need to be 5v to work with the PixelBlaze or can I go 12v?
-Are any of the PB boards 12v compatible? I know I can convert to 5v, but would prefer to keep the whole thing 12v.

Really hoping Ben sees my email before shipping time tomorrow so I can get something overnighted. Heading out Wednesday morning to build camp!

Hi Manchild!

On your timeline, I suggest you run IP65 12V LEDs (WS2815). I didn’t see any IP67 (silicone tube) ones that will ship in time from Amazon. It’s not worth the extra soldering to get DC-DC converters to get your 12V down to 5V strips.

You’ll need to get down to 5V for Pixelblaze. Assuming you have a standard and not a pico, use one of these 12V → 5V buck converters for the convenient micro-USB connection. Don’t connect your Pixelblaze’s +5V to your LEDs in this setup, just GND and DAT.

You can’t use a 12V three-position switch, since the inputs are +3.3V or 0. Here are three ways to do it, starting with my top recommendation first:

  1. Skip the three way switch. The on-board tiny switch can advance patterns when pressed quickly. Just load only 3 patterns in the active playlist (Off, moving, party) and push the button to cycle between them. You can also solder an extension button (another spring loaded temporary button on long wires - thin wires are fine) to the GND and BTN pads on the backside of the regular PB board. Then you can get a larger hearty button like an arcade button. Don’t hold the button too long - that puts it in WiFi setup mode. Not destructive, just annoying.
  2. Skip the three way switch. Put the Pixelblaze in AP mode and use a phone to tap between the three patterns you like. I know you might not want to bring a phone out for more immediacy, but this is a zero-soldering solution.
  3. If you want a single pattern with a three way switch, you’ll need to wire the ADC so that you can provide it with 3.3V, 1.6V, or 0 volts. You can produce the 1.6V with two identical resistors to make a voltage divider. I’d do it with the +3.3 and GND pads on the back of the V3. Then you need to read these values in code and switch beforeRender() / render()s code based on the ADC pin value you read in beforeRender(). This seems much more complicated to me, but it’s the way to use a real 3-way switch instead of a temporary pushbutton.

Good luck. FYB.

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Actually, I just found a bunch of 30/m 5m strips of IP67 (waterproof tube) GS8208, which are a an overall better version of the WS2815. I ship out Tuesday… would you mind picking them up on playa? DM me if that would work for you.

Thank you for the quick response and excellent multiple solutions. I’ll DM for details. Cheers

Sorry to be a noob, I cant find how to DM you. I clicked on your profile and my messages and for the life of me I cant see where I’d send you a message.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Meetup at Burning Man 2022

If you click his avatar, can you see something like this? It’s the blue button.

Replied to that, you should see UPS overnight shipping options in the I’ll keep an eye out for your order!

Negative, no button to message on any popup, avatar, or profile page. Maybe my account is too new so I dont have the graduated permissions/full use of the service from Discourse.