New to this. Have question about a lighting pattern

Hello all,
I’m completely new to the PB and to writing the code. I won’t ask for anyone to write code for me.
I’d like to know if it’s possible to have some sort of color pattern working. Whether moving or not and to have random bright white flashes like a star burst randomly hopping around the pattern? I’ve seen things like this before. It looks pretty cool.


Hi Don - definitely possible. Is your goal to learn how to write PB code? And is what you’d be looking for to be displayed on a strip, or more like a 2D surface? Got a video that you’d like to emulate?

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. It will be for strips. I think I will have to learn how to do the code. I’ve never done it so I’m sure there is a bit of a learning curve. I’ve been using 6803 strips for a few years now with an off the shelf controller. I also have a PixelPusher controller that I’m hoping to learn more about. I’d like to use these on my pvc pedal car that I built for Burningman. I’m using 3 strips of the 6803s now. It works well but I think it would be fun to learn a little more about this stuff and implement it on the car or camp or whatever.I will most likely be purchasing one of the P
B products but am not sure what to get yet…

PB is definitely the way to go. It absolutely can do what you envision. While there is a learning curve, it’s certainly less than other controllers by far, and far easier to make changes on the fly, small tweaks, and so on.

If you want sound/motion, you want to add a Sensor board to a normal PB v3. If you just want animation, no sensors, and want maximum “tiny”, a Pico is nearly invisible.

Thank you for that. Is the interface via Raspberry Pi, IOS or windows?


None of the above. It’s web based, can be controlled from your phone, can set up it’s own WiFi access point, and even link multiple PBs together in time sync.

If you don’t need sound/movement sensors (for BM, you might want this), the Pico is so small, you can basically shrink wrap it so only the wires to battery and LEDs stick out, so it’s very Playa friendly. If you want a sound/movement sensor (and the Sensor Board can do other things too), then the v3+board is the way to go. Add a Playa friendly small box in that case. One unit can easily control 3 strips, I doubt you’d need a output expander. However …

I’m unsure of 6803 support in PB. @wizard can confirm but those are old enough that the current FastLED library v2 doesn’t support them anymore (only v1) (meaning most current controllers/software like WLED won’t either… Oops turns out WLED just added support for these in late 2020). I don’t believe they will work on the PB.

It’s a 12v led strip, so easy to replace. You’ll probably spend more time/energy trying to get those working than you will replacing with new 12v strips that speaks ws2812 or apa102.

Sounds like a good alternative to what I’m currently using. Support for the Pixelpusher isn’t very informative.
So the WS2812 and APA102 along with the V3+ work with 12v?

Can multiple Picos be used in different displays like hanging globes and be controlled simultaneously via WiFi?

I just ordered 3 picos, a V3 and an expansion board. Let’s see if I can figure it out.
Thanks for answering my questions.


Yes and No, yes, they can, but right now, it requires some form of external control (like a Pi, or other central control source), but @wizard has some ‘one PB to rule them all’ development in mind that I suspect will happen relatively soon

As for voltage: The PB’s run on 5v, not 12v

Given you likely have 12v for the vehicle already, adding 5v to power the PB(s) could be as simple as a USB power adapter.

you could also just add one of these:

and then one controller (likely the v3) could power all of your strips.

You could use the Picos for more ‘portable’ LED things running off 5v (USB) batteries, like HulaHoops, Lamps, and the like. Imagining a few lanterns that light in sync with the car, but aren’t actually connected to the car…

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Hi @Don ,
I would definitely recommend the V3 Standard if you absolutely don’t need the smaller size of the Pico. It is still quite small itself, but the standard is more expandable and has protection features the Pico does not. For example the V3 Standard won’t be damaged by 12v (still needs 5v to run), and has reverse polarity protection. It also has a USB connector which can be handy for troubleshooting power issues. It also can use a screw terminal and is somewhat easier to solder and connect to LEDs.

The Pico is a slimmed down version with the same processing capability, fewer hardware features and made to fit in small spaces. Great for fitting in tubes or costumes or inline with strips.

Would you like me to swap out one or more Pico’s for standard on your order?

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Thanks but I’ll hold onto them now. I plan on using them for hanging paper globes. I’m hoping I can control them via WiFi or BLE from a phone or iPad etc. I might use them on my pedal car also. I guess I won’t really know until I do some experimenting with them.
Any idea when you will get more 1meter apa102 with white strips in stock?

That would be cool to be able to wirelessly synch picos to V3 boards .
I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands soon so hopefully I’ll get to play with this stuff. It would be nice to have new lighting for the Renegade Burn.
Is there a difference between APA102 and the SK9822 leds?
I found another source for the AP102 today for the 1 meter/144. Not sure what the quality will be like. Ordered 3 1:meter sections.

Sk9822 is a reimplementation of apa102, and by some reports better.

Yes, you can control Picos by phone/ipad wifi, no Bluetooth at this time. (Perhaps @wizard will add Bluetooth to v3, but I suspect it’s very low on the list.)

OT: @Don Ha, I’m also working on some PB stuff for Renegade Burn. It’s on! (Currently figuring out how to properly ship or transport lithium battery packs from the east coast.)

Depending upon what lithium packs you use it might be easier to buy them locally. I know, it’s an added expense. I drive up from San Diego so I can bring everything. The Lifepo4 batteries have worked well for me. I work in healthcare and can occasionally get lithium battery pulls from equipment. Saves on battery costs. A 12v 12ah Lifepo4 battery will run the lighting on my pedal car (3strings of 6803 leds) for about 2.5 hours.
The Renegade camp map is growing daily. Could be interesting.

@Don Thanks for the tips! Hope to find you out there.