Noob, searching for help!

I just signed up for the forum today, because I have stumbled upon the Pixelblaze, and it’s a perfect match for a upcomming project of mine.

So hope you guys can help me out, with a few rookie questions. (Hope this is alright).

I have a relatively big LED project on the drawing board atm.

It is for a festival speaker system, which runs using 8 x 12v car batteries. The speaker system runs great and loud after weeks of work.

We are working on the overall presentation and have planned to install LED’s all over the system.

Because this is a “mobile” system, there will be no wifi available.

Currently we are using a SP107E, since it can react to music. However it control a little under a 1000 pixels. Which isn’t nearly ideal.

That’s where I stumbled across the Pixelblaze and a few of it’s accessories.
Plan is to get the sensor expansion, as well as the pro channel expander.

All of the modules can be installed together, and the pro channel expander can even take care of the 12v - 5v conversion the main controller needs (right?).

In regards to the no wifi situation, can I use the Pixelblaze without?

Worth mentioning, is that I have very little experience with Arduino (programming in general). Would that hurt my experience in using it?

The plan so far is to use WS2815, since it’s 12V, individually addressable, have a backup line, and doesn’t need as much power injection as the others. (Yes it’s power hungry, so if you have any other solution let med know)

We are aiming for 40m’s of LED’s.

Thank you in advance!

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Yes. The PB can be configured to work in “Access Point” mode, which means it creates its own wifi hotspot that you can connect to with your mobile phone and control it directly from there, no existing wifi required.

You don’t need to know anything about Arduino programming. There are a quite a lot of patterns available in the Pattern Library that you can use out of the box, no programming experience required. If you want to get the most out of the PB though (especially for sound reactive patterns, of which there aren’t too many in the library) then you will need to customise the existing patterns, and/or learn to write your own. The patterns themselves are written in a language that is very similar to JavaScript and is much easier for beginners than programming a microcontroller directly, but do allow yourself quite a bit of time to get up to speed. People in the forum are generally very helpful too if you get stuck.

Others here are hopefully better placed to answer your other questions about 12v/5v and which type of LEDs.


Welcome! I’m the one who posted on Reddit, so happy to see you here. Yes, it’s a good fit, and honestly the “programming” required is far less than any other method.

Do you have a photo/layout of the lights? What are you planning?

Music reactivity in PB isn’t that hard, it’s a matter of understanding what inputs you have (a bunch of frequency buckets, a loudest frequency, and so on) and how to use them to make lights change. Some of the basic patterns are pretty clear on how to do that. We’ll be happy to help, and making more sound reactive patterns has been on my to-do list, so I’m happy to mentor/help.


Thank you for the answers!

Good to see you again Scruffynerf :smiley:
You were the one, who I first head talking about the Pixelblaze.

You can see a small video of the system, and the current LED setup.
Keep in mind, that these LED’s are failing us, and need constant repairs.
We installed them 3 years ago, and we didn’t know anything about LED’s at the time.

Even tho they might look okay here, they are very troublesome to work with, and have been from day 1.

Edit: It’s a cheap WS2811 from eBay btw.

Video link:

Nice. So you’ll replace those strands with 2815s.

The “map” for those should be pretty easy. PB uses a map for 2D (and 3D), so doing a single rainbow across the entire thing, or making things move back and forth, etc is much easier.
Every pixel ends up with a coordinate between 0 and 1 in each axis. (Since this has sides, you may or may not want to do 3D, but I’d say 2D is probably plenty, just imagine it curving around the sides.)

We have some fun 2D sound patterns already, mostly for use in a panel, but that’s the nice thing about the PB: once you enter a map, it doesn’t matter, it’ll just “work”. So your highlighted edges would become reactive to the sound, as if they were the only parts of the matrix panel you could see. This works well. I had an example but the original video/post has been deleted
But you can see a screenshot still: