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LED Sectional Project

This project uses an ESP8266-compatible controller to download METARs for a set of airports and assign a color to a LED representing each airport so that they can be put into an aviation sectional map.

LED Sectional Kits

On the /r/flying subreddit there was a great deal of interest in a simple kit for the electronic components that could be used to create a LED Sectional. Because of that, I’ve created a simple kit to help kickstart the process.


There are three different ordering links depending on how you’d like your kit configured.

  1. Buyer programs
    • The kit will arrived programmed with a LED test program so you can ensure the strand is working properly. You’ll need to program it for your map using the instructions located here. You will need a high-quality Micro USB cable in order to program the board.
  2. Buyer programs, with an included ambient light sensor
    • This includes an added ambient light sensor so the map can be programmed to automatically turn off when the ambient lights are off. I would recommend ONLY adding the light sensor if you plan to put the map in a room where the light will be disruptive at night as this will not significantly impact power usage.

An important note: I’m not trying to make a profit on these so I am selling these very close to cost. As you can imagine, there’s a fair bit of effort involved in putting them together. If you like your kit once you receive it, I would appreciate it if you considered giving a tax deductible donation to the Upwind Foundation. We’re having a bit of a contest to see who can raise the most, so please do mention my name (Kyle Harmon) if you donate.

About the Kit

The kit includes the following:

Here’s are some pictures of what you get: Kit board Kit covered

For the electronics, you’ll need to purchase the following items as well:

You’ll also need to purchase sectionals, backing, glue, etc. to create and mount the map itself. The details about how I did that are documented here.

Using the Kit

Details on how to upload firmware and use the kit can be found here.


There are a couple of limitations to note:

Open Source

Everything about the kit is open source. The code lives here. If you’d like to make your own PCB, the Eagle files are here, and if you have a 3D Printer the STL files for the enclosure are here.