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.
- 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.
- 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:
- A custom PCB that includes the following:
- An ESP8285 microcontroller and components and interfaces that replicate a WEMOS D1 Mini Lite development board.
- The following additional components included for connectivity and to comply with Adafruit’s Best Practices:
- 330 Ohm Resistor
- 1000 µF Capacitor
- 3-pin JST XH Connector to connect LEDs
- 5-pin JST XH Connector (if shipped with a light sensor) connected to the i2c bus for a TSL2561 light sensor
- 2x TS-1187A-B-A-B tacticle switches, one connected to the reset switch and one (“PROGRAM”) connected to GPIO12 (currently unused in the sketch)
- M74VHC1GT126DF1G logic level shifter to shift 3.3v logic to 5v logic for LEDs
- 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC Barrel Jack
- Custom 3D printed case
- JST-XH to JST-SM cable for connecting LEDs.
Here’s are some pictures of what you get:
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:
- This is still a DIY project. I’m trying to make it pretty polished, but it’ll be a little rough around the edges. The color of the case and the board may change.
- The kit only supports 2.4 GHz WiFi, and you should ensure that you have a solid signal wherever you plan to put the map.
- I’ve tested this to about 100 LEDs. It shouldn’t have much trouble handling any single sectional, but if you plan to use a much larger area let me know so I can test it ahead of time.