First and foremost - thanks to the entire Balena team for the powerful container / IoT platform (courtesy of introduction via the updated Etcher UI) which I’ve used to manage a small fleet of air quality sensors around the house.
Special thanks to Chris for his original (definitely not TL;DR) blog post, as well as the more succinct / updated 2019 post. These posts not only motivated me to build this project - but also to finally take the plunge and add a 3D printer to my bench. That has been a great adventure in and of itself.
Now for my trouble:
After getting my case printed, FadeCandy all soldered up, all my JST pigtails soldered and connected to the power supply - finally it was the moment of truth. I have 5 strings of these Alitove 5v WS2811 LEDs, though I only connected one string as my initial test (I have since connected all 5).
Within Balena, I’ve created the application (“fadecandy”), cloned the git repo, and using the CLI, have pushed the project to the cloud, and ultimately, down to the device. All containers start and show status “Running” in the console. I can connect to the VNC server and see the Glediator UI (whoa :))
Alas, no LEDs illuminate, under any circumstances. I’ve since attached all 5 strings - using channels 0-4 on the fadecandy (though I wired all 8 while I was there). I’ve checked and re-checked all my solder connections, rung out all my splices and power distribution with a meter - even confirmed that I’ve got 5v at the two additional ‘feeder wires’ attached to each strand. I even considered that I might have used the wrong JST SM pigtail gender - so soldered up a quick “male-male” adapter, so I could plug in the other end of the strand (near as I can tell, there’s no indication which end is ‘data in’?) - but achieved the same results.
I was following the original blog post - so I was surprised to find Glediator and associated lib files already installed, and then when I went to add the serial number of my fadecandy board to the fc server.json file - found that this configuration is apparently no longer required.
I can connect directly to the fadecandy server, using the url:
http://:7890, which (typically) shows that my fadecandy board is connected and detected:
I can even use the ‘Identify’ button, and confirm that the LED on the fadecandy board blinks.
However - using the ‘test pattern’ dropdown: All Pixels Off, Full Brightness, 50% Brightness – I can’t get ANY LEDs to light up.
Just to ‘half split’ the problem - I grabbed another strip of WS2811 LEDs I had handy, and attached it. Interestingly, regardless of which channel it connects to - the very FIRST led on the strip is a dim green, and no other activity.
While I’m moderately familiar with pixels - I’ve only driven them with an Arduino in the past, and this is my first experience with the FadeCandy board. I’m off to read up on that repo to see if I can figure out some additional diagnostics to further isolate the problem.
Thanks in advance for any #ProTips – and thanks again for the inspiring project!