A new version, why?

Let me start by saying that there isn’t anything wrong with the Original version of QuinLED, which, from here on I’ll call QuinLED-OG. The reason for a new version is purely driven out of the desire for enhanced features. There are even still reasons to choose the QuinLED-OG version over the new versions, especially if you need a minimal size board. Check out the main index page from the old version here: Index page of QuinLED-OG on intermit.tech

In part these enhanced features come forth out of my own Ultimate Overkill Desk project but are also community driven, incorporating features from comments and e-mails over the years.

So, what enhanced features will these new modules get?

New Board sub classes

It’s not just a new board but several. To try and make everything clear I’m creating three different sub-classes in which these boards will sit, each with their own purpose and features.

  • QuinLED (Analog dimmers/drivers)
    • Normal QuinLED modules will still keep their original function, using MOSFETs to dim and control analog LED strips
  • QuinLED-Dig (Digital LED controller)
    • If you want to use addressable RGB, you don’t need a LED driver but a controller which will send the correct signals to the LEDs
  • QuinSense (Small GPIO board)
    • If you wish to extend the system with other sensors or switches and/or relays that you want to control

Enhanced features

QuinLED (Analog dimmers/drivers)

For the Analog dimmer versions I wanted to achieve a few enhancements over the previous version:

  • Create a version with a lot more channels then 2
    • QuinLED-Quad has 4 channels (Enabling RGBW)
    • QuinLED-Deca has 10 channels
  • Increase power handling where possible
    • Both new designs use a more advanced PCB design to be able to handle more power running through it
  • Better WiFi connectivity
    • Using the ESP32 chip WiFi connectivity has been enhanced
  • Higher PWM frequency to prevent flicking on camera
    • Using the ESP32 chip a PWM frequency of 40kHz (and higher) can be achieved!
  • Lower switching noise (from Power Supply)
    • The higher 40kHz PWM frequency should prevent any audible noise from power supplies
  • Expose several GPIO pins and voltage/ground to allow connecting other sensors, etc.
  • Add a temperature sensor to be able to measure board temperature and for fun
  • Maintain the easy “do it yourself” nature using mainly through-hole components so that people can do it as a fun project

Some optional goals I would like to achieve:

  • High voltage compatibility
    • QuinLED-Deca can handle up to 50v input and output
  • Broader Domotica compatibility & MQTT
    • The new boards can easily connect to Home Assistant using ESPhomelib and MQTT
    • Other Domotica systems such as Domoticz and OpenHab will be worked on in the future
  • Enable single board purchases for people who don’t need 10 boards at once
    • I’ve been thinking about this, creating kits and selling pre-soldered versions through something like tindie, more about this in a future article
  • Create (3D printed) enclosures for the various models

QuinLED-Dig (Digital LED controllers)

As mentioned above, for a certain project I had the need to control some digitally addressable LEDs. Although you don’t need MOSFETs for this (they are in the LEDs themselves) you do need level-shifters and connections to a micro-controller such as an ESP32. Although some projects exist for this purpose, I wanted to try my hand on making several boards for this too.

And that is exactly what QuinLED-Dig is, a board with a built-in level-shifter from 3.3v to 5v to be able to drive LED strips such as a WS2812b or APA102 strip correctly.

The boards also feature an optimized design to try and squeeze as much power through them as possible so that you don’t (always) need to make a connection directly to the LED strip. Running power through the LED controller is much more convenient in my opinion.

Other then that the boards also break out some GPIO pins to connect with other sensors, switches, etc.

Current boards planned:

  • QuinLED-Dig-Uno (1 channel version)
  • QuinLED-Dig-Hexa (6 channel high power version)

QuinSense

Basically this is just a GPIO breakout board in the smallest form possible while still accepting a 5v-24v input voltage. I want to try and make these boards as versatile as possible so they can be used everywhere, even in tight spaces.

Uses such as, behind a wall switch, a small enclosure in the bathroom to measure temperature humidity, relay switching, movement sensing, etc..

I’m probably going to make a version based on the ESP32 and the ESP8266 because the ESP8266 are easily available in small modules such as the ESP-01 and are still a lot cheaper then the ESP32 right now.

Current boards planned:

  • QuinSense (Mini size ESP8266-01 based)
  • QuinSense32 (Small size ESP32 based)

All features

Check the per board articles to see what all the features these boards have, the above list is only a list of Enhancements over the previous version.