QuinLED-Dig-Uno

QuinLED-Dig-Uno has not been released yet!

Hardware guide

To build the QuinLED-Dig-Uno you are going to need several components, I have listed them below. Also, if you haven’t read it before, please also take a look at this article about my shopping links. After reading this, make sure to also take a look at the additional hardware and tools you might need to be able to complete this project. I also have an article about power supplies and what my favorite addressable RGB strips are!

If you have any questions about the components, let me know in the comments!

Total costs for a single board

A single fully built QuinLED-Dig-Uno board will cost you about 10$ in components. This value is a bit skewed because it’s calculated using bulk bought components. The ESP32 development board is the majority of the cost. Buying minimum quantities of all the components will make it a bit more expensive per board.

Board Summary

You need the following components and quantities:

 

Components needed

Most components come in multiples of 5 or 10. Especially for the smaller boards I will try to link to several batch sizes available so you don’t immediately have to buy the amount for 10 or more boards. Of course, if you do, the per board the price becomes (much) cheaper! Also when buying larger amounts of components you slowly but surely amass common components used in hardware tinkering and they are convenient to have lying around!

All amounts of the components will be listed in green text. The amount listed there is for building a single board!

QuinLED-Dig-Uno PCB boards

  • 1x QuinLED-Dig-Uno PCB

I always order my boards from dirtypcbs.com and they haven’t failed me yet. If you order a protopack you get anywhere from 10 to 12 boards and I haven’t had one fail me yet. If you include shipping, their prices are very competitive! You can find the current version 1 revision 3 board here:

QuinLED-Dig-Uno_v1r4

This link is for ordering 5x5cm boards which will yield you 10 to 12 functional boards. For a little bit more you can order 10x10cm boards which would yield 60 to 72 boards for just a few $ more. But since most people won’t be interested in that amount, I don’t have a link to toward that version right now.

I currently do not have the gerber files available. I might release these in the future so you can use your own favorite board house but in the past I’ve had issues where people would keep using old versions because that’s what they downloaded at some time. That complicates things such as optimizing and improving the design over time.

 

BOARD IMAGE

 

MH-ET-Live ESP32 development board

The main brains of the controller is the ESP32. Instead of using the raw modules I opted to use a read-made development board so that it’s much easier to solder and comes with everything you need such as the USB port and a voltage converter. This also allows for the unique stacked design of the QuinLED-Dig-Uno making it very compact.

*Although different brands/boards can be used, some ESP32 development boards have different pin-outs which will not work!

  • 1x MH-ET-Live ESP32 Development board

1x MH-ET-Live ESP32 development board

10x MH-ET-Live ESP32 development boards (If you plan on doing multiple boards or other projects, get the 10 pack, they become much cheaper in bulk!)


Female headers

Because we want to use all the available space as efficiently as possible we’re using some female headers to raise up the ESP32 Development board.

  • 2x 19 pins 2.54mm female header
    • If you can’t source 19 pins headers a 20 pin header can also work

19 pins 2.54mm Female Header “socket”

20 pins 2.54mm Female Header “socket”

Screw terminals

To secure all the wires to the board you are going to need several screw terminals. I personally use different colors for input, output and GPIO but buying multiple colors does make it more expensive (buying multiple colors gets you a lot).

  • Per QuinLED-Dig-Uno you need
    • 1x Board power input terminal
    • 1x LED output terminal

So that makes 2x terminal input blocks in total (The power block has 2 inputs, the LED block has 4 inputs!)

Board power input

For voltage input I like to use 2 Pin Black terminals

10 Pcs 2 pin BLACK 5.0mm Screw Terminal

100 Pcs 2 pin BLACK 5.0mm Screw Terminal

Dimming channel output

For the LED Data and LED Clock channel outputs I like to use blue terminals because it’s more alike to GPIO. With that said, the board + and – output terminals are on the same block, don’t reverse connect them! You need 1x 4 pin terminal.

10 Pcs Blue 4 pin screw terminals

100 Pcs Blue 4 pin screw terminals

 

2.54mm Double-height angled pin headers

For the GPIO pins you need to get a single row of angled double-height through hole pin headers. The pins come on a strip.

  • A single double-height angled pin header

5 pcs 40 pin 2.54mm double-height angled male pin header strip

0805 10k Ohm resistor

Not 100% needed because the ESP32 has internal pull-up/down’s but putting an extra external resistor helps the ESP32 out and makes sure everything works correctly.

  • 2x 0805 10k Ohm resistor

*You will need a tweezer to put these into place, make sure to check out the tools section!

100 Pcs 0805 10k Ohm resistor

0805 10 uF Capacitor

To stabilize power delivery to all components a few capacitors are needed. For space saving and ease of soldering we’re using 0805 size capacitors.

  • 1x 0805 0.1uF Capacitor
  • 1x 0805 10uF Capacitor

*You will need a tweezer to put these into place, make sure to check out the tools section!

0805 0.1uF

100 Pcs 0805 0.1uF Capacitor

0805 10uF

100 Pcs 0805 10 uF Capacitor

 

 

Dallas DS18B20 TO-92 Temperature sensor

All the boards, including the QuinLED-Dig-Uno have a spot for a Dallas DS18B20 TO-92 temperature sensor. It’s a cheap way to add a little sensor to the board!

  • 1x Dallas DS18B20 TO-92 temperature sensor

5 pcs Dallas DS18B20 TO-92

Level Shifter

The ESP32 natively operates at 3.3v but the Digital Addressable LED strips expect 5v for their input logic signals. Normally, sending 3.3v will work but if you start using longer cable runs or longer LED strips that run at high clock speeds, errors can start to show up. Feeding a correct 5v fixes this issue! Although in theory you could leave them off the board and bridge the right ports, or using a “donor pixel” with ws2812b strips I advise placing them level shifters and have it work correct in all cases.

The variant used (74AHCT125N in a DIP14 package) is suited for high speed switching which is required for APA102 LED strip for instance. Both the Data lines and the Clock lines are fed through the level shifter! They are cheap so you buy them in packs of 10. The DIP14 package also means they can be easily soldered directly to the board or if you so desire can be placed into a socket.

*These shifters are uni-directional, you cannot connect switches or anything else that sends input or expect 2 way communication back to the board on these channels!

  • 1x 74AHCT125N DIP14 Level Shifter

74AHCT125N Level Shifter (Shopping links have different amounts!)

(The Aliexpress link is for 20, but you can buy per 5 on Ebay. Otherwise take a look at the following mouser listing)

Large Capacitors

Although everything will actually work without these big caps they serve 2 goals. The first is to limit inrush current into the LED strips which can sometimes damage the LEDs logic chips and second is to stabilize power when different amounts of current is needed because of very rapid color changes, the large capacitors will be able to smooth the demand a bit and help your power supply out, taking the big hits and keeping the LED strip bright and constant whatever the pattern!

All current running through the board is 5v, although a 6.3v capacitor should be okay, it’s best to use one that is rated for double the voltage so 10v. With that said, because of the height constraint that limits available options a lot. So I sometimes still use a 6.3v version but keep in mind that in a few years this capacitor might not work correctly anymore.

Capacitors cannot exceed 1CM height for the QuinLED-Dig-Uno!

  • 2x 10×12 Large Capacitor
    • Value not exactly specified, can be anything from 220uF to 1000uF (or higher), as long as it’s max 1CM tall and can take at least 6.3v

10x 6.3v 1000uF low-profile capacitor

10x 16v 270uF low-profile capacitor

 

 

SMD Diode

There are currently issues using diode’s on the QuinLED-Dig series, this is probably because it lowers the voltage towards the ESP32 and level shifter. The result is that the ESP32 module will not completely boot while it works fine on the non-dig boards. This is still being investigated, for now, don’t solder a diode but just create a bridge between the board points. The diode is only on the board to try and prevent reverse voltage when using the USB connection on the ESP module, so:

Do not connect power and USB at the same time!

A diode is in place to protect the ESP32 module from reverse feeding the other components on the board. This also means that when you power the ESP32 module using USB to program it, other components on the board will not be supplied with power.

Make sure not to NOT connect both a power supply AND USB at the same time!

  • 1x SOD-323 1N5819 Diode

*You will need a tweezer to put these into place, make sure to check out the tools section!

100 Pcs SOD-323 1N5819 Diode

 

Additional hardware components, tools and equipment

Above is all the components you need to assemble a complete QuinLED-Dig-Uno board! Often it’s best to order components for at least 5 boards, soldering doesn’t always go perfect and once you have one self-built Domotica device, it rarely stays at that number. If you do truly only need 1 or 2 boards, make sure to check out my component kits or even pre-made boards in this article!

Also, don’t forget, this article only lists all the components you need, not the tools and other accessories you might also require. Make sure to take a scroll through this article to see what you might also need so you don’t get frustrated if you don’t have it while building! If you still need LED strip check out XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. And to power it all, check out this article about power supplies!

p.s. If anything listed on here turns out to be wrong or the link has stopped working, please drop me a line using the contact form so I can correct it!