QuinLED-Deca Hardware guide

This hardware guide is for board revision v1r7+ and higher. If you are using a lower revision, please go back to the old guide by clicking here

For more information about the different revisions, please see the QuinLED-Deca Revision history

 

If you are looking for information about the board and it’s capabilities, please take a look over here first.

To build the QuinLED-Deca you are going to need several components which are listed below. As a little disclaimer, please take a look at this article about my shopping links. After reading that, make sure to also take a look at the additional hardware and tools you might need to be able to complete this project. And last but not least, check out my article about 12v or 24v LED strips and what to watch out for while buying (The color white) and what my favorite strips are! Click here if you are looking for RGB LED strip!

Those articles are a lot of information but will teach you everything you need to know! 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-Deca board will cost you about 16$ 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 components are selected so that they can be soldered by hand, no hot air/SMD soldering equipment is necessary. If you do have this equipment available it is recommended to use though!

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

QuinLED-Deca PCB boards

  • 1x QuinLED-Deca PCB

For ordering the PCB boards you can choose between buying the boards from DirtyPCBs or PCBway. I use both supplier regularly and it really depends on your location and amount of boards you want which is cheaper. Both offer excellent quality so you can’t go wrong there!

Slow shipping is SLOW (sometimes 8+ weeks). PCBway e-packet is a good compromise between decent time and money

DirtyPCB QuinLED-Deca_v1r7

PCBway QuinLED-Deca_v1r7

— If you do not have a PCBway account yet, consider creating one using this affiliate link! 🙂 After creating come back to this page and use order link above.

While ordering, choose 10x10cm boards, 1.6mm thickness and a color!

Merged boards are now also available, if you want to order multiple designs on a single PCB, click here to see which versions are available.

Gerber files?

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 point in time. That complicates things such as optimizing and improving the design over time. Also, I know DirtyPCB and PCBway can make my design correctly and they also give me a little kickback if someone places an order there, which helps me again to make and test new revisions, etc.

MH-ET-Live ESP32 development board

The main brains of the dimmer is the ESP32. Instead of using the raw modules I opted to use a ready-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.

*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!)


HV DC-DC Voltage converter

For the QuinLED-Deca I wanted to enable a high upper voltage limit. By using specific MOSFETs and a High-Voltage (HVDS) voltage converter the board can handle anything between 6,5v up to 50v! This should make it suitable for a wide range of applications.

  • 1x Medium HV (50v) DC-DC converter to 5v
    • If you are certain you are not going to use above (or near) 40v, you can use the cheaper non-HVS model

High Voltage (up to 50v) model

5x LM2596HVS 50v DC-DC converter

Medium Voltage (up to 40v) model

5x LM2596 max 40v DC-DC converter

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. That also means that if you make a new revision board in the future you can just move the ESP32 module!

  • 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 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 more per color then you need for 1 board).

  • Per QuinLED-Deca you need
    • 2x Board power input terminal
    • 10x Dimming channel output terminals
    • 3x GPIO terminals

So that makes 15x terminal input blocks in total (each block has 2 inputs)

Board power input

For voltage input I like to use 2 Pin Black terminals

20 Pcs 2 pin BLACK 5.0mm Screw Terminal

100 Pcs 2 pin BLACK 5.0mm Screw Terminal

Dimming channel output

For the Dimming channel outputs I like to use Green terminals

20 Pcs 2 pin GREEN 5.0mm Screw Terminal

100 Pcs 2 pin GREEN 5.0mm Screw Terminal

GPIO output channels

For the GPIO output I like to use Blue terminals

20 Pcs 2 pin BLUE 5.0mm Screw Terminal

100 Pcs 2 pin BLUE 5.0mm Screw Terminal

 

 

 

2.54 Male Pin headers

To mount the DC-DC converter we need some pins to neatly mount everything. The easiest way to do this is to use simple 2.54 male pin headers.

  • 4x 2.54 Male Pin Headers

20 pcs 40 pin 2.54mm pin header strip (Silver)

20 pcs 40 pin 2.54mm pin header strip (Gold)

Angled 2.54mm male pin headers

For the GPIO pins you need to get some through hole angled male 2.54mm pin headers. The pins come on a strip.

  • 6x 2.54mm angled male pin headers

10 Pcs strip of 40 angled 2.54mm male pin headers

 

0805 resistors

Not 100% required 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.

  • 12x 0805 10k Ohm resistor
  • 1x 0805 4.7k 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

100 Pcs 0805 resistor (Has both 4.7k and 10k available)

 

 

0805 0.1 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 0.1 uF Capacitor

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

100 Pcs 0805 0.1uF Capacitor

 

SMD SS24 Diode

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.

The diode has a polarity, matches the stripes on the diodes with the stripes on the board!

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

  • 1x SS24 Diode

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

100 Pcs SS24 Diode

 

 

Dallas DS18B20 TO-92 Temperature sensor

All the boards, including the QuinLED-Deca 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

LED dimming MOSFETs

To switch the high current LEDs with the low power of the ESP32 we need some MOSFETs. On the QuinLED-Deca we use TO-220 size MOFSETs. Most important is that these MOSFETs trigger fully open at or below 3.3v!

Medium power handling

I have tested several variants of these, most common are the IRLZ44N, STP16NF06L. These all work fine with the board but I wouldn’t go above max 4A per channel. The resistance in the MOSFET becomes too great above 4A which causes them to heat up above 100c which I don’t feel comfortable with over longer periods of time.

High power handling

If you wish to run them up to 8A (That’s 192w at 24v!) you need to get better MOSFETs which have a lower resistance. Suitable types for this are the IRLB3036PBF or the FDP5800. These are however (a lot) more expensive than the above listed types. I haven’t been able to find a reliable source on Aliexpress or Ebay so I have no links listed to these types. I have however tested them and they work well.

So, depending on your needs, get either type or both (You can mix and match on a single board!). If you want to connect 5 meters of RGBW or RGB+CCT you are fine since each channel doesn’t use more then 2A to 3A even with 5 meters of 60LEDs/m. Using very high power LEDs like 28.8w per meter LED strip at 24v uses 1.2Amps per meter so don’t exceed 3 meters per channel. This makes the generic IRLZ44N very versatile and almost always a good choice. But if you want to connect really high power LED strip in 5m lengths (more then 96w) you are better off with the IRLB3036PBF for instance but again, please source it locally so you know you are getting good quality.

If you ever receive a bad MOSFET (doesn’t trigger correctly, stays dim at fully open, flickers) let me know and I can change the seller links!

  • 10x TO-220 MOSFET

Up to 4A max

IRLZ44N

10 Pcs IRLZ44N TO-220 MOSFET

100 Pcs IRLZ44N TO-220 MOSFET

STP16NF06L

*I have received reports where the STP16NF06L’s would get delivered as STP165NF06 (No L) which will not fully trigger at 3.3v, I will try to find a new seller

5 Pcs STP16NF06L TO-220 MOSFET (Get at least 2 sets!!) (Good seller)

10 Pcs STP16NF06L TO-220 MOSFET (Good seller)

50 Pcs STP16NF06L TO-220 MOSFET

 

 

Additional hardware components, tools and equipment

Above is all the components you need to assemble a complete QuinLED-Deca 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.

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 this article for high quality (warm) white strips, here for RGB(W) strip. 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!