I wanted to add some RGB to my work desk and I decided to create an RGB LED coaster using the common WS2812B RGB LEDs. I couldn’t find a board that was small enough for this and so I decided to design a new board which is now being released as the Piksey Atto. It’s an incredibly tiny little, Arduino compatible development board with USB. If you do build a lot of DIY projects then I think you should definitely check out the Kickstarter campaign for it using the link below:
The video below shows you how I build this LED coaster and I would recommend you watch that first to get an understanding of the process. I will cover the important sections in this post.
Step 1: Gather the Components
To build this, you will need the custom PCB, Piksey Atto and 22 WS2812B RGB LEDs. The PCB also has footprints for 11 0.1uF, 10V 0805 capacitors but these are optional as long as you have a decent USB power source. You can obtain the design files for the PCB using the following link:
This sketch can be used with virtually any Arduino compatible board, but I don’t think you will find one that is compact enough to be used to give you the end result as seen in the video.
Step 2: Program the Board
Install The FastLED Library
I decided to use the fastLED library for the effects and you can install that by using the library manager from the tools menu.
Update The Sketch
Once installed, simply open up the DemoReel100 example sketch and update the data pin to 2, led type to WS2812B, and number of LEDs to 22 as seen in the video. Once done, simply select the board as “Arduino Leonardo” and select the right COM port for your board before hitting the upload button. Wait for it to upload. The Atto uses the same bootloader and microcontroller as the Arduino Leonardo. This means that you can simply upload sketches to it by selecting the Arduino Leonardo as the board. We will update the Piksey boards package later to add support for this and you can then select Piksey Atto but this is totally optional.
Step 3: Assemble & Test the PCB
Assemble The PCB
Start assembling the PCB with the Atto first and then each of the 22 LEDs. Please ensure that the LEDs are positioned with the correct orientation and there is a marking on the PCB to help with this. Make sure the LED aligns with this marking.
Power ON & Test
Once everything is done, simply connect a microUSB cable and power ON the board. The LEDs should start glowing and the sequence will keep changing. You can update the sequence and also add custom animations to suit your needs.
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Thank you for reading!