The DotStar FeatherWing is pretty easy to use, there's only one data pin and one clock pin.

Power Pins

There are four power-related pins:

The Battery and Usb power pins are used to power the many DotStars. There's a lot of pixels and you can't really run them from the 3.3V regulator. Two 1A Schottkey diodes will automatically select whichever voltage is higher. That means, if USB is plugged in, you'll get ~5V USB power. If the feather is running off of battery power, say a LiPoly battery, you'll get 3.7-4.2V power. While this is a little lower than spec, DotStars are only a little dimmer.

The Enable pin is tied to an inverter + MOSFET and will cut power to the matrix when low. By default, all Feather's have this pin pulled high

The Ground pin is common data/power ground.

Data Pins

Unlike NeoPixels, DotStar LEDs require two pins - a data and clock. While it's best if these are on a hardware SPI port for speed, you can use any two pins with Arduino or CircuitPython.

By default, these are the Data and Clock pins:

But - it's very easy to change the connections. On the bottom, you can cut the two jumper traces near those two pins, then solder wires from the CIN and DIN pins to the available square pads

Note there is no logic level shifter for Clock and Data - we have not found that these chips require a level shifter, they work nicely at 3.3V logic even with 5V+ power

This guide was first published on Oct 01, 2017. It was last updated on May 25, 2024.

This page (Pinouts) was last updated on Oct 01, 2017.

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