Troubleshooting

Adalight depends on several parts all communicating successfully: computer, Arduino and LEDs. We recommend following the tutorial in-order; don’t proceed to the next step until the prior step is tested and known working. This is much easier than tracking down one small problem in the whole complex system.

I’ve followed the wiring diagram and successfully uploaded code to the Arduino, but nothing happens. No R-G-B flash.

This could be one of several problems:

  • Double-check all wiring. Are the green and yellow wires swapped? Is ground connected to the Arduino?
  • Confirm that the Arduino is connected to the input end of the strand.
  • Check power supply polarity and voltage. Are + and – swapped? If you have a multimeter, confirm 5V DC output (±10%) from the power supply.
  • Are the power wires at the opposite end of the strand insulated or trimmed? They should not be left exposed where they might make contact with metal, or each other.
  • Is the correct board type selected in the Arduino Tools→Board menu?
After checking everything, press the reset button on the Arduino. If the wiring and power are correct, you should see the red-green-blue flash sequence.

A few LEDs randomly turn on when power is applied, but then nothing happens.

The power supply is probably OK. Check for any of the following:

  • Double-check all wiring. Are the green and yellow wires swapped? Is ground connected to the Arduino?
  • Confirm the Arduino is connected to the input end of the strand.
  • Is the correct board type selected in the Arduino Tools→Board menu?
  • Did the LEDstream code successfully compile and upload?

Only the first few LEDs respond. The rest remain off or flicker randomly.

  • Inside each pixel there’s a small circuit board. Give the first bad pixel (and the one immediately before it) a firm squeeze where the ribbon cable joins the board — it may simply be a dodgy connection. If that works, you can either cut out the offending pixel and join the two sub-strands, or arrange for a replacement strand if new.

The LEDs flash through the R-G-B sequence, but nothing works after that. No Colorswirl, no Adalight.

Most likely the wrong serial port is being opened. Read through the “Running the Software” page again, and track down the correct serial port for the attached Arduino.

Colorswirl works, but no love for Adalight.

Not all software works with Adalight. Anything using hardware-assisted decoding or rendering — some DVD player software and 3D games — bypasses the normal frame buffer and are not accessible to code running on the computer.

Some programs will have a “software renderer” option that may help. Or try running in windowed mode (rather than full-screen).

The LEDs are doing things, but it’s all flickery and twitchy and the wrong colors

Sounds like you may have uploaded the LEDstream_LPD8806 sketch to the Arduino board instead of the regular LEDstream. For the Adalight Project Pack, or custom builds using similar WS2801 LEDs, you want the latter sketch, LEDstream. The LEDstream_LPD8806 sketch is only for custom builds using a different type of LED strip.

I’m a Linux user and have a 32u4-based Arduino-compatible board (Leonardo, Teensy, etc.). The Arduino code uploads OK but the Processing code can’t access the serial device.

This is a known bug in Processing that will be fixed in the 2.0 release. In the interim, the work-around is to create a link from the actual 32u4 serial device (typically /dev/ttyACM*) to an unused /dev/ttyS* number, e.g.: sudo ln -s /dev/ttyACM0 /dev/ttyS42

Computers will make our lives easier!
Last updated on 2017-06-14 at 01.30.56 AM Published on 2012-07-29 at 11.58.37 AM