Wiring NeoPixels

NeoPixel Wires

 Now it's time to start working on wiring our NeoPixel LED strips. Go ahead and grab one of the two strips and position it close to the handle as pictured. We'll need to create 3 new wires that will connect the NeoPixel strip to the flex PCB. This will require lengthy wires, so be sure to measure and add a little extra slack (can always shorten later). Once cut, strip and tin the tips of each wire.

Connect Wires to NeoPixel

With our three wires measured, cut, stripped and tinned, now we can connect them to one of the NeoPixel LED strips. I suggest tinning the three pads (5V, Data In, and Ground) with solder first. This will make it easier to solder our three wires to these pads. Be sure to solder the end which has "Data In", denoted with an arrow symbol pointing away from the pads. 

Insert NeoPixels in Blade

Now we can start install the NeoPixel strip into one of the blades. Insert the non-wired end of the NeoPixel strip into the blade like pictured. Run it all the way through until it reaches the tip of the blade.

Set NeoPixels

Once fully inserted, move the NeoPixel strip to one side. This will ensure the strip doesn't get kinked when inserting the clear plate back into the blade. Doesn't matter which side, as long it's set away from the middle. Then, carefully insert the clear plate back into the blade, making sure not to dislodge the NeoPixel strip.

Adjust NeoPixel Strip

Before inserting the clear plate all the way into the blade, we'll need to adjust the NeoPixel strip so that it curves around the mount on the end. Carefully fit the NeoPixel strip onto the end bracket so that it rests on top of it. Then, pull the wires out so its free from the bracket and blade.

Mount Bracket Inside Blade

Once we have our LED strip situated, we can then fit the bracket back into the blade so it's fully installed. It should "click" into place with it being nested into the blade. You may need to firmly apply some force to fully seat the bracket back into the blade. Tip: Pull the ends of the blade apart to allow the lips of the end bracket to insert into the blade.

Mount Blade to Handle

Now we can install the blade-to-handle bracket back onto the blade and set it onto the handle. Ensure the blade and bracket are in the correct position where the holes line up with the standoffs. 

Connect NeoPixel to Flex PCB

Now we need to connect the three wires (5V, data in, and ground) from the NeoPixel strip to our Flex PCB. Go ahead and connect 5V to voltage, ground to ground and data in to data.

Second Blade

Now that we have our first NeoPixel strip installed and wired, we need to repeat the same process for the second blade. Fun! We should have plenty of pinouts on the flexible PCB to connect a second pair of wires (power, data and ground).

Test Circuit

Now's a good time to test out the circuit. Power on the circuit by setting the switch, being careful the connections on the flexible breadboard PCB doesn't touch the trinket or other PCBs. Pressing the trigger should turn on the NeoPixel LEDs.

This guide was first published on Jan 18, 2017. It was last updated on Jan 18, 2017. This page (Wiring NeoPixels) was last updated on Nov 11, 2019.