Cut NeoPixel Strips

Use flush snips to cut the NeoPixel strips. Follow the cut markings on the flexible PCB. Thoroughly count each pixel before cutting strips. This project specifically uses a 12x strips, each strip containing 12x NeoPixel LEDs.

Make sure to keep the silicone sheathing fitted over each strip.

Wiring NeoPixel Strips

Solder the other piece of the weather proof cable to the first NeoPixel strip in the chain. 

Solder the 12x strips together using pieces of silicone ribbon wire. Follow the circuit diagram to reference the flow of data. Use pieces of heat shrink to insulate the exposed connections.

Each set of wires are approximately 5cm (2in) in length. 

Test NeoPixel Strips

Connect the first NeoPixel strip to the Metro board. Use a 5V USB power supply to power on the Metro and strips. Thoroughly check each strip for any damaged pixels. If a dead pixel is encountered, swap out the strip with a new one. 

Ideally use the strandtest demo code to make all of the NeoPixel a solid color. This a great way to catch any dead pixels in the bunch. 

Installing NeoPixel Strips

The NeoPixels are inserted into the 3D printed strip holders. The silicone sheathing is press fitted through the clips. The fitting is snug and should keep the strips nice and taught.

The first NeoPixel strip is secured to the top left corner followed by the proceeding strip in a zigzag order. 

Install All Strips

Repeat the installation process for the remaining strips of NeoPixels. Be sure to check the flow of data in each strip so they all follow a zigzag order. 

The NeoPixel flexible PCBs can shift during the installation and may need to be adjusted. Align all of the strips for they look straight.

 

Weather Proofing

If the sign is going to be used outdoors, the NeoPixels will need to be weatherproofed. An easy way to do that is to use hot glue to seal each of the strips. Make sure all of the pixels has been thoroughly tested before adding hot glue.

This guide was first published on Dec 15, 2020. It was last updated on Dec 15, 2020.

This page (Building NeoPixel Grid) was last updated on Apr 14, 2021.

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