Tools and parts

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Basic electronics tools

• Soldering iron
• Solder
• Wire
• Cutting tools
• Multimeter
• Tape

This might be a good excuse to make friends with someone who has a soldering iron, but if you want to buy a set of tools Ladyada's Electronics Toolkit will have everything you need.

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A computer, running Mac OS X or Windows 7 or later.

It's also possible to use Fadecandy with Linux computers including the Raspberry Pi, but that isn't covered by this guide.

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A Fadecandy Controller board.

One board can control up to 512 pixels. We'll only be using one of the eight channels on this board.

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A USB cable.

If you have a Revision A board with the green PCB, you'll need a Micro USB cable.

If you have the Revision B board from Adafruit with the blue PCB, use a Mini USB cable.

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A Beefy 5V power supply.

For this project you'll need a 5V supply with at least a 4A current rating. Adafruit's 5V 10A power brick will give you capacity for projects about 3x the size of this one, so there's room to expand. You can also get a basic 5V 4A supply if that's all you need.

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A matching Barrel Jack.

This will give you a way to connect your power supply to the LEDs. There are many options, but Adafruit sells a basic jack that will work with the power supply we're using.

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An Adafruit NeoMatrix.

These are the lights you'll be controlling in this tutorial. This one board has 64 of the WS2812 pixels, and it's the perfect size for one of the Fadecandy controller's eight output pins.

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Some things to cast light on.

It's fun to have some objects to illuminate. You can use anything as long as it's not electrically conductive or especially heat-sensitive. Some ideas:

• Paper
• Marbles
• Glass jars or vases
• Translucent plastic
• Shiny ceramics
• Cloth
This guide was first published on Nov 20, 2013. It was last updated on Nov 20, 2013. This page (Tools and parts) was last updated on May 04, 2015.