What is it?
The K4-PB is a cape for the PocketBeagle designed to drive ws2811 LED pixels. It has 4 local ports (eFused with LED indicators) that can each drive over 800 pixels (with power injection) at 40FPS. It also has a 3pin UART header that can be used to drive a single DMX universe or for PixelNet/Renard/LOR. Using eFuses, the K4-PB can also do current monitoring, pixel counting, and also provide alerts if a fuse triggers. Power to the ports is disabled when not outputting data to the pixels.
The K4-PB is very small and is designed to fit into a small TA-200 enclosure. With a “nano or mini style” USB WIFI adapter, it fits perfectly.
Why did you make it?
Animated Christmas Light displays typically use ws2811 Pixels for things like house outlines, candy canes, tree’s, etc… The K4-PB was designed to drive a large number of pixels, yet remain very small so it can be easily hidden or mounted onto the prop.
What makes it special?
The 4 local ports provides enough outputs to handle most situations where a small controller is desirable. It’s more than the 2 ports of the various Raspberry Pi controllers, but not as large as the standard 16 port controllers that are typically used for pixel dense locations.
The PocketBeagle can be powered by the same power supply powering the pixels. It will automatically adjust for 5V or 12V power.
You WILL need:
- ws2811 pixels
- A good quality SD card with FPP 7.0 or newer image installed on it. The latest FPP image can always be found at https://github.com/FalconChristmas/fpp/releases
- A USB network adapter – ethernet is preferred for initial setup, but WIFI (adapter must be supported by Linux/Beaglebone/Raspberry Pi) that supports WIFI access point can also work.