What is it?
The K4-PB is a cape for the PocketBeagle designed to drive ws2811 LED pixels. It has 4 local ports (fused with LED indicators) that can each drive over 700 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.
The K4-PB is very small and is designed to fit into a small TA-200 enclosure. With a “nano style” USB WIFI adapter, it fits perfectly.
Note: Due to a manufacturing issue, the K4-PB is currently offered in a “5V only” version that can only be used with a 5V power supply. These boards are offered at a discount and only while supplies last. If you need to run 12V pixels, make sure you select the 5v-12V option.
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. There are jumpers on the board to select either 5V or 12V power.
You WILL need:
- ws2811 pixels
- A good quality SD card with the latest FPP image installed on it. The latest FPP image can always be found at http://kulplights.com/bbb/
- A USB network adapter – ethernet is preferred for initial setup, but WIFI (adapter must be supported by Linux/Beaglebone/Raspberry Pi) can also work if you use a micro-usb cable to connect to the PocketBeagle to do the WIFI setup.