Pixel Poi or Pixel Poi based on Black Pill

This publication will focus on the use of the WeAct module Black Pill V3.0 (MiniF4 V3.0) or “Black Pill” from AliExpress for making your own pixel poi. Pixel poi – are light props based on controlled LEDs, which, when rotated, can display a variety of pictures, effects, inscriptions, etc.

So, the development module “STM32F411CEU6 Black Pill” is a debugging module, built on the basis of an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M4 microcontroller STM32F411CEU6. This module has three buttons, an SWD port, a quartz resonator, a USB Type-C connector, two LEDs, a place for installing additional SPI Flash memory and numerous pins around the perimeter. Using an external memory chip to store settings and textures and a few additional external components, Black Pill V3.0 can be turned into a full-fledged poi digital pixel controller.

High-density ready-made IC LED strips of 144 led/m or even 200 led/m can be used as digital controllable LEDs. IC type LED chip APA102, SK9822 in 5050, 3535 or 2020 packages. These chips are high-speed, LED PWM up to 20 kHz, control signal frequency up to 30 MHz.

For slower tasks, for example: Sir wheel, LED fans, etc. suitable chips: WS2812B, WS2813, WS2815, etc. For these chips, the LED PWM is up to 2KHz, the control signal transmission rate is 800Kbps.

Wiring diagram

Buttons U.P. And DOWN serve to control. toggle switch the choice of the power scheme is carried out: regular operation, disconnected or battery charge. Diode SS16 cuts the USB host voltage from the battery and LED strip power. Li-On Battery Charger – an external battery charger is selected based on the selected battery. Battery 18650 +3.7V – high-current lithium original battery, with a return current of at least 15-20A. SK9822/APA102 LED strip with the number of pixels from 1 to 512. The number and pitch of pixels is selected based on the task.

To flash the microcontroller, we use the built-in DFU capabilities

After flashing, the module can be connected to a PC using a USB cable and burn executable files. Executable files have *.exepoi extension and are containers of displayed textures.

Next, you can start the device and check the correct operation of the test files. The video demonstrates the operation of a test file with a drawing frequency of 100 lines / sec.

Preparation of unique content is carried out in the software “Corona POI creator”.

The video demonstrates the preparation of content for pixel poi in software “Corona POI creator”.

The provided software is free. Works in Windows OS. The software allows you to design and visualize pixel poi with a different number of pixels: 1…512, select the poi rotation frequency and select the required line drawing frequency for correct image display. Corona POI Creator 1.xx is quite easy to learn and has an intuitive interface. Has the ability to work with software Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, to synchronize video (suits for example) and poi (texture) timings.

As a result, for little money and an affordable element base at home, it is possible to assemble quite powerful pixel poi with the following characteristics:

  1. Number of programs: up to 128

  2. number of pixels: up to 512

  3. drawing frequency: 1…4000 lines/sec

  4. memory size: 32 MB (more than 100 textures 200×200 pix).

This was the first, abbreviated part of the publication, full text with firmware, links, etc. Materials can be found at: https://iqled.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4023

The second part of the publication will cover the practical use of pixel poi in conjunction with the operation of pixel suits.

Successful and productive work for you!

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