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Thread: Anyone ever tried splicing different neopixles? I could use some help

  1. #1

    Post Anyone ever tried splicing different neopixles? I could use some help

    I'm working on a sort of lightsaber and due to some design choices I needed two different types of neopixel strings and am having some difficulty getting them to work together, but I'll explain some things first.

    I'm running everything off of this:

    http://www.plecterlabs.com/shop/prod...products_id=74

    An older prizm v5.1 sound board. It handles all of the addresses for me and applies a specified color and light-up sequence based on some variables.

    Last week I was running some tests with these:

    https://www.adafruit.com/product/2969

    and everything was working fine, everything lit up as it should have and functioned properly.



    A few days later I had to make a design change that meant I needed two different types of neopixel, part of this design needed the light to run through a thinner conduit so I thought I could just solder the two strips together. This is the other strip I'm using:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14730

    I made sure to find a strip with the same voltage and that used the same addresses as adafruit neopixles. I tested each strip separately with the soundboard to make sure they both functioned properly, they did, each of them lit up and turned off as they should have just fine. At this point I cut a couple inches off of the thinner strip, since I only needed the thin part to be a short segment, and soldered it to the wider piece. I changed the values on the soundboard so that it knew I was going to have a few more LEDs now. When I powered it on though it didn't work as expected. The short segment would light up just fine but for some reason only two or three of the LEDs on the wider section would turn on. I made sure to check my connections, I checked and re-checked all of my settings on the sound board, I even desoldered the sections and tested them independently (they worked fine) just to make sure I didn't short them by mistake but I still couldn't get more than a few LEDs on the wider strip to respond.



    I'm not sure if I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing or if theres some rule about neopixels I'm unaware of or if maybe adafruit stuff just doesn't play nice with others, or maybe I need some small piece of hardware between the two strips to "convert" things.

    I've been trying to figure this out and am a little stumped. I'd appreciate any input or insight into this

  2. #2

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    Different strips have different protocols for the neopixels. WS2812B, SK6812, WS2813, WS2811. Pretty sure you need to have the same protocol strip to meld them together. If not, they won't work. Why not just use the narrower of the 2 strips all the way through your restriction and for everything else, this way there is no issue?

    Tom

    "Let the past die."

  3. #3

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    Both of these strips have the sk6812 leds in them. There is no reason for them not to work together. The issue is probably your solder joint. Make sure you have the polarity and direction correct when you connect them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Tilmon View Post
    Different strips have different protocols for the neopixels. WS2812B, SK6812, WS2813, WS2811. Pretty sure you need to have the same protocol strip to meld them together. If not, they won't work. Why not just use the narrower of the 2 strips all the way through your restriction and for everything else, this way there is no issue?
    These all use the same protocol. The WS2811 and bulb type LEDs may work at 400khz if it is older, but can usually work at 400 or 800kz. WS2811 and bulb types are RGB, where as the more modern packages are all GRB color order. (code typically takes the expected RGB and translates appropriately) WW/CW/A pixels are identical to the WS2812B/SK6812 but different colors, and even the RGBW type LEDs use the same protocol, but they need an extra byte per LED so are in compatible with standard RGB/GRB types.
    Last edited by jbkuma; 05-28-2020 at 08:51 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbkuma View Post
    Both of these strips have the sk6812 leds in them. There is no reason for them not to work together. The issue is probably your solder joint. Make sure you have the polarity and direction correct when you connect them.



    These all use the same protocol. The WS2811 and bulb type LEDs may work at 400khz if it is older, but can usually work at 400 or 800kz. WS2811 and bulb types are RGB, where as the more modern packages are all GRB color order. (code typically takes the expected RGB and translates appropriately) WW/CW/A pixels are identical to the WS2812B/SK6812 but different colors, and even the RGBW type LEDs use the same protocol, but they need an extra byte per LED so are in compatible with standard RGB/GRB types.


    I'm pretty confident in my soldering, like, no one is perfect but I've checked and rechecked it several times at this point and confirmed the polarity is correct.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daftvagabond View Post
    I'm pretty confident in my soldering, like, no one is perfect but I've checked and rechecked it several times at this point and confirmed the polarity is correct.
    Did you check the voltage across the pixels that are not lighting? Just to make sure they are getting power...
    Jedi Atu'karek
    Remember: Han shot first.

  6. #6

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    if they work separately, there is only two things that can be wrong: solder connections and polarity. The pixels are identical and they don't care what about anything but the power and the signal.

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