Pixie Chroma

Chainable RGB LED-matrix displays for Arduino

Dec 07, 2021

Project update 2 of 4

We're funded! Plus a peek at our test jig

by Lixie Labs

HOLY MOLY We’re Funded Already!

Screenshot of full funding

You guys have basically doubled our goal in the first week! Our initial goal of $2,500 was just the minimum order quantity to make this campaign viable, anything beyond it is okay for our vendors/budget as well! Luckily, SK6805-EC15 LEDS are seemingly unaffected by the global supply shortage, so the more the merrier!

If you’ve already pledged for Pixie Chromas, welcome to the start of an active and creative community! These weekly campaign updates will serve as your first glimpses into the inner workings Pixie Chroma, its production, and its code. This first update will be a little brief as we continue to finalize library features and production files.

Cutest Test Jig Possible

This is our in-house jig for testing Pixie Chroma PCBs.

Along with testing power and data continuity, the special sauce is the "voltage drop test". One by one, each color channel of every LED is individually lit to test how many millivolts are dropped from VCC on the opposite / OUT header of the PCB. This (under normal conditions) is a constant, measurable value. No voltage drop? That color channel of that LED didn’t light up. Too much voltage drop? Something is wrong, maybe a resistive short somewhere?

Top of the test jig

When the test is complete, the result is shown using another Pixie Chroma on the front of the jig. A green checkmark is a PASS, "Dx" is a data continuity fail, failure to automatically start testing when a PCB is inserted is a power continuity fail, and any "dead channels" detected in LEDs are highlighted 1:1 in the output Pixie on the front.

You might have noticed this jig isn’t just cool, it’s adorable! Whenever it’s not testing a board, it has two pink "eyes" that blink and look around the room. These frames were constructed with the drawing tool in our Shortcode library.

Paws on our test jig

The body contains an ESP32 and is a mix of FDM and MSLA 3D printing - @LadyLixieLabs even painted some paws on the bottom!

Check out this video demonstration of the jig from our Twitter feed.

Going Forward

On the software side of things, next week’s update will go over some really cool new features like automated text justification, simplified scrolling, and inline color control. Thank you again for your support and stay tuned!

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