Astropixels, assemble!

The Astropixels come in two options. One as a fully assembled system, and one as a kit.

The assembled version has all the headers soldered, wires soldered onto the HP boards, and the breakout board all pre-soldered. The kit version requires the cables being soldered to the HP lights, a single header soldering onto one of the FLD boards (One is already on there for testing pre-shipping), and the breakout board soldering up.

None of the soldering is hard, mostly its just header pins. I will have a post walking you through the soldering process.

Once you’ve done the soldering, or you bought a complete system, then you can hook it up. The pack comes with numerous cables of different length. These are:

  • 4 x 30cm extension cables (cables longer than 30cm were harder to find, so some cables will be made up to length with an extension)
  • 2 x 30cm
  • 2 x 20cm
  • 4 x 10cm

Two of the 30cm extension cables, and one of the 20cm cables are for the HP lights. The rest are as follows:

  • Breakout board -> FLD = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 10cm
  • FLD -> FLD = 1 x 10cm
  • Breakout board -> RLD = 1 x 10cm
  • Breakout board -> RPSI = 1 x 30cm
  • Breakout board -> FPSI = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 20cm
  • Breakout board -> RHP = 1 x 20cm
  • Breakout board -> THP = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 10cm
  • Breakout board -> FHP = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 30cm

The breakout board mounting holes are designed to match the RLD holes, so with some spacers you can mount it there without much difficulty, or feel free to use some thick double sided tape or similar. All the cable lengths are calculated to be run from this point.

When mounting the logics, you can use bezels and other parts from a teecees kit (3d printed for example). For the front logics, the LEDs are in exactly the same positions as the teecees, and using a bezel and clear acrylic front looks really nice. You should at least get a clear acrylic front or similar to protect the LEDs from dirt and little fingers. Make sure to use a washer or other spacer between the front of the board and the acrylic, to not put pressure on the LEDs.

All the cabling should be straight forward, with the breakout board being clearly marked

Breakout board

For powering the lights, you can test using a usb cable from the computer to the ESP32, but do not power this way when inside the dome, the current consumption can get too high and cause a brown out. I recommend a decent 5v buck converter or similar (with at least 1A of current) and to power it via the screw terminals.

Interfacing with the system is done using one of the three sets of headers to the right. Top is i2c, with the pins being Clock, Data, +ve, and Ground. Then below that are the two serial interfaces with the pins Tx, Rx, +ve, and Ground. By default the code will be programmed with i2c enabled on address 0x0a. More details on how to trigger effects can be found in the ReelTwo documentation.

All boards are tested before shipping, but if you have any issues or questions, just give me a shout. You can also join our Droidbuilders Discord Server and chat more real time (and with other builders)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Derek Kastning

    Are these plug and play if I get the assembled kit? And how do I order??

    1. dpoulson

      Sorry, I didn’t get a notification about a comment, so only just seen this.

      If you order the assembled kit, then you just add power and they’ll work.

      You can sign up for notifications on the Droidbuilders UK Portal ( Just go to the parts run section and find astropixels, then you can subscribe for notifications.

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