The Astropixels come as a ready to use kit, just connect the cables and give them some power! I have previously offered unsoldered sets for a small discount, but few people chose that option and by offering the full kit I can make sure every setup is properly tested before they leave me.
The kit comes with everything you need to light up an R2 dome. This includes 2 FLD boards, a RLD board, 2 PSIs, and 3 HPs. Also included are all the cables you need to route around the dome. Older kits had HPs with wires soldered on, newer kits have HPs with three pin headers. This made my job of assembly a lot easier and the mounting options a little better. If you are new to droid building, you can get a list of common terminology on the main droid wiki: https://astromech.net/droidwiki/Terminology
The recommended connections are as follows
- Breakout board -> RLD = 1 x 10cm
- Breakout board -> FLD = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 10cm
- FLD -> FLD = 1 x 10cm
- Breakout board -> FPSI = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 20cm
- Breakout board -> RPSI = 1 x 30cm
- Breakout board -> THP = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 10cm
- Breakout board -> RHP = 1 x 20cm
- Breakout board -> FHP = 1 x 30cm extension + 1 x 30cm
All outputs are clearly marked on the breakout board, just make sure that the cables are the correct way round. Typical colour standards are black for ground, red for 5v, and white for signal/data. Getting this wrong could result in damage to the light board.
The main breakout board is designed to mount on the back of the RLD, there is a 3d printable spacer on the Astropixels Extras post, or you can just use a stack of nylon washers or similar. Mounting the board here and running the cables as above should mean that everything can be kept neat and tidy against the inside of the dome.
The logics follow the same mounting hole pattern as the old teecees, so most club surrounds will work without any issues. The PSIs are also the same diameter so will fit in most of the mounts available. The Astropixels Extras page has files for printing or cutting bezels for the logics too. I recommend at least putting a clear acrylic layer between the light boards and the logic surrounds to stop little fingers getting in there. To avoid warping the board you can put a nylon washer between the layers.
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) https://discord.gg/VstCbqJAY8
If you want a set of Astropixels, my store can be found here: https://we-make-things.co.uk/product/astropixels/
If they are currently sold out, you can sign up for notification on the UK Droidbuilders Portal here: https://portal.droidbuilders.uk/parts-run/44