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All of my projects lately have been driven by ESP8266 microcontrollers with Wi-Fi support. Following the best practice recommendations of using a fast level shifter, large capacitor, and resistors on the clock and data lines was resulting in a large mess of jumper wires on a perma-proto board. I decided to design a PCB to make it cleaner and more compact.

It’s much smaller and easier to assemble, compared to the perma-proto boards I was building:

After trying a lot of different ESP8266 boards, I’ve found the Wemos D1 Mini Pro to be great for the price. It includes an improved CP2104 USB-TO-UART adapter for more reliable, high-speed firmware and SPIFFs updates, larger (16MB) flash storage, etc.

I’ve used this PCB in my last few projects, including Tree v2, Bloom v2, Ducenti, etc.

I also designed a 3D printed enclosure for it. It provides access to the wiring for the LEDs, IR receiver, reset button, and Micro USB connector.

The shields and enclosures are now available on Tindie: https://www.tindie.com/products/jasoncoon/wemos-d1-mini-esp8266-led-and-level-shifter-shield

Open source example firmware and web application: https://github.com/jasoncoon/esp8266-fastled-webserver

Features:

  • Control via a web app over Wi-Fi
  • Control via an infrared (wireless) remote control
  • On/Off
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Choose animation/pattern
  • Choose color palette
  • Set to any solid color
  • Autoplay patterns with adjustable duration