ESP32 Controller - Compatible with WLED and ESPixelstick(unify) firmware

nagyOUT

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Oct 30, 2019
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26
Hey all.

I've previously mentioned in another post that I've made a WLED based ESP32 controller, which had a few shortcomings that i wanted to address in a v2 version. I also learnt since that Espixelstick are currently developing a unifi branch of their firmware that supports ESP32, which is great as it offers SD card support to store sequences as well as support Fpp remote play so you eliminate wifi sync issues.

Here is my previous WLED compatible "v1" version i've previously made, albiet it was for myself and a few close friends.
Biggest shortcoming to this original version is that the 5V linear reg gets a little too hot for my liking when using 12V input power. They however work fantastic with 5volt pixels (and the 5v reg bypassed). Note: I still have a handful left for those interested in a simple single output wled controller for 5v ($25 + postage cost)- Message me if interested.
IMG_1724.jpg
IMG_1723 clean.jpg


Now for the V2 stuff Ive been coming up with on a 100mm x 30mm board.
The current design has the following features.
-- ESP32 Wroover controller
-- 2x buffered and fused outputs
-- Same molex pluggable screw connector most muiltiport controllers use.
-- SD Card (currently only supported by espixelstick unify branch firmware. There is currently a open request on WLEDs github to support this)
-- DC Buck convertor (no more hot linear reg!!)


Here are a few renders. The Design is 99% there. A few additional decisions need to be made before I send off to get the PCB's made.

esp32f.pngesp32b.png

Few thoughts..

-- Should the 3 pin connector be 90degree (as per the renders) or Straight onto the board
-- Pinout order for the 3 pin connector? Ground - Power - Data? Ground - Data - Power? I think Falcon/Kulp run the later from memory.

Anyways, Open to discussion for features / design changes I may have missed before i get the design ordered.

As mentioned above, this is something I'm designing/building for a need myself and a few close friends want (Theatre room them lighting etc), however, I see there is a interest here for this type of hardware, so I can make / sell additional units to those interested. However, this will happen after I've built and validated the design. Don't want to sell a design i'm unhappy with. Price wise I expect these to be approx ~$35each.

Danny.
 

TRAVISTY

Let's make smoke
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
60
The ESP32 have poor wifi coverage. This stops most people from using them. Best to use the ESP32 with external antenna or add a Ethernet interface.
Also USB interface is missing. Is that what the header plug is for ?
Any fusing/protection for the buck DC to DC. What happens if you incorrectly connect the Main DC around the wrong way. Maybe add a reverse protection diode on DC input
 
Last edited:

nagyOUT

New elf
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
26
The ESP32 have poor wifi coverage. This stops most people from using them. Best to use the ESP32 with external antenna or add a Ethernet interface.
Also USB interface is missing. Is that what the header plug is for ?
Any fusing/protection for the buck DC to DC. What happens if you incorrectly connect the Main DC around the wrong way. Maybe add a reverse protection diode on DC input
Personally haven’t experienced any wifi range issues with my current units, however there is also the external antenna variant of the esp32 available if required/requested.

I purposely left the USB and associated components off and put that header as I was trying to reduce Bom count and physical size on the original version I created. I’ve just copied across this method for this one. A suitable USB serial device is available nearly anywhere and particularly that pin out order I used is the same as the one available from jaycar(XC4464), so it just plugs in. It however doesn’t expose a RTS pin to be able to include the “auto program” circuit, so unfortunately you’ll have to manually trigger the prog and reset buttons to switch it to download / program mode.

In terms of reverse polarity protection, good idea, I think I’ll add a reverse polarity protection mosfet and poly fuse too.

Thanks for your feedback
 

nagyOUT

New elf
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
26
Input reverse priority and fuse protection added.

1623655439491.png
1623655511803.png
1623655487696.png

Still need to decide on the output connector orientation - 90degree, or straight up..

As well is output pinout!
 

nagyOUT

New elf
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Oct 30, 2019
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Hope so! Had a last minute addition of a 9v zenor for gate of the reverse polarity mosfet, as it only had a Vgs of +/-12V. Can't let the the magic smoke out when using 24volts input!
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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If they are the normal 3.5mm pluggable connectors then yes I have stock of 3 and 4 pin varieties.
 

nagyOUT

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Oct 30, 2019
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If they are the normal 3.5mm pluggable connectors then yes I have stock of 3 and 4 pin varieties.
Hey Alan, yes. 3.5mm pitch 3pin connector. I see the connector, but I dont see the header on your store.

Also in the process of moving home - so this has taken a back burner.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
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Hey Alan, yes. 3.5mm pitch 3pin connector. I see the connector, but I dont see the header on your store.

Also in the process of moving home - so this has taken a back burner.
They come as 2 pieces. I probably should mention that on my site :)
 
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