2019-07-09 (Tu) PillarGame

The more I thought about it, the less sure I was about how to make all the hardware talk. I would be working with a team to do the programming, and I couldn't assume they would all be familiar with Arduino, so I added a Pi Zero W connected to an Arduino making either option possible.
Schematic of devices and connections

Ideally, a simple wireless receiver connected to the addressable LEDs and fed data from a transmitter on a remote Arduino would take care of the cylindrical display. A 433MHz transmitter/receiver pair was in stock, so the pieces were connected so a scrap segment of lights.
5V regulator, lights, and RF device

The first problem was that I connected the transmitter and receiver to the wrong devices, so they were swapped. The second problem was that I was using the tail end of the light strip, so I was sending data to the wrong side of the LEDs.
Oops, wrong side of the light strip
Failing to get lights to turn on

The hardware was correctly connected, but there was no activity on the lights. An oscilloscope was connected to measure the output of the controller to know for sure that it was transmitting. The data form, which repeated, can be seen below.
WS8211B signal from the controller

The data on the other end of the wireless devices was less predictable and unusable. There was considerable noise and even then, the LEDs should ignore that and latch onto a good signal, but that never came.
Receiving signal and noise

A nice clean voltage was taken right off the O-scope board and the transmitter was placed a couple of centimeters from the receiver. The waveform should have looked identical to the one right off the board, except with a 3.3V peak instead of 5V, like the controller. Instead, there was a sustained voltage where there should have been a square wave. My hypothesis is that the rudimentary transmitter and receiver could not handle the bandwidth used by the addressable LEDs. Dang.
Receiver cannot handle the necessary bandwidth

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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