New to electronics

Hi. I know someone who has a setup of WS2812B LEDs controlled with a Wemos mini D1 (I think). That involved a lot of soldering (and swearing :rofl: ) to set up.

I would like to create something like this but I am totally new to electronics. I don’t know if this is way too ambitious, or if I can I set up somethig similar but in a less complicated way, or where’s good to go to learn the requisite stuff about tinkering with electronics.

Any advice, pointers, links etc would be super appreciated. Cheers!

1 buy a ready made controller to gain confidence and get something working quickly
2 buy a breadboard and wire jumpers. Not a permanent way to make a project but a good way to understand the circuits without soldering. Confidence gained, learn to solder.
3 just have ago, let the magic smoke out and learn from your mistakes

I’m reasonably confident but item 2 is great for testing ideas

There are many options. You can buy premade controllers or you can go the full DIY route and wire up your own using either an Esp8266 or an Esp32.

I have provided a very simple diagram using a D1 Mini Style Esp8266 that you should be able to easily follow. The size of the power supply that you need would depend on how many LEDs you plan to connect. Also depending on how many LEDs you connect you may need to add more power wires from the power supply to the strip further down it and/or at it’s far end. If adding more power (injection) wires make sure to add a fuse to the positive line as is pictured in the diagram on the first line.

There are other ways to wire everything and even using multiple power supplies etc… I have provided the most basic of setups in the diagram and a good starting point.

Once you get a handle on all this, I would advise moving to an Esp32 as it provides more options and more processing power. But to start learning the Esp8266 is a very cheap starter.

I would also highly recommend a decent soldering setup. Having that can save you a ton of grief and provide good heat to make connections quickly. I bought this one and I can confirm it works very well for the price: When I bought it it was on sale for $40

Lots of info can be found on the WLED Wiki

Do you have any ideas what a ready made controller would be called, or where in the UK it would be possible to get one from?

WRT to 2/3 - I would like to tinker and learn but I know zero about electronics. Are there any good tutorials or important resources you might be able to point me in the direction of please? I literally know nothing about any kind of electronics.

That’s SUPER helpful! Thank you :slight_smile:

The obvious resource for general knowledge is youtube. The getting started section is also pretty comprehensive.

If you really have zero experience by a ready made unit and you can focus your learning on the basics, wiring, power supplies etc. A lot of the tapes come with prewired ends and if you stick to smaller lengths to start with you wont have to deal with large power supplies etc.

Start small and build up to your ultimate goal.

For ready made controllers, again the online docs list loads of options. Amazon has a few oprions to. Search “WLED ESP32”