Parallel output status?

I am designing PCB’s and 3D printed enclosured for this year’s WLED implementation but can’t move forward with which PCB design i will send out for manufacturing until I know how/when multiple output pin support will be implemented. I’d prefer to not have to order 1 PCB + 3D print 1 enclosure for each strip on my outdoor christmas lights if multi-strip support is on its way.

I saw in past conversations that adding a 2nd data out pin considered for ESP8266, then another conversation discussing taking full advantage of ESP32 for many output pins as a possibility. Currently I have two PCB designs and 2 STL files for 3D printed enclosures ready to produce but thats just based on my best guess as to how the future release would implement parallel output.

Any update on multi strip support? I know the updated filesystem is the big project currently

p.s. the current segment implementation is really awesome. Well done there. My planned strip lengths this year will require parallel addressing for framerate reasons

Quindor and DrZzzs hosted a YT video where they showed a modification to WLED that enabled multi-pin support for ESP32’s.

I think if you check Qindor’s web site you will find he (and DrZzzs) have 4-strip boards available for digital LED strips, and if you want to build your own using a working design for analog strips, has a QuinLED Deca board for 4 analog strips.

I realize you can finish your design and have that pride moment, but it’s nearly October already.

Also, you can “cheat” already by using a level shifter to shift the same signal 4 times, and in some cases, each level shifter output can drive 2 LED strips (without additional drivers/buffers).

That forces those to all have the exact same effects, so if that’s what you are after, you might even consider QuinLED Dig Uno (meant for single digital LED strips), which using that same WLED modification, can drive 2 independent strips, which can possibly drive 2 strips per output pin (that board has 2 output pins if you do not need a clock signal).

Thanks for pointing me to the multi pin mod I missed that.

I already have a Gerber file ready for a 4 strip controller PCB using NodeMCU 32s for WS281x strips the quad level shifter, and some features missing from other pre-made boards like 12v/5v voltage select jumper, IR reciever and relay output and it looks like my design will work as planned with this multi pin mod. good news because I already printed a few of the weatherproof enclosures I made for that PCB. Whew

Would you mind posting links to your PCB, component layout and parts list so others can take advantage of your efforts? If you are using a PCB fab house, they should be able to set it up so you get a small share from PCB sales. If you have any affiliation with amazon or aliexpress or banggood, you can use affiliate links to capture a small change when people purchase components with your links.

For sure sharing my final design was always the goal. As far as affiliate links I’m not trying to cash in I just dont want to post an alpha version when it comes to hardware so I’ll get my first batch of PCBs next week then after assembly and testing hopefully post the PCB gerber files and corresponding STL for enclosure.

You can post the enclosure to thingiverse or similar online 3D model site.
I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

If you want to have a 2nd set of eyes look at your design, message me directly and I’ll be glad to look over your design. I would not share it with anyone (even if you asked me to).

The more eyes the better.

Google Drive link to the Gerber files for my current version of the 4-channel NodeMCU32S PCB :tada:

Here’s what it looks like currently.


STL for the corresponding weather resistant enclosure: Thingiverse thing #4611441

The enclosure is two files, box and lid: It has a gasket ring for weatherproofing, internal PCB standoffs that matchup with the PCB design and external screw tabs for wall mounting

Where’s the on-board fuse to protect PCB & wiring in case of short circuit (on the LED strip / PCB)?
For the IR pins, is that configured for an IR blaster 3.5mm jack, or just an IR device? It looks like a 3 pole jack (for learning, receiving, and also repeating/sending?).
Is that a D1-Mini layout? What’s in the way while it is in use that prevents you (or others) from accidentally plugging into the esp board via usb and burning up their usb port? I can’t tell if the d1-mini is supposed to sit at board level, or elevated using provided extension jumpers.

These are not big problems, but things that make me wonder what a finished setup looks like.

Didnt include a fuse like the Dig Uno but its probably a good idea to add that and I have room on the board to fit that in. honestly the only reason i excluded it is because I couldnt find a blade fuse holder markup in the component libraries for by PDB design software.

The 3 IR pins are for cheap TSOP38238 diodes. they require VIN, GND and Signal out

The PCB is designed around a NodeMCU-32S which i found super cheap on LCSC like $5. The plan is to solder female headers to the board so the MCU can be inserted and removed from the board for non-OTA flashing.

If someone did happen to plug into USB from PC while MCU while it was installed on the board and powered there would just be 5V from the PC USB port and 5V from the board. When the supply voltage jumper is set to 12V the MCU still gets stable 5V from the regulator so no potential between PC and MCU. Is that an incorrect assumption?

speaking of regulators i am opting for these little guys instead of linear voltage regulators. worked great in past builds, same form factor and much less heat which is good for an enclosed circuit with no airflow.

Also, thank you for directing my attention back to the schematic because I now realize that my reverse-voltage protection diode (D1) is too far down stream. I need it right off of the DC source to protect the 5V regulator and LEDs when operating in 12V supply mode

The 0V and 5V on the USB port will be different than the 0V and 5V of the power supply.
Depending on how much different they are directly links time to smoke ejection from the USB port chip and/or on the NodeMCU.
I would not suggest measuring the common mode voltage difference as that will burn something up.
There are plenty of online forum posts where people did that very thing and blew up the computer’s usb port. For a desktop device with an external USB hub, or for a plug-in USB expansion board (think: like the old-school AT m/b ISA slot USB adapter boards), you burn up something easily replaceable. If it is a laptop’s on-board USB port, it’s gone forever.

That buck-boost 12V-5V board can output 3A!!! You only need enough to drive on-board components and the NodeMCU with ESP32. How much is that? 900mA max? At least double max current draw sounds about right. That’s your most expensive component isn’t it?

What happens if the LED strip is wired backwards, with - and + leads reversed? Do you have another diode in there to prevent reverse current?

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Latest revision:
I added the blade fuse in-between the DC-IN and the rest of the board

The 5VR footprint on the board can take a cheap 7805 LVR just as easy as the micro buck. If the 7805 doesnt have issues with heat dissipation then that would save a couple bucks.

as far as the USB port protection, I got a voltage regulator purposely blocking the usb port on the MCU. hopefully that encourages removal of the MCU from the pin headers prior to connecting to PC USB ports. Other than that Im not sure how to protect a PC USB port from the possibility of potential between grounds

ToDo: Diodes on the LED strip ports VCC for reverse voltage protection.

Through-hole components over SMD for now for ease of assembly

After assembling a few QuinLED DigUno’s with SMDs (805 size), I found them to be faster and preferable to bending component leads to get proper stress-free solder joints. Perhaps it was the hours and hours of military training soldering to MIL-SPEC that makes me cringe at thru-hole components now??
Plus, if you decide to have some of them built by a fab shop, SMD’s will definitely save on automated assembly costs. Plus, no need to use an extra VIA to get the signal back on the other side of the PCB.

Other than that, I like your revisions. Prevents accidental USB connection while inserted onto PCB, diode for reverse polarity protection, on-board fuse.

Do you know the limits of your power components? For example, PCB mounted DC barrel jack connectors are typically limited to 5A, or 7A, and rarely higher.

If that’s what the PCB is designed to handle, no problem. PCB screw-terminals can offer higher current ratings (if right style / size are selected).

Based on my minimum trace widths for LED power in this revision I can safely run 11 amps if I go with 2oz copper on the Pcb, 6 amps @ 1 oz copper. Not great for quad 5v atrips but not bad for quad 12v in a package that is 80mm X 60mm

Once I get my first batch of boards delivered and assemble a working prototype (2 weeks) I plan on forking the design to add a SMD friendly version including higher current bus bars for strip power

Man, thanks for every response and critique. I would never have considered most of the things you’ve pointed to and probably would have ended up with a dozen boards show up from china that i immediately toss in the trash while I move on to version x+1

Don’t forget that you can stack traces (top and bottom layers) by stitching them with vias. :wink:

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Damn good point, That’s definitely something that’s not taught at teach-yourself-university. How much current do you rekon can a via take @ 1oz or does surface conductor density even matter for vias for the purpose of current transfer

…NVM I just now stumbled across QuinLED latest 4 channel design. Sigh…I’m just going to order the parts for my design and build it as is since I already have the enclosures printed. Thanks for the advice everyone

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For reference…

Please post your working setup and any lessons learned while building and “commissioning” it (doing whatever it takes to make it work).