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User avatar
By spacecavecreations
#208154
I very carefully followed the hook up guide for the Spectacle Light Board but my light strip is not lighting up. I tried using different audio connectors, power sources, JST to JST-SM connectors, and light strips (all WS2812) but am still not seeing the selected effect on the light strip. I am able to get the director board into "programming mode" and it seems as if the program is installed but the light strip does not light up. I tried a different source of power and the strip of lights turned on for less than one second but that is the only time I've been able to get the light strip to do anything while connected to the Spectacle boards. The light strips I have tried to use all work when tested with other microcontrollers such as the RedBoard. I also noticed that there is a red LED on the Light Board that flashes when everything is connected and hooked up to power.
User avatar
By TS-Mark
#208233
Hi spacecavecreations,

Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble getting your Spectacle Light Board to work properly. Just to get a better idea of what the problem may be I have a few questions. First, can you please take a few photos of your Light Board and the circuit you have it in with your LEDs? Please do your best to make sure they are clear and well-lit. Next, how are you powering the Light Board? The LED strip will almost certainly pull more power than the TRRS connector can provide so it is highly recommended to power the Light Board on its own via the USB connector and either a USB power supply or a USB battery.

As for the red LED, there are two of them on the Light Board so can you try and specify which one is blinking? One is the power LED which should be on when you have the board connected to the director board via the TRRS connector. The other is a stat LED and that should be blinking in a steady on/off pattern roughly every second. Finally, if you have not yet, just to make sure nothing weird is going on with your program, can you try going through the example project from the Hookup Guide and see if that gets you any different results?
User avatar
By spacecavecreations
#208244
Hi Mark,
Thank you for your quick reply. I tried the example project from the hook up guide and still could not get the strip to light up. I have tried powering both the director and light boards multiple ways- both on the same USB power supply, one USB battery pack and one USB wall outlet, two separate battery packs, one USB connected to my laptop and one battery pack- but still haven't been able to get the strip to light.

As for the blinking LED on the light board, I believe it is the stat LED that you mentioned.

I tried to attach a picture in my original post but was getting a pop up message that states "HTTP error" and I am getting the same error now while trying to attach it to this post. Below is a link to the image.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18P36ci ... sp=sharing

Thanks so much!
User avatar
By TS-Mark
#208274
Thanks for the info and the photo. Everything looks okay. One thought that may or may not be helpful is to try switching 3.5mm cables after you have uploaded to the Director board. Upload your code (or the example) using the Spectacle app since that cable appears to be working okay and then once you get the 10 blinks from the Director Board, unplug that cable from the "Program" connector and plug it into the "Direct" connector and then plug the other end into your Light Board.

I have a feeling it may be a bad cable or possibly it is only TRS and not TRRS. Try this as a sanity check since the other cable is working properly uploading the code to the director board (or so we think!) and if you're still having problems, let me know and we can do some more troubleshooting.
User avatar
By spacecavecreations
#208308
Hi Mark,
While trying to figure this out, I have already attempted to switch the cables around to see if that works but haven't gotten any results. However, I did take a look at my current cables and I noticed that there are only two "rings" on the end of each connector which leads me to believe that my cables might in fact be TRS. I ordered a few cables that have a third "ring" and are specifically listed as TRRS/4-pole but they have not arrived yet. Once I receive them, I will update you to see if that changes anything. Fingers crossed!

P.S.- I never knew there were different types of 3.5mm aux cables until I read your reply. Thanks for teaching me something new today!
User avatar
By TS-Mark
#208352
Hopefully, those new cables solve the issue. I am fairly certain it will, especially if the connectors on the cables you were using look like this and not this. It is an easy mistake to make since most 3.5mm aux cables are TRS. Usually, you will not see a TRRS connector unless you are using something like an earbud headset that has both Left and Right audio along with a microphone input.

If you still have problems after trying the new cables or have any other problems with or questions about the Spectacle Light or Director boards, let me know and I would be happy to help as much as I can.
User avatar
By spacecavecreations
#208460
Hi Mark,
After receiving new cables and running through the example project again, I was finally able to get my light strip to light up! I am now playing around with some of the effects for the light board along with the different actions for the virtual board to find out what all Spectacle can do. Since getting this to work, I do have a couple questions. What does the blue LED on the director board indicate? I noticed it turned on briefly while I was pressing the reset and program buttons. Also, is there a way to control the brightness of the lights?

Thank you so much for you help!
User avatar
By TS-Mark
#208476
Awesome! That's great to hear it was just a problem with the wrong cable type. As for the blue LED, I would have to speak with the engineer who designed the board because the Spectacle line uses a very different type of programming interface so it is hard to nail down exactly what it does but I believe that it is just another indicator LED for testing purposes. It is labeled D13 which, in most Arduinos, is the on-board LED used to indicate the bootloader is present and it will blink on and off quickly as the board initializes to tell you it is working. For your purposes, I would not worry about it since I think it's just doing the quick blinks when it powers up/resets to indicate the bootloader is present and is loading the code on the board.

Lastly, I'm afraid I do not see an option to control the brightness of LEDs connected to the Spectacle Light Board. None of the functions in the Spectacle App have options to control the brightness. I am honestly kind of surprised that is not a variable you can control and I'll try and do some digging to give you an answer as to why that was not included but it may just have been some programming oversight. I am not sure if we are ever going to update that app going forward so there may not be a way to control the brightness of LED strips attached to the Spectacle Light Board unless you have some nifty JavaScript skills and you want to modify the application. Just for reference, the Spectacle GitHub Repository will have all of the source code for the Spectacle App if you want to have a look.