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HelTec ESP32 OLED WiFi Kit


codecage
(@codecage)
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Anyone on the forum using one of these to play around with the W2812B RGB LED strips?

I've been following Dave's Garage series on the use of the W2821B strips and had a working start, notice the had, on learning how to implement the effects he so carefully explains.  I was using only 50 LEDS on the strip of 300, and things were progressing fairly well.  Then I decided what the heck, let's change the number of LEDs to 300.  Just a change in the value of a variable, NUM_LED in my case.  Recompiled, uploaded, and on reset, WHAM, the lights went out in Georgia.  Well the LED lights anyway.  At 50 LEDs my power supply was showing drawing less than 0.3A so I figured (ASSUMED?) 300 might kick it up to 1.8A or thereabouts.  My power supply was set at 5V and 3A so I though I had plenty of margin.

My first concern was that I might have damaged something.  The ESP32, my USB port on my laptop, or both.  After that I seemed to be unable to get anything into and executing on the ESP32.  So I figured I had bricked the ESP32.  I have three of them, one was unopened and still in its small plastic box it is delivered in.  So I took the second one that I had earlier only replaced the factory code with the Blink code.  "Blink" seems to be the equivalent of "Hello World" in the programming world. I compiled and upload a blank sketch to get rid of the blink.  It seemed to have worked as the ESP32 quit blinking its built-in LED.  There were no errors indicated while uploading, so at this point I'm thinking ESP32 #1 is where my problem lies.  Then tried reloading the Blink sketch.  No errors indicated again, but no cigar either.  No blink!  It just sat there like it might be executing that blank sketch.  So guess what I did next, yep, opened ESP32 #3 and went through the same scenario.  I now have three useless ESP32 OLED WiFi Kits.

All of this has been done using PlatformIO, including all my work, playing around, with the ESP32 when everything was fine and I was learning a bit about the W2812B RGB LED strip.  And an error was never encountered when doing uploads.  In fact PlatformIO prints a nice "success" message when it finishes a compile and another one when the upload is complete.

Now I thinking the USB port is my culprit, so I tried an Arduino UNO using the same scenario of blank sketch followed by the blink sketch.  No issues!

Where lies my problem?  Any and all suggestions welcome!

Sorry for such a long detailed description, but we get so many requests for help with just "my sketch is working" that I figured the more the better.  And if you read this line, Thank You very much for hanging in there.

SteveG


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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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I just got a shipment of those LED's so I am very curious about what happened. Maybe it's too early for my brain but I am very foggy as to why you say you have 3 dead ESP32's.

Simplify.

Fire up the arduino IDE and load blink and try.

If you really think your USB port is the culprit, try a different port, or test with one of these

IMG 6766

It is considered poor judgement to traverse a chasm in 2 leaps.


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Will
 Will
(@will)
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@codecage

1) how are you managing the 5V required by the tape from your 3.3V ESP ?

2) Does it still work if you switch back to 50 LEDS ?

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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codecage
(@codecage)
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@zander 

Well I had 3 dead, or at at a minimum of not working, at least to me, although no smoke was released, but I had gone through the same process on all three ESP32 devices and they all seemed unable to load even the blink code.

Interestingly enough, this morning after my verbose post I loaded up the Arduino IDE and went through the process of loading the board code as well as the proper libraries.  Then tried uploading the blink sketch,  That experiment was well worth as it worked on the ESP32 I'm currently working with.  Haven't tried the other two yet, but surmise they are going to work as well.

Now I'm looking at my PlatformIO setup to see what might have gone awry.

Thanks for the input! 

SteveG


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codecage
(@codecage)
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@will 

A separate 5V supply.  And the ESP32 supports a 5V input as well.  So the power supply provides power to the ESP and the LED strip if the ESP32 is not connected to the computer by USB.

Couldn't try a different number of LEDs as I couldn't seem to upload any code that produced anything visible.  And all of this was with no LEDs connected anyway.

I have made a little progress if you take a look at my response to @zander above.  On to troubleshooting further!

SteveG


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Will
 Will
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@codecage 

Yes, I see that you're making some progress. Hopefully you'll find whatever the problem is (sounds like it may be somewhere in the PlatformIO setup) and start having fun again with the LEDs.

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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codecage
(@codecage)
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@will and @zander

Progress made!  It all seems to have boiled down to part number ID-10-T.

In other words, Idiot.  The programmer!  I seem to have some logic error and misunderstanding of what it takes to place something on the OLED display.  I threw the sketch out the window and tried a different sketch, and it works!   I haven't verified it yet, but think I know where I went wrong.  More later.

Thanks for your input again.

My goal is a light strip with the Ukrainian flag colors spread the length of the strip to put on the front of my home, up under the eaves.

SteveG


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Inst-Tech
(@inst-tech)
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@codecage, I love it when a plan comes to fruition...good work!

LouisR


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Will
 Will
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@codecage 

Excellent, it was scary thinking that a string of LEDs coulee eat an ESP32 !

Besides ID-10-T, there's another acronym which could be applied "PEBKAC" stands for "Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair".

By the way, my mention of this is purely for educational and not descriptive purpose 🙂

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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