This week, we invite you to meet a newcomer: the Yocto-Color-V2. Basically, it's a multicolor led driver designed to replace the Yocto-Color. Wait! Don't go just yet! This module can do much more than drive two RGB leds. You can do some real cool stuff with it...
The Yocto-Color-V2 is a 60mm long module with three parts: the USB part and two submodules, each with a led. These leds are RGB leds, so they can produce light of almost any color.
The new Yocto-Color-V2
The module keeps the exact same geometry as the Yocto-Color, but this time we paid attention to the enclosure: thanks to a slot shaped hole, the Yocto-Color-V2 fits perfectly into a YoctoBox-Long-Thin-Black.
In the opposite to the first version, the Yocto-Color-V2 fits perfectly into an enclosure
Obviously, as in the first version, you can split the three submodules and rewire them, enabling you to put the leds wherever you want them.
You can split the Yocto-Color-V2 into three parts
In the opposite to the first version , the leds are not wired in parallel but serially. It doesn't look like much, but it's where the innovation of the Yocto-Color-V2 resides.
The leds used in the Yocto-Color-V2 are RGB smart leds. Instead of being driven with an independent PWM for each of the three basic colors, these leds have a power supply and a digital data line, enabling you to wire them serially: each led has an input and an output.
WS2812B leds used in the Yocto-Color-V2
Wiring consists simply in connecting the output of a led with the input of the following one. You drive them with a pulse string sent to the input of the first led which analyzes it, runs the part that applies to it, and then sends the rest of the data on its output. This handy technology enables you to create strings with several hundreds of leds. Thus, even if the Yocto-Color-V2 includes only two leds, it can drive many more.
You can string the leds
Actually, you don't need to cannibalize any Yocto-Color-V2 to obtain additional leds. There is a multitude of panels equipped with these leds commercially available. In particular, you can find at Adafruit sticks, strips, matrixes, and even rings based on these smart leds under the NeoPixel brand. You can have fun, now: the Yocto-Color-V2 can drive up to 146 of these leds.
The Yocto-Color-V2 is compatible with the NeoPixel modules based on the WS2812B, WS2812C, and SK6812 leds
Pay attention: not all the smart leds are compatible with one another. The Yocto-Color-V2 can drive only the WS2812B, WS2812C, and SK6812 leds. Beware, some NeoPixels products are based on other models.
At the request of customers, we added animations to the Yocto-Color two years after its release. Unfortunately, the size of the Yocto-Color processor imposed some limitations. As the Yocto-Color-V2 has a larger processor, we could improve the concept. Not only the Yocto-Color-V2 can "play" animations autonomously, but it can also make these animations persistent. With a computer, you can preprogram the Yocto-Color-V2 so that it plays an animation at power on. This means that if you disconnect it from your computer and connect it again to a simple USB charger, it's going to work. But we'll have the opportunity to talk about these animations in more details in a further post.
The Yocto-Color-V2 can play animations autonomously
At first sight, the Yocto-Color-V2 doesn't look like much. But used with RGB led clusters, it allows you to create spectacular light effects in a few code lines. The small size of the USB part of the module enables you to fit it in cramped locations. To end with a flourish, here is a short video illustrating the possibilities of this brand new module.
Too bad Christmastide is along time away... we would have loved to try it in a Christmas tree.