Hello everyone. I’m looking for some advice. I’m new to the world of microcontrollers. I mostly a software guy, but hardware has always intrigued me. I created my first “Temperature” monitor circuit a few weeks ago, and now I want to try a LED project.
I would like to build a 2D matrix of strips, so I can use it as a digital billboard, and also for simple animations, effects, etc. Right now, I’m thinking I want to use 24 stacked stripes of 120 leds (60 per meter).
I’ve been using the Particle Photon, and I really like its programming interface, built in WIFI, and easy to use cloud MQTT implementation, so I would like to continue to use that.
Cost is a concern - these led strips are expensive! But also, I want to make sure I can actually address all of my pixels. I’m trying to decide between WS2812B vs APA102. Can the photon handle updating 2,880 WS2812B leds? Or do I have to get APA102 version instead? Are all the leds connected to a single (set) or pins, or can I use multiple pins of the Particle Photon to increase refresh rate? would like to have at least 60fps refresh rate, to make it really smooth. Does the CPU have time to do anything else besides updating the leds? I would like to be able to send MQTT messages to the device in order to update the billboard, or to play animations.
Also, what are people using to stream animations directly to the microcontroller? I imagine there must be some software that directly connects and streams in the pixels updates. Is there a library for this?