A guide for installing NeoPixel LEDs and a BLTouch to the SKR V1.3. While not being a board lavished with servo connections however, where there is a will there’s a way. Follow our guide and get your LEDs up and running.
LEDs, especially NeoPixels colour changing LEDs are often loved or hated. Intrinsically they are the 3D Printers version of Marmite. However, while most believe them to be just “Bling”. They can serve a greater purpose for those who need them.
Those of us who suffer from brain fogs, loss of concentration, or awareness. May need help to remind them when things are hot. For some a visual guide is vital, indicating the status of the heated parts at all times. Nonetheless, it is not a 100% foolproof method but it helps a lot.
I for one burn myself far less regular now since using NeoPixel LEDs as a visual aid on my 3D printer, and hopefully the SKR V1.3 NeoPixel & BLTouch
5V Neopixel LEDs, Wires Cutters, Wire Strippers, 2.54mm JST-SM Connectors, 2.54mm JST-XHP Connectors, 16 AWG Silicone Cable, 26 AWG Silicone Cable, Soldering Iron, Solder.
ATX Breakout, while not necessary it does makes life a lot easier.
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The NeoPixel LEDs in this guide are 5 Volt WS2812B. Which have 30 LEDs a meter, and has a power consumption of 9 Watts a meter.
If you only have a 12 Volt PSU, you could use 12 Volt LEDs. However you may find the draw from the PSU by the LEDs takes too much away from the printer itself. Even a 360W 12 Volt PSU can struggle. So you might want to get either a 5 Volt PSU or another 12 Volt for lighting. If however you are running an ATX PSU, then you’re good to go.
The wiring of the LEDs is very simple. As such we will start first with the connections to the NeoPixel LEDs.
DI /DIN (Data Input)
The signal connection is normally in the middle of NeoPixel LEDs and is revered to as DI or DIN. It is often easier to work outwards when soldering, so it makes it the best place to start from.
A 26 AWG cable needs to be soldered to the DI on the Neopixel LEDs. While ensuring the cable will reach the SKR V1.3 from where you will be placing your LEDs.
GND (Ground / Common (COM))
Simply solder two separate wires to the same GND on the LED. One silicone cable at 16 AWG, the other 26 AWG. Ensuring the cables are long enough to reach your PSU (16 AWG) and the SKR V1.3 (26 AWG).
We need one cable of 16 AWG to be soldered to the 5 V on the LED and again check the length of your cable will reach your PSU.
Nothing fancy simply wire into the terminals or clamps like you would any other power lead, just ensure it is the correct voltage and polarity.
Next we need to crimp and plug or signal wires. Using female 2.54 mm JST-SM connectors on the GND / COM and the DI / Signal wires.
The wiring is the same order as end-stop connections on the SKR V1.3.
- LED Solder Wiring – 2x GND, 1X 5 V, 1X DI.
- PSU Wiring from LED into PSU – 1x 5 V, 1X Com / GND.
- SKR Wiring – Crimp from LED 1x DI, 1X Gnd into JST-SM connectors
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Probe / BLTouch
If you have your probe or BLTouch currently plugged into the SERVO port on the SKR V1.3 then unplug this for the moment.
Now plug your wiring from the Neopixel lighting into the servo port. Remembering the orientation which is the signal cable to the far right.
Next replug the sensor or BLTouch into Z_MAX.
Thats it hardware installed, isn’t it great when its nice and simple.
As we have swapped things around, we just need to change our settings so the printer knows where everything is now moved too.
If you are going to be using a BLTouch sensor, and have not already enabled this feature in the firmware. Now is the time to do so. Simply leave the configuration as standard, and just enable the BLTouch.
Search for and uncomment //#define BLTOUCH
#define BLTOUCH_DELAY 500
Search for and uncomment //#define NEOPIXEL_LED
The notes alongside each setting will guide you along, however the main two we need to define are NEOPIXEL_PIN as P2_00 which is currently the SERVO0_PIN. Secondaly the number of LED lights / pixels there are. In this case there was 77. However you could start out with 10 and then count them up later.
#define NEOPIXEL_TYPE NEO_GRB
#define NEOPIXEL_PIN P2_00
#define NEOPIXEL_PIXELS 77
#define NEOPIXEL_BRIGHTNESS 255
At the very top of the page is the SERVO0_PIN this is currently being used by the BLTouch or sensor. However as we have moved it we simply tell it where it is now plugged into. In this instance to Z_MAX.
When changing pins or settings, it is often advisable to leave reminders as to what they were prior. As we have set the SERVO0_PIN to P1_24 by placing a couple of forward slashes after the setting details we are able to leave notes for ourselves. For example //P2_00 just reminds us it used to be on pin P2_00.
define SERVO0_PIN P1_24 //P2_00
Search for and uncomment //define LED_CONTROL_MENU
Now again read the notes along each option, to get an idea as to there purpose, but for the moment just enable #define LED_CONTROL_MENU.
#define LED_USER_PRESET_RED 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_GREEN 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_BLUE 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_WHITE 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_BRIGHTNESS 255
- Configuration.h – #define BLTOUCH
- Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_LED
- Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_PIXELS
- Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_PIN P2_00
- pins_BIGTREE_SKR_V1.3.h. – #define SERVO0_PIN P1_24
- Configuration_adv.h – #define LED_CONTROL_MENU
Guess what people, that is the SKR V1.3 NeoPixel & BLTouch how-to guide completed.
Just compile and update your firmware like normal. However, your lights may not come on the first boot, simply turn turn them on via the menu on the printer.
Now shut down your printer, and on restart it should carry out the Red Green Blue test in that sequence, it will then revert to user default.
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Now in order to celebrate getting the NeoPixels working I have uploaded to thingiverse.com a simple and quick printing LED holder. Simply screw into your printers enclosure or where ever you like for that matter. You can just see them in the picture above.