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A fun, festive GPIO add-on kit for your Raspberry Pi!
A fun, festive GPIO add-on kit for your Raspberry Pi!
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    1. Missing avatar

      Aaron Newcomb on

      Nevermind. Somehow the combination of the script running and my edimax wifi adapter was causing the crash. Could have been a power issue, etc. With the adapter removed everything is working fine.

    2. Missing avatar

      Aaron Newcomb on


      Thanks for posting the update to the auto detection method. However, running the code (haven't tested the others yet) on a RPi2 or A+ both running Rasbian Jessie causes the Pi to lock up after a few minutes. I am wondering if there has been a change to the RPi.GPIO library that might be causing this.

    3. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Sorry Merijn, I meant to reply sooner! Essentially, in each example, replace the "for i in range(5):" (or whatever) to "while True:" ... but looks like you've already solved it!

    4. Merijn Bolhuis on

      Nevermind. Got it :)

    5. Merijn Bolhuis on

      i just soldert my tree together and got it working!! :) can someone explain how I get the lights in an invinite loop?

    6. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rustong on

      Hi Andrew. There is something else running in the background that apears to have been the cause of most of the flickering. Using a different RPi and the single_led_on method that you mentioned I was able to get LEDs to come on with no flickering.

      Thanks for the help!

    7. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Ryan, the flickering you're seeing is highly unlikely to be anything to do with your soldering, I'd say. I occasionally see a small flicker and my assumption is that it is due to some other process running on the Pi getting in the way of the update routine that keeps the LEDs lit.

      I'm wondering: have you got much other software running on the Pi at the same time? Alternatively, do you have an older version of the operating system (or the GPIO library)?

      If you wanted to check the soldering, just to be sure, you could try calling tree.single_led_on(n) where n is the LED you want to turn on (1 for LED #0, 2 for LED #1, 4 for LED #2, 8 for LED #3 etc.) to turn just one led on at a time... this routine leaves the LED permanently on and there shouldn't be any flicker.

      Let me know how you get on!

    8. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rustong on

      Hi Andrew, thanks for the great kit! I'm in the US and received it over the weekend. Even as a noob to soldering, I was able to get it soldered up and working following your instructions. However, when using the example code you provided I am noticing a definite flicker in the LEDs if they are turned on for any amount of time. Even using the very short 0.3 wait in example1 I see the flicker. I extended the 'on' time to 2 seconds just to make sure, and I still see flickering. Is that expected for these LEDs? Is this potentially a soldering issue? Or an issue with my Pi?

    9. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Hunter, all the parcels went in the post by 2nd Dec and I've literally just had a message from one or two US backers to say they've received their kits, so I'm hoping the answer is "very soon"! Let me know if you have no joy in the next few days, though.

    10. Hunter Figgs on

      Hey Andrew! I live in the US and was wondering about when I'll receive my kit. There's no rush: just wanted to get an estimate when it might arrive.

      Thanks for doing this great project!

    11. Connor Dawkins on

      I made a short demo of the Xmas tree in action.…

    12. Connor Dawkins on

      Just got mine today in the mail, soldered them using your tutorial (it was the first time i have soldered anything) and they work like a charm. All i can say is thank you.

    13. Cleo Qc on

      oops! Blame it on the illness.. Funny thing is that I really do have two kids ;-) *And* two kits ..

    14. Merijn Bolhuis on

      @Cleo Qc: You made me spill my coffee with your last two lines ;) Wish you a speedy recovery.

    15. Cleo Qc on

      I received it today in time for my presentation!
      However, and this is no fault of yours obviously, I'm too sick and the presentation is postponed till the spring, which makes the Christmas theme no longer appropriate. :(
      Hopefully I'll feel well enough to solder my two kids before Christmas. They look fantastic.

    16. Merijn Bolhuis on

      Received my package today! :) (Netherlands)


      Great! I've received my package! Looks cool! Soon soldering!

    18. Daniel Gilbert on

      Hi Andrew - too bad it wouldn't work. :\

      I can't wait to get my hands on this little kit... It's like waiting for Santa to come.^^

    19. Mark Webb on

      Got my kits the a couple of days ago and I have just soldered one of them this afternoon. This is a great project and I am looking forward to coding different patterns to it. Well done Andrew for a great idea and kit.

    20. Darren O'Connor on

      I've created what I think is quite a nice sequence. You can find it here:

    21. Missing avatar

      sgllama on

      Got my kits today - very impressed with the way you've run this project.

    22. Missing avatar

      Ian Quarry on

      Very impressive project, and completion.

      Just need to play with the coding.

    23. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Daniel, it's a cool idea, but I'm afraid it won't work with this circuit. If I'd thought of the idea earlier then, yes, it would have been possible but, as it stands, I'm afraid the only place a bi-colour LED will only work in the top position. I'll try and explain why...

      If you look at the circuit in update 2 then you'll see there is a pair of LEDs between each node. These are two red LEDs, e.g. LED 1 and LED 2 are one set of pairs. Although a bi-colour LED looks like a single LED, it is actually *two* LEDs in one package: in our case, one green and one red LED.

      You'll notice that between nodes A and C there is only one LED (the yellow one). If we remove this yellow LED and replace it with the bicolour LED then we now have a *pair* of LEDs between A&C, just like every other pair of nodes. The difference is, rather than 2 separate red LEDs, this pair of nodes has a red-green pair in a single package.

      That's why we can't replace the other LEDs with bi-colour ones: if we did, we'd have *four* LEDs between each node (two red and two green) and each pair of nodes can only drive two LEDs. However, a charlieplexed circuit with *five* nodes would have supported a total of 20 LEDs, or ten pairs. If I'd used a 5-node circuit then we could have put a bi-colour LED between each pair of nodes.

      So, in short, the answer is 'no' but a slightly different circuit could have supported your suggestion. Shame! Though, as you suggest, maybe we can do something about that next time! ;-)

    24. Daniel Gilbert on

      I'm not an electronic expert, I'm more a software guy: Do you think it would be possible to replace all of the single color leds with bi-color ones? I've found a supplier here for these kind of leds, so I'd buy them by myself. Shouldn't be a problem in terms of code, I'd write my own anyways. But will the raspi be able to handle all of them in terms of power consumption on the pins? The Leds are 2.1V with 20mA.

      P.S.: Looking forward to a RGB version for next year. :D

    25. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Nick... good idea, I'll try and get something out soon. I've been working on a more modular version which should be a bit easier to follow and I'll upload that soon. I'm not very familiar with GitHub, but I've just signed-up for an account, so I'll try that, too!

    26. graycrow on

      @Nick Jackson, Update 4 may help you ;)

    27. Nick Jackson on

      Can't wait to come up with something interesting using this! Any chance of getting the code up sooner rather than later (GitHub perhaps)? Would love to get cracking on some of the code side, even if I have to breadboard some LEDs in to use it.

    28. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      That's correct, Connor - you'll still get the six red and one yellow LED for the tree as before.

    29. Connor Dawkins on

      Just to clarify, if I choose the rainbow leds that won't affect the ones that come with the tree

    30. Cleo Qc on

      Just answered the survey. That little question at the end needed an "all of the above" for me.

    31. Cleo Qc on

      I hope hope hope I can get them before Dec 11th, as I'm giving a tutorial that evening, and those would be perfect!

    32. Missing avatar

      Josephine Koo on

      My 10-year-old has just set up her B+ a week ago. She is looking forward to planting her own x'mas tree.

    33. Missing avatar

      Kagome Kagome on

      I'm glad you made it! So much looking forward!

    34. Darren O'Connor on

      Just bought a new spare A+ model ready and waiting for one of the trees :)

    35. on

      Congratulations :-)
      I hope you'll make a ton of nice blinking sequences by default / in the example code. Or maybe a webpage / thread wehre everyone can upload the most beautiful patterns :-)

    36. on

      Congratulations :-)
      I hope you'll make a ton of nice blinking sequences by default / in the example code. Or maybe a webpage / thread wehre everyone can upload the most beautiful patterns :-)

    37. Merijn Bolhuis on

      All gone! Congratulations :) can't wait to put mine together and play with it.

    38. Carl Monk on

      You must be doing a little happy dance about now - 24hrs left and 6 kits to go

    39. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Thanks, Andrew... it's good to see that people seem to like it!

    40. Andrew Nicols on

      What a nice bit of fun. I love the simplicity of this idea, and the price is perfect too :)
      Good luck :)

    41. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Darren, yes, this works on the model B+, model A and both revisions of the model B!

      As for code, I'm hoping to come up with some more examples soon, but I'll release what I've got so far as soon as I've tidied it up a bit and added some more comments!

    42. Darren O'Connor on

      Will this work on both the older and newer pi?

      Also any chance to get a sneak peak at the code? I'm intrigued :)

    43. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Vincent, multi-coloured LEDs sound great! However, I did do an experiment with various colours and the main issue was that the red LEDs were significantly brighter than the other colours I used (green and yellow).

      Of course, this may not bother you, but if it did then it *should* be possible to dim the red LEDs with a clever bit of code so that they're not lit for as long as the other colours (a bit like PWM). I'm afraid that might be a bit beyond the example code I'm going to make available, but it would make a nice challenge for someone!

    44. Vincent Willcox on

      I want Muti-coloured LED's on mine ;) May back for two and replace the LED's on some Blue and Green ones ;)

    45. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Fred, although I am using Ragworm, the PCBs will be green not orange!

    46. Missing avatar

      Fred Sonnenwald on

      You mention that you are using for the PCBs. Does this mean the trees will be orange?

    47. Andrew Gale 6-time creator on

      Hi Etjeb, the other two pins are totally unused... they're really just there for mechanical stability.

    48. Ejteb on

      What are the other 2 pins for- you use 6 pins but in your diagram about Charlieplexing you only use 4 of them? Thanks