Archive for Arduino

Emerge+ Project Box / Leonardo / NeoPixel

Top view of Arduino with NeoPixel shield in Emerge+ caseWhen browsing the Adafruit shop last month, I came across the NeoPixel shield [1]. This comparably inexpensive option to add 40 individually controllable RGB LEDs to an Arduino immediately caught my attention. With numerous applications in mind, I ordered an Arduino Leonardo and the NeoPixel shield to give it a try, especially because a ready-made Arduino library is available [2] (admittedly, I still prefer bare-metal C programs over the Arduino abstraction, but definitely enjoy the benefits of a ready-made clock-optimized driver implementation).

Bottom view of Arduino with NeoPixel shield in Emerge+ caseIn order to call it a project, though, I wanted to put the stacked Arduino platform into a suitable enclosure. While numerous cases in even more colors exist for the Raspberry Pi, I was having a hard time to find a suitable enclosure for Arduino boards at all. I almost started wondering if no one was interested in putting their Arduino into a case when using it for anything other than prototyping. With the special requirement in mind that the enclosure needed to have a transparent cover, only very few solutions remained.

Side view of Arduino with NeoPixel shield in Emerge+ caseEventually, I ended up ordering a Project Box for Arduino [3] from the Akafugu web store [4]. Slightly skeptical at first, I was quite surprised by the great appearance of the case. Even with only little exposure to light, the edges have a nice glow. The assembly was straightforward and the Arduino without the shield fitted nicely. After adding the shield, however, the stack was too high to close the top cover.

Side view of Arduino with NeoPixel shield in Emerge+ caseAs I was not very keen on cutting down the plastic spacers between the bottom part and the Arduino, I hard-wired the shield to the Arduino instead. It was necessary to remove the extension headers, the power connector and the ISP headers that were already populated on the Leonardo board. I subsequently connected the three pins that were relevant (5V, GND, D6) and two more  (D7, SDA) to give the build more mechanical stability. Now the top cover fits nicely, and its two openings (that were initially designed to allow connecting pins to the Arduino) serve as ventilation openings for the emitted heat.