RGB LED Toy — It works

Well… sort of.


I finally got the PCBs from sparkfun! Almost 6 weeks, 9 days only for the “air mail” letter to get to me. Maybe my “dear friends” at the customs office were “busy” again.

Unfortunately my request to change the design I had ordered with an updated one seems to have gone unheard. Even though I sent them an email only a few hours (at most) and the design had not been panelized at that time. Oh well. On the bright side: I got 4 boards and payed for 2 ;-)

The negative effect of the “not so up-to-date” PCB is that auto-reset doesn’t work. So far I didn’t have any problems getting code onto the board using the Lilypad bootloader. Also the LED order is a bit confused, but that can be fixed in software using a simple array pin mapping.

Here’s a short video:

And the Arduino code (ATmega168/328):

For code and design files click on ‘Projects–>GIT repo’ in the menu above.

Notable annoyances:

– These LEDS die like flies. Touch’em twice with the iron and they’re dead as a doornail.
– They also seem to suck in the flux and short out.
– I’m down to just one working board, as I’ve killed 5 LEDs today.

SMD RGB LED - failure mode

And the last video for today:

Once I get the “replacement” RGB LEDs into my fingers I’ll fix the 2nd board and see how it looks on my BIKE! It should make a perfect taillight. Perfectly illegal in this country too. Muahahaha. I’ll have to find a good use for the other 2 boards too ;-)

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14 Responses to RGB LED Toy — It works

  1. Mathias says:

    Argh! This poor LED looks very bad. Must have been a very frustrating experience but the boards seem to work fine and I wouldn’t bother too much about the fact that using them as a backlight is illegal in this country because policemen in this country have other problems than checking the homologation of backlights on your bike ;-)

    Greetings from a SMT greenhorn,

  2. Mathias says:

    By the way what brand are these oh so damageable LEDs?

  3. robert says:

    I got them from impolux.de (ebay shop). I tried finding the manufacturer and it might be this one, but I can’t be sure.

  4. Mathias says:

    One funny thing is that my web of trust plugin tells me that the potential manufacturers website isn’t save. The pictures and technical data indicate that you might have found the manufacturer. I wish you some good luck when you assemble the next boards.

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  9. robert says:

    I’ve found a second source for these SMD LEDs ;-)


    As far as I can see on the photos, they’re exactly the ones I have and the price is quite good. The package is PLCC6-5050. They seem to be based in Hong Kong.

  10. robert says:

    Well, I’ve ordered 500 of these RGB LEDs. Let’s see if they are any good. Unfortunately the ATmega168-20AU micro controllers I also need are either out of stock for weeks or they are sold at hilarious prices right now. I used to get them for 2.80€ per piece (order of 50), now I can only find them for at least 5.30€, and there’s no rebate for large orders anymore…

  11. Juan says:

    Maybe it’s late but there is another store more from eBay:


    I hope it would be useful.

  12. robert says:

    Yes, I’ve had a look at them as well ;-)

    Maybe next time.

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  14. LED Strips says:

    Leds are more and more pupolar. They are widely used for led strips, led light bars, led tape and led ribbon They are also widely used for automotive led lights.

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