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Arduino Nano NeoPixel Shield With Integrated RTC

”Hello folks and welcome to my 25th Instructable, the Arduino NeoPixel Shield. It’s my first one for a while so forgive me if I’m a little rusty, but it sure is good to be back!

Here we have a small custom PCB that was designed using Autodesk’s EAGLE and professionally manufactured by OSH Park in the USA. It includes an Integrated real-time-clock (or RTC), various I/O headers and support for an external power supply (either connected by a DC jack or via a screw terminal block).

The main purpose of this board is to allow NeoPixel (WS2812 LED) strips to be easily connected to an Arduino Nano and to provide everything that is required to have a reliable, convenient and versatile way of using them in Arduino based projects. NeoPixels are already pretty easy to wire up to an Arduino, but this makes everything that little bit neater and much more practical for ‘professional’ type permanent installs of your LED strips. The circuit includes the recommended 1000µF capacitor on the LED strip’s power supply as well as the 470Ω resistor on the Arduino’s signal pin to prevent damaging the LEDs. A header to connect an external sensor to detect motion and trigger events is also provided, this can be switched between a pull-up or pull-down resistor via a jumper on the board.

The full specs of the board are below:

Arduino Nano Compatible
External power supply supporting higher current for the NeoPixel strips
Support for up to 7.5A current with a 2oz weight copper PCB
Can be powered by by using a DC jack (2.1mm) or a screw terminal block
DS3231 Real-Time-Clock with battery back-up
Sensor input header with switchable pull-up / pull-down resistor support
8x Pin digital I/O header breakout (2x pins have optional resistors for use with LEDs)
4x Pin analog I/O header breakout
Optional fuse to protect the Arduino from over-current (bypassable by jumper)
Arduino can be powered via the VIN pin or the 5v pin (switchable by jumper)
NeoPixel strips connect via screw terminal block with high-current support
Built-in 1000µF capacitor and 470Ω resistor for the NeoPixel strips
Small form factor - 56.0mm (L) x 42.0mm (W) x 26.0mm (H) with Arduino fitted
Everything you need to re-create the board is provided in this Instructable (including the PCB files), just throw in some basic soldering skills and the required components and you’re all set…”

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