BBB16 variant


Last year I built some controllers using Scott Hanson’s open source BBB16 design. That design is quite good. I modified the design to use surface mount components and arranged for JLCPCB to assemble 10 boards. I tested that board and so far everything seems to work great. I used one last season for running some snowfall tubes hanging from the branches of a Mugo Pine tree in my yard. That experience got me thinking of a problem that all the controllers currently have, namely, pixel output power control. So, I created a variant of Scott's design with some design enhancements. I have attached a rendering of the board below.

As you can see, there are no old fashion ATO style fuses used here. This design uses a semiconductor fuse that electronically resets if there is a fault. The electronic fuse also has a control signal that allows the pixel output to be turned off. It is possible to provide individual pixel port power control but this complicates things a bit so I have arranged the pixel power control in two "banks" (Ports 1-8 and 9-16) so each bank of pixel ports can be powered on or off.

The design further differs from Scott’s design with the incorporation of an FM transmitter, a stereo amplifier for driving a pair of speakers, an on-board real time clock, an audio DAC, a couple temperature sensors, a “jumperless” design so you do not have to fiddle with jumpers before connecting the power supplies and I rewired the DMX RJ45 as a DIFF port (the DMX functionality is available using a 6 pin terminal block). Finally, it is possible to measure the current on each pixel output.

If I find there are a few people interested in this, I will probably make arrangements with JLCPCB to build 10 or so this season and test them out. I estimate I can probably build these for about $100USD.

Please let me know if you have some interest.


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Brilliant work, you added some very useful features.

I don't have a requirement for it since my holiday pixel display is small and a couple ESPixelStick ESP32's do everything I need. But I wish to acknowledge your hard work.

- Thomas
I have used Scott's PB16 board's or a varient of it for the last 2 years and Really like them. I however am moving away from powering pixels from controller. I plan to be All power injection this season.
I also like what you have done with this but would not be intrested in it for myself. Good looking work.
Same, these sound pretty amazing. I have two PB16s but would be very interested in this upgrade. How has the development come along? I'd definitely buy one or two of them.
I will likely have some time in the new year to get back to this. I think the lead time issues are likely more reasonable now. There will be some work to do to integrate this with FPP. So, I'll ask if there are a few people that would be interested in helping out with that? The electronic fuses need to be implemented and I understand some work has been done on this already so perhaps it will be straight forward to do. Also, the sound integration may need a bit of work.

First item of business would be to do a design review and get some feedback.
I am working on re-designing my controller that is also based on Scotts design, and would love to know more about how you added the efuses into the board design.
Using the efuses with FPP may be a lot easier now that efuses are added to the Kulp controllers, just have to figure out how to let it know they are there for a custom design.