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Topic: Require assistance with LED Hula Hoop wiring, Seeeduino film, info inside... (Read 5591 times) previous topic - next topic


Hey guys,

This is my first visit here, I've been gathering things for a project for my girlfriend who is very ecstatic about it.  She's very into hula hooping, and her last LED unit was rather spendy but doesn't offer a whole lot of features.  I'm aiming for a hoop that will have around 80-96 LEDs with about 2 million colors.  It should have some serious power behind it too, I'm really excited. 

I've already selected my components, but I need some help getting things right.  I'm going to start with a component list, followed by their pinouts, and also I have a link to a guy I'm essentially mimicking, with 2 main differences, who clearly knows what he's doing, unlike me.

Component list is as follows:
Seeeduino film
UarSBee for Seeeduino film
Parallax 5-position switch
Adafruit Digitally addressable LEDs x3m
Tenergy 32003 Circuit protector
Tenergy 3.7v batteries x3
USB 4.7v wall charger
Radio shack M power jack (male/female)
.6 or .75 ID HDPE tubing, enough to make 35" ID hula Hoop

I haven't decided or don't know what types of resistors I need on my switched circuit, and I also wanted to know if I need a potentiometer for raising/lowering the brightness of my LEDs or if I can use two of my outputs on my switch for this function instead.

Diagrams for components:
LED strip how-to
5-way switch diagram/how to
Basic circuit protector diagram

Here's the originator's blog post on how he did it using an Arduino pro Mini 328.  I am using a Seeeduino film to get it in  a smaller hoop:
Here's his wiring diagram:
hula hoop wiring
Here is a very usefull Arduino pro mini 328 pinout with labels for converting between the two boards:
Pro Mini

The confusing part for me is how to wire up my switch so I can get an "on/off" function of the center push button using the Sleep function of the Film.  It claims its wired to PD2 on the breakout board section.   Aside from that, I just don't know how to get the wiring into and out of the board.   So far all I've come up with is the batteries, charger, and circuit protector for certain.

If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it.  Hopefully I laid it all out so someone can connect it all together better than me.



So, what I'm thinking here, is that I want to wire my 5-way switch to the seeeduino mainboard frame, with power/ground coming off the 3.3v 12c port, and a resistor inline the ground,  and then my three mode/sleep/color outputs to Analog 1,2,3 outputs, as is done in the Pro Mini circuit.  However, I don't know if this will give me any interrupts, as it seems the interrupts are only on the breakout frame 12c port.

Then, I was wondering where I want to pick up my Digital in and Clock In for my LED strip.  I was thinking possibly the ISP (in-system programming?) ports 11 and 13 like on the Pro Mini 328, but that doesn't seem right exactly. 

Those are my biggest concern.  Am I going to be able to get any of the sleep, mode, or color buttons to work for a sleep mode interrupt, and how do I make sure the sleep button works?  With software only?  And my other concern is I would like to get the LED strip working with Hardware SPI versus bit-banged methods as the original creator did, is this going to be possible with the Seeeduino?

Lastly, I want my switch to do the following:
left=brightness up
right=brightness down

I think everything else is pretty easy, but I'm really unsure on what ports on the Seeeduino I need to choose for everything to work correctly once I get to programming it.  The stuff is rather expensive so I'm doing my best to fully understand it before I dive in too deep.  Thanks,



For hardware SPI you need pin D11 (MOSI, aka "Master Out Slave In") which connects to "DI" ("Data In") on the LED strip and D13 (SCK "Serial ClocK") to connect to "CI" ("Clock In"). These are shown within the "SPI" block on the film. Yes, it's just like the Pro Mini -- the film uses a pin-compatible ATMega168.

Where you wire the switch, the LT/RT/DN/UP/CT pins, is non-critical. There's an open group on the film D5-D9 that would be fine.

The only way to be certain your chip is sleeping is by putting a multimeter on its power line and watching the current.


Did you just use the Film Diagram on Sparkfun, or do you just know that about the atmega 168?  I'd like to know how you figured it out, I looked for a while and wasn't able to really figure it out decisively, I was just guessing.

I will use the digital, pins 5-9 then, I just wasn't sure if these would work for external interrupts when its sleeping.

Thank you for the response, I'm still learning this platform, its a lot easier when there are clear cut instructions.

*edit*  this is infinitely more helpful, thanks for getting me to dig a little deeper.
atmega 168 pinout


Sorry, I misunderstood your question. I'm only familiar with using a sleep timer and just assumed you'd be checking the buttons every X seconds to see if it's time to wake up.


You can use pin D2 or D3 for this which is shown in the I2C block on the film.


The last thing, the film looks like the bat circuit which usually  runs their lipo battery is my best or only option for running the much larger, higher amp hour batteries, As long as I run them in parallel this should be my circuit, correct?  I basically have copied the other guy's diagram but run power to the film through the bat connections using the provided connector seeedstudio gave me with the film.   I'm hoping this and the fact I'm using my own charging circuit will work out well.

Aside from that small bit, everything feels a lot better, I'm much more confident when going through now to hook it all up.  Thanks for the help, been great.   I'm excited to get this going and put up a few pictures and maybe a small how to.


When you connect batteries through the "BAT" plug the maximum power you can draw from them is 150ma (page 5 of the PDF). This will be much too little to power your LED strip. What you'll probably want to do is use one of your three batteries to power the film and the other two, in parallel, to power the LED strip.

To do this you'd connect the two batteries to 5V/GND on the LED strip. Then also add a ground wire between GND on the strip and the film (the strip and LEDs need to agree on a 0V reference).


Cool, I think I can manage that just fine.  Thanks for all the help, can't wait to get it all together!  Its going to be neat.


I'm working on a similar project - I have a 38" diameter hoop with a WS2801 LED strip inside (96 pixels.)  The one thing to keep in mind is balance.  The film might not weight much, but the batteries to drive the controller and lights will add weight to the hoop.  This is primarily why my project isn't completed yet ... trying to work out ways to balance it.  Good luck with yours, I'm sure you'll come up with an awesome product for your friend.


Yep I got that covered.  I'm working on putting it together outside of the hoop first, and then going to give it a shot once all layed out.  I'm doing three batteries near evenly spaced, but the electronics are going to be between two of the batteries and they will be spaced about 1-2" closer to the third battery than would be considered even.   

The person this is for is a very good hooper I guess you could say.  I wanted to make a 40-38" hoop, but she is looking at a 34" or less hoop.  So, balance will be really important.  The hardest part is working with the small hoop diameter, which becomes considerably smaller right where you connect the two pieces, using a 1/2" ID piece. 

Good luck with your deal.  The luck on my setup is needing to power it ever 30 inches or so, so I can basically do that while spacing the batteries out at the same time.

Hope your project goes well.   There really should be a nice thread dedicated to hula hoops, this must be the 6th or 7th one on here by now.


Another question, If I wanted to run software SPI instead of hardware SPI, would I be able to choose any of the digital pins on the breakout board?  I was looking at using pins D4 and D5 since I feel the speed won't be a factor with what I'm running.  Getting all the wiring to work in my compact space may be more of a chore than I had hoped.



I don't know.  Never used software SPI.  I have however used the bit-bang method on different pins and the strips work just as well.


shiftOut is software SPI. Simpler to use IMHO.

Any pins can be used with shiftOut.


Thing is, for this particular project, for me at least, the bit bang method worked just fine.  I didn't need any kind of fast updating (which SPI would've facilitated) so the few milliseconds delay from bit banging was just dandy for me.  :)


I guess I may try that out, too.  Then I will have to come up with a different way for an interupt, probably like the fellow mentioned earlier in this thread, like a check for signal every 30 seconds.

that sounds a lot easier, ontop of that soldering to the seeed is tough, but its a good bit easier to reach the outer pins vice inner ones.

I'm using a temp adjustable soldering iron(weller) with a nice soldering station, clips, and all.  I would really recommend at the least having a station that can hold are your parts, or you are going to have troubles.

So far, got the leds in the hoop, cut into three sections, batteries between each section, and wired all the way back to the charge protector thingy.   Going to try to get most of it done saturday here.  I'll get photos up when I can of all of this.  Thanks for the help everyone.

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