WS2812B addressable LED's - a new level of RGB (Asus Aura) - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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WS2812B addressable LED's - a new level of RGB (Asus Aura)

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi OCN,

WIth fairly recent release of Z370 motherboards, several manufacturers started implementing a new kind of RGB header dedicated to addressable LED's like WS2812B. They use 3 pins for 5V, gnd and data signals and main difference is that in these strips each RGB led can be set to its own individual colour and it allows all sort of visual effects. How does it look? Absolutely fabulous, depending on control software (Asus Aura, Gigabyte Fusion, MSI Mystic Light) as that is the thing that controls dynamic effects.

But now you will tell me "but I've seen these already in Corsair, NZXT etc.". And you are right, these companies already used addressable LED's with their own proprietary controllers like HUE+, Node, Commander etc. but now with native motherboard support for these LED's we can ditch all that bloating hardware. It's been already confirmed that for example NZXT AER fans use exactly the WS2812B LED model and they can be plugged in directly to motherboard. Corsair RGB fans also use them but probably a little older model of LED (verification required).

Wher's the catch? Well, these RGB's are little power hogging bugers, one can draw up to 60mA of current, while simple motherboard headers usually have limit of 3A which gives us ability to drive "only" 50 RGB's at max. With most common RGB density (30/meter) we could barely cover up our whole case and if we add in some fans (with about ~10 RGB's per) we hit the cap pretty fast. That's why we need a power splitter that allows us to power our strips directly from PSU:



Now the next thing, for some reasons, a specific manufacturer might limit the maximum LED count in their software for whatever reason they have (probably idiot-proofing their motherboards from someone connecting 100+ to single header). Well, once we sorted out the PSU power thing, at least for users of Asus Aura, a possibility exist to have over 100+ RGB WS2812B LED's (128 to be exact) connected to that single on board header by editing the XML setting file LastProfile.xml in LightControl catalogue.

Why 128 only? Unfortunately after modding LastProfile.xml there seems to be a 2nd hard cap in place, but this one could be a result of bad programming techniques at ASUS, a number 128 is specific one, its the (maximum-1) numeric value that can be represented by an int8 data type, it stores from -128 to 127 so if 1st led is "0" the last one is "127" we get total of "128" led indexes. Hopefully this will be fixed in future by Asus (either in Aura libraries or by bios fix), but if Aura uses separate on-board microcontroller..... we are borked pretty much unless there will be hardware revision with Z390 boards....

Nevertheless, i talked about software controlling lighting effects, WS2812B on motherboards is something new, so software is still not modified for it properly but once we get features like "Custom lighting zones" the possibilities could be maybe not unlimited but quite broad, we could virtually place our strips in a case schematic then, group them together into different zones and shapes as software is able to identify each LED by its index given we also tell it what shape is our strip (a strip, a matrix, a circle), how is it connected (order) and what is the distance between LED's.

Speaking of connection order, if ~100 RGB's is not enough, there is possibility to use a parallel connection instead of serial. This way both (or more) strips will get exactly same control signal and they will be all in sync. This way even if we will have say 3x 128 RGB's in case the software will see them as a single 128 RGB strip. All we need for it is a simple signal splitter:



Hope you learned something new and interesting smile.gif

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 09:07 PM
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I flicked through the videos but it didnt look like anything was happening.
So basically you can control each individual LED across all strips?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 09:20 PM
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Recently converted the 5050 RGB strips to WS2812B on my Z370-i. I can confirm the setting to max LEDs turns off the others completely. Unfortunately they are not individually controllable for most of the presets - they just appear as an ADD_STRIP and any RGB setting applied gets applied to the entire strip.




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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinFX View Post

I flicked through the videos but it didnt look like anything was happening.
So basically you can control each individual LED across all strips?

Thats the idea behind it. Software can tell each LED separately what to do and control the timing of action so while before with 5050 LED's a change of colour would be applied to whole length of strip, with WS2812B (and other addressable LEDs) the change of colour can be applied to individual LEDs. So while with 5050 Asus Aura had an effect where a strip would change brightness from off to on gradually in WS2812B with this effect we have an "actual" wave traveling from beginning of the strip to end of it while dimming at ends.

Of course the bottleneck is control software on which we have to depend on manufacturer (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI....) or take the steer in our hands and go for the API provided to us (that still depends on manufacturer).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyBear17 View Post

Recently converted the 5050 RGB strips to WS2812B on my Z370-i. I can confirm the setting to max LEDs turns off the others completely. Unfortunately they are not individually controllable for most of the presets - they just appear as an ADD_STRIP and any RGB setting applied gets applied to the entire strip....


Yes, if you have more LED's on a single strip and set the LED count in configuration to number lower than the LED count the remaining LEDs will switch off. Default Aura limitation is at 60 LED, wtth LastProfile.xml tweak we can increase it to 128 LED and hopefully with next iteration the limits will be lifted significantly.

The thing is, addressable LED's native motherboard support is a recent stuff, and i would say its in "beta" stage now with a phase of intense customer feedback. This means the more people get interested in these kind of LED's and the more they will send feedback to Asus, the better Aura will become.

On the ROG forum's itself I'm already seeing lot of people requesting three things most often:
- increase LED count
- add custom light zones (where user selects what part of strip should count as zone)
- add real "per LED" control in "by zone" mode and API

So the more we talk, the more they know what we want, i personally send them mail about once a week with new ideas and suggestions for Aura and addressable LEDs because this is something worth exploring.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 10:50 PM
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Corsair SP120 fans use UCS1903 LEDs, the HD (and possibly LL fans) use WS2812. Both can be connected to an arduino fairly easily and the older style 4-pin RGB headers can be digitised. I have a guide for that if anyone's interested. I have around 160 individually addressable LEDs running in my case off an arduino. Makes for some quite cool effects.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:11 AM
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SK6812 LED can repalce ws2812b led

There is a sk6812 led same procotol with ws2812b led,SK6812 has RGB,RGBW,WWA,SK6812 rgb is similar with ws2812b led,the main difference between the two drivers is that the SK6812 has voltage-independent color and brightness over a wide voltage range, which means that the colors of the LEDs should not be affected by a drop in the supply voltage as much as they are on the WS2812B.In addition , in our test , SK6812 LED quality is much better , when the temperature is high,ws2812b is much easy to be dead than SK6812.
SK6812 LED Datasheet:http://www.normandled.com/upload/201...0Datasheet.pdf
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