Video: The Arduino-based NeoPixel Compass

The NeoPixel Compass – powered by an Arduino Uno (Atmel ATmega328) – features 16 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels arranged in a circle with 1.75″ (44.5mm) outer diameter.

How does it work? As you can see in the video above, the rings are “chainable,” so you simply connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another.

This means only one microcontroller pin is necessary to control as many (rings) as you chain together. Plus, each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED.

According to the Adafruit blog, each one has ~18mA constant current drive – so the color will be still be consistent even if the voltage varies. In addition, no external choke resistors are required, making the design slim. Oh, and yes, the entire device can be powered with 5VDC (4-7V works).

Required components include:

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