Pixl.js Multicolour

Pixl.js Multicolour

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A special version of the Pixl (About Modules) Smart LCD with multicolour LEDs, sensors and a rechargeable battery.

Contents

Firmwares

Getting Started

The badge is based on a Pixl.js, so a lot of the tutorials and information there still apply.

The button names can be hard to read because of the badge surround, but they are as follows:

  ......                      ......
      ___________________________
BTN1 |                           | BTN2
     |                           |
     |                           |
     |                           |
BTN4 |___________________________| BTN3
                  ::::

There is an on/off slider switch on the rear of the badge just by the USB connector (which is used for charging only).

Bugs!

Connecting

To avoid a complete free-for-all when many badges are used, when the badges start up they disable the ability to connect to them. To connect, you must do one of:

You can then use the Chrome web Browser on any Windows 10 or Mac OS device and go to https://www.espruino.com/ide and you can connect. You're looking for a device called Pixl abcd where abcd are the last 4 characters of the MAC address shown on the Badge's screen.

If you used Espruino before, ensure that the Save on Send option in the Communications part of the Web IDE's settings is set to To RAM otherwise you'll overwrite the badge firmware.

Using your own Editor

You can use the Espruino CLI:

npm install -g espruino

# abcd = last 4 digits displayed on your badge
espruino -d abcd --config RESET_BEFORE_SEND=false -w filename.js

The -w filename,js option watches that file for changes, so the connection to the badge (and REPL) will be maintained and every time you save the file in your editor it'll automatically upload.

In this case the CLI tool will upload to RAM without resetting the device, so writing an app like this will allow you to quickly test your code:

Badge.apps["My App"] = ()=>{
 // Reset everything on the badge to a known state
 Badge.reset();
 // Display a menu
 Pixl.menu({ "": { "title": "-- A Test --" },
   "LED1 on" : ()=>LED1.write(1),
   "LED1 off" : ()=>LED1.write(0),
   "Back to Badge":Badge.badge
  });
};
// automatically run app for testing
Badge.apps["My App"]();

Returning to Standard

You're sorted!

Stuff to do

On the badge, you have a bunch of stuff you can use. Most of it is available via NC in a global variable created by the badge software. If you're trying to do things on your own without the badge software, use var NC = require("nodeconfeu2018"); first.

Bluetooth

Check out the Pixl.js page for examples.

LED1, LED2

You can turn the LEDs on and off with digitalWrite(LED1,1) or LED1.write(1). Use 0 to turn them off.

RGB lighting

The badge has fancy RGB lighting. There's:

In the above code, B/G/R are numbers between 0 and 255 and represent Blue, Green and Red.

Light sensor

LED2 can be used as an ambient light sensor - just use NC.light() to get a reading between 0 and 1.

It will definitely be thrown off by any light from any of the other on-badge LEDs.

Vibration

You can use the vibration motors just like normal pins on Espruino...

// Use VIBL/VIBR for left and right motors

// Motor on
digitalWrite(VIBL,1);
// Motor off
digitalWrite(VIBL,0);
// Pulse motor on for 100ms
digitalPulse(VIBL,1,100);
// Pulse motor 3 times, for 100ms, with 150ms between each pulse
digitalPulse(VIBL,1,[100,150,100,150,100]);

// Or slowly ramp the speed of the motor up and down
var n = 0;
setTimeout(function cb() {
  analogWrite(VIBL,Math.sin(n));
  n+=0.01;
  if (n<Math.PI) setTimeout(cb,20);
  else digitalWrite(VIBL,0);
}, 20);

Sound

The vibration motors can also be used to create (reasonably quiet) sounds.

analogWrite(VIBL,0.05,{freq:2000});  // Make sound!

There are some very simple examples at http://www.espruino.com/Making+Music that will work on the vibration motor - just make sure that the second argument of analogWrite (the duty cycle) is low enough that the vibration motor isn't turning!

Accelerometer

console.log(NC.accel());
// {x,y,z}

Magnetometer

console.log(NC.mag());
// {x,y,z}

LiPo

NC.getBatteryState()
// { charging:bool, standby:bool}

Extending the badge

You can add your own 'Apps' or LED patterns that will display in the Badge's memory just by adding them to the Badge.patterns or Badge.apps arrays.

Normally when you upload code from the right-hand side of the IDE it will reset the badge (this won't remove saved code, but will stop the badge code from running). To avoid this, either copy/paste your code from the right-hand side of the IDE to the left, or disable the Reset before send option in the Communications part of the Web IDE's settings.

Patterns

Just do something like:

// LED patterns - each is [callback, period_in_ms]
Badge.patterns.blue=()=>{ var n=0;return [()=>{
  var c = [127,0,0];
  NC.ledTop(c);
  NC.ledBottom(c);
  NC.backlight(c.concat(c,c,c));
},0];};

And you can test by running Badge.pattern("mine").

The above example will only be called once because it returns 0 for period_in_ms, but you can easily supply a different value to be called more often:

Badge.patterns.green=()=>{ var n=0;return [()=>{
  n+=50;
  if (n>1536)n=0;
  NC.ledTop([0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-1024),0),0]);
  NC.ledBottom([0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-1384),0),0]);
  NC.backlight([0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-640),0),0,
                0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-512),0),0,
                0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-384),0),0,
                0,Math.max(255-Math.abs(n-256),0),0]);
},50];};

50ms is usually a good balance of battery life and smoothness.

Apps

Just write your app to the Badge.apps array:

Badge.apps["My App"] = ()=>{
 // Reset everything on the badge to a known state
 Badge.reset();
 // Display a menu
 Pixl.menu({ "": { "title": "-- A Test --" },
   "LED1 on" : ()=>LED1.write(1),
   "LED1 off" : ()=>LED1.write(0),
   "Back to Badge":Badge.badge
  });
};

And you can test by running Badge.apps["My App"]()

To return to normal badge functionality just call Badge.badge() or Badge.menu() to return to the menu.

Saving...

When you upload code as described above, your function will be loaded into RAM and will be lost when the badge is reset.

To make it persist, you can write it into a file in the badge's storage called .boot0,.boot1,.boot2 or .boot3 - each one is executed in turn on boot so you can have more than one extension at once.

require("Storage").write(".boot0",`
Badge=global.Badge||{};
Badge.apps=Badge.apps||{};
Badge.apps["My App"] = ()=>{
 // Reset everything on the badge to a known state
 Badge.reset();
 // Display a menu
 Pixl.menu({ "": { "title": "-- A Test --" },
   "LED1 on" : ()=>LED1.write(1),
   "LED1 off" : ()=>LED1.write(0),
   "Back to Badge":Badge.badge
  });
};
`);

You can also do things like overwrite the built-in name, without having to overwrite the basic badge firmware.

require("Storage").write(".boot1",`
Badge=global.Badge||{};
Badge.NAME=["Hello","World"];
`);

Common Pitfalls

Soldering Stuff

There are some special GPIO connectors on the badge. These can be accessed with commands like digitalWrite(D10,1) or analogRead(A0).

GND            NC    NC        D1(Badge TX)
D0(Badge RX)   D9    NC        3.3v

ESP8266 Wiring

On Nodeconf.eu badges, due to a slight mirroring accident, a normal ESP8266 module has to be attached to the FRONT of the badge, slightly covering the display:

However by removing the ESP01's pins and soldering them on the other side of the module, you can fit the ESP01 to the rear of the badge very tidily.

  ......                      ......
      ___________________________
BTN1 |                           | BTN2
     |                           |
     |            ____           |
     |           |    |          |
BTN4 |___________|    |__________| BTN3
                 |::::|
                  ----

This is fixed on badges produced after Nodeconf 2018 and the ESP01 module goes on the back of the badge without modification:

  ......                      ......
      ___________________________
BTN1 |                           | BTN2
     |                           |
     |                           |
     |                           |
BTN4 |___________________________| BTN3
                 |::::|
                  ----

Once soldered you can access the internet as follows:

var WIFI_NAME = "...";
var WIFI_PASS = "...";
D9.set(); // power on
Serial1.setup(115200,{rx:D0,tx:D1});
var wifi = require("ESP8266WiFi_0v25").connect(Serial1, function(err) {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log("Connecting to WiFi");
  wifi.connect(WIFI_NAME, WIFI_PASS, function(err) {
    if (err) throw err;
    console.log("Connected");
    // Now you can do something, like an HTTP request
    require("http").get("http://www.pur3.co.uk/hello.txt", function(res) {
      console.log("Response: ",res);
      res.on('data', function(d) {
        console.log("--->"+d);
      });
    });
  });
});

Check out http://www.espruino.com/Internet for more info.

You can now update ESP8266 firmware using the Web IDE.

Updating Espruino

The badges came with Espruino v2.00, but there have been a few changes to Espruino since then that have fixed:

To update Espruino, just follow the Pixl.js instructions here with the 'Cutting edge' build linked from the firmware download page.

This'll take a few minutes, and you then need to follow the steps for Returning your badge to normal - so if you're fine with everything as it is, we'd recommend that you keep version 2.00 for now.

Changing your name on the badge in the Web IDE

As an alternative to using the simple Web Bluetooth page to change the name, you can also do the following:

Other Official Espruino Boards

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