RGB LED string

Assuming you have a ready-to-run Raspberry Pi station with OpenElec installed, you first need the RGB lights which will be connected to your Pi.

I can e.g. recommend 50 pieces of WS2801, they can be found on ebay and other stores and they are quite cheap.

Power supply

You might need a separate 5V power supply. In my case I use the power ports of the Pi and had no problems at all, but some users describe flickering etc. At least make sure the power supply you use has 2A or more.

Optional, useful for testing purposes:

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Connection to Raspberry Pi

You have to connect 4 wires from the LED string to the Pi (or 3, if you want to use a separate power supply).

I used an old IDE connector, but you can also use other tools, they are described in the source links below this article.

Pin 1 is the one where there is a small rectangle placed at the Pi board. You can use the following image from another site as a reference for the numbering, but the wire colors are NOT right in there:

Bild

  • Pin 2 or 4: 5V (Red wire)
  • Pin 9: Ground (Black wire)
  • Pin 19: Data / MOSI (Blue wire)
  • Pin 23: CLK (Green wire)

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Basic configuration with OpenElec

First, install the Boblight Addon via XBMC settings.

Download a boblight.conf file, e.g. from here, then place it under YOUR_PI_IPUserdataaddon_dataservice.multimedia.boblightd.

Open Putty to establish an SSH connection to your Pi, then execute these commands:

cd ~
curl -L https://github.com/brooc/boblight-rpi/raw/master/src/boblight-dispmanx > boblight-dispmanx
chmod 755 boblight-dispmanx

Then edit /storage/.config/autostart.sh and append this command:

/storage/boblight-dispmanx -o interpolation=1 -o speed=90 -o threshold=35 -o autospeed=0 -o saturation=1 -o value=1 -p 100  -i 0.1 -f /dev/null &

Set permissions, if the file did not exist before, with

chmod +x /storage/.config/autostart.sh

Reboot your device and make a quick test, e.g. start playing a video or TV stream – the lights should get active.

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Light placement behind the monitor

Have a look at the pictures to get an idea how the lights can be mounted behind the screen. There are several ways to do this. I used ply wood, but also cardboard would be possible.

For configuration afterwards, it is a good idea to start the LED string somewhere at the screen bottom, then go clockwise around the screen. The proportions should be always same for the opposite sides (e.g. 16 on top and the bottom, 9 LEDs left and right).20140214_171453

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Configuration wizards

To get more exact settings, there are useful tools available.

I recommend this test video (with the XBMC Youtube Add-On): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr_vL2anfXA

Windows config tool: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21136636/VS/final/BoblightConfigTool.exe

Online generator: http://tvgloria.hu

For all generators: After you append the Light config code, make sure the light is named like on top of the config file (e.g. Pibob, ambilight etc.), otherwise it won’t work and a logfile in the same folder as boglight.conf can grow quite quickly.

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Sources

http://blog.nadnerb.co.uk/?p=142

http://www.forum-raspberrypi.de/Thread-ambilight-fuer-xbmc-nachruesten

http://www.sedu-board.de/sedu-ambilight/howto-boblightconfigtool/

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