It’s easy to control the Arduino Neopixel shields from a sketch. You can also use Solderlab’s Glediator software to make your own lightshow. Glediator (short for ‘Graphical LEDInstallation AnimaTOR‘) is software to control led matrix and led stripe installations. This led matrix control application is written in Java and thus platform independent. You can run it on both Linux and Windows.
Installing and testing the Arduino NeoPixel shield
Make sure you power the shield with an external 4-6VDC power supply wired to the shield’s terminal block. See the instructions that came with the Arduino NeoPixel shield on how to do that.
Attach the shield to your Arduino and hook the Arduino up to your computer.
Start the Arduino IDE and install the Adafruit NeoPixel library:
– Go to Sketch > Include library > Manage libraries
– Search for ‘NeoPixel’, then select and install the Adafruit NeoPixel library
Load the sample sketch to see if your Neopixel shield is working.
– Go to File > Examples > Adafruit Neopixel and load the ‘simple’ sketch
– Find the line
#define NUMPIXELS 16
and change it to
#define NUMPIXELS 40
When you upload the sketch to your Arduino, all of the 40 LEDs on the NeoPixel shield should light up green.
Uploading the Glediator sketch to the Arduino
If you want to control your Arduino NeoPixel shield with the Glediator software, you will first need to put the Glediator ‘client’ sketch on your Arduino. It’s a small sketch to receive data from Glediator and push it to the WS2812B pixels.
Unzip the file, open the sketch ‘WS2812_Glediator.ino’ in the Arduino IDE and upload it to your Arduino
Linux Mint/Ubuntu/Debian: installing the RXTX Java library
To be able to use Glediator’s serial output you will have to install the RXTX library on your system. First, open a terminal window and download librxtx: apt-get update apt-get install librxtx-java
Next, you need to copy two downloaded files librxtxSerial.so and librxtxParallel.so from the folder /usr/lib/jni/ to the libraries folder of your current Java installation:
On my main system with Java JRE 1.8.0_111 installed, the folder was located at /opt/java/jdk1.8.0_111/jre/lib/amd64/ so I copied the files using: sudo cp /usr/lib/jni/librxtxSerial.so /opt/java/jdk1.8.0_111/jre/lib/amd64/ sudo cp /usr/lib/jni/librxtxParallel.so /opt/java/jdk1.8.0_111/jre/lib/amd64/
On another system running Linux Mint with OpenJDK 1.7.0 the libraries folder was located at /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/jre/lib/amd64. If you have trouble finding your libraries folder, try searching for an already installed default library like libawt.so: locate libawt.so
If this results in multiple locations because you have installed Java more than once, find the current version of Java you are using: java -version
Or else you might find some clues using: java -XshowSettings:properties
Linux Mint/Ubuntu/Debian: installing and running Glediator