K16A-B 16 String Pixel Controller Cape for BeagleBone

Premounted Beaglebone Black: Yes
Sandisk 32Gb SD Card with FPP7: Yes
Sale price$239.00


The K16A-B is a cape for the BeagleBone Black designed to drive WS2811 LED pixels. It has 16 local ports (fused with LED indicators) that can each drive 800 pixels (with power injection) at 40FPS (1500 at 20fps). It also has 4 RJ45 differential ports that can output an additional 16 strings. In addition, it has an expansion connector that can provide an additional 16 strings. Finally, it has 2 RS485 outputs for DMX, PixelNet, Renard, LOR.

For end-user usability, it provides a Real Time Clock, temperature sensors, voltage sensors, an OLED display, and four push buttons for navigating menus on the display.

The K16A-B also has an on-board, high quality DAC chip for providing sound.

It also has two extra headers for additional functionality. One header provides access to the I2C bus and 8 GPIO pins for additional push buttons or other triggers a user may need.

A User Manual is available based on the older K32A-B. It’s been mostly updated for the K16A-B, but the serial outputm(DMX/LOR/etc…) handling has not been updated to reflect how it’s done on the K16A-B.

What makes it special?

The 16 local ports provides plenty of outputs for dense props.

The 4 RJ45 ports provide additional output capabilities to allow for future expansions. All 4 of the ports can be configured to drive a WS2811 pixel differential receiver board. Both the “Smart Receivers” and the normal receivers are supported.

The BeagleBone can be powered by the same power supply powering the pixels. There are jumpers on the board to select either 5V or 12V power. Alternatively, the BeagleBone can be powered by its own barrel connector if an on-board jumper is removed.

Technical details: The WS2811 protocol is extremely timing dependent and are generally not drivable via a general purpose Linux CPU. The FPP software uses the two semi real-time PRU’s available on the Beaglebone to handle the protocol specific timings.

You WILL need:

  • WS2811 pixels
  • A good quality SD card with the latest FPP image installed on it. The latest FPP image can always be found at https://github.com/FalconChristmas/fpp/releases
  • A BeagleBone Black, BeagleBone Black Wireless, or BeagleBone Green.
    Note: a BeagleBone Green Wireless will NOT work.
  • A good quality 5v or 12v Power Supply.
Note: No FPP Licences are required for Kulp Lights Capes / Hats.

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