moody photograph showing a 3D Touch probe glowing red. The probe is a clone of the BLTouch bed levelling sensor

SKR V1.3 NeoPixel & BLTouch


A guide for installing NeoPixel LEDs and a BLTouch to the SKR V1.3. While not being a board lavished with servo connections however, where there is a will there’s a way. Follow our guide and get your LEDs up and running.

LEDs, especially NeoPixels colour changing LEDs are often loved or hated. Intrinsically they are the 3D Printers version of Marmite. However, while most believe them to be just “Bling”. They can serve a greater purpose for those who need them.

moody photograph showing the WS2812B neopixel lighting showing red

Those of us who suffer from brain fogs, loss of concentration, or awareness. May need help to remind them when things are hot. For some a visual guide is vital, indicating the status of the heated parts at all times. Nonetheless, it is not a 100% foolproof method but it helps a lot.

I for one burn myself far less regular now since using NeoPixel LEDs as a visual aid on my 3D printer, and hopefully the SKR V1.3 NeoPixel & BLTouch

Let’s Begin

Parts List

5V Neopixel LEDs, Wires Cutters, Wire Strippers, 2.54mm JST-SM Connectors, 2.54mm JST-XHP Connectors, 16 AWG Silicone Cable, 26 AWG Silicone Cable, Soldering Iron, Solder.

ATX Breakout, while not necessary it does makes life a lot easier.
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The NeoPixel LEDs in this guide are 5 Volt WS2812B. Which have 30 LEDs a meter, and has a power consumption of 9 Watts a meter.

If you only have a 12 Volt PSU, you could use 12 Volt LEDs. However you may find the draw from the PSU by the LEDs takes too much away from the printer itself. Even a 360W 12 Volt PSU can struggle. So you might want to get either a 5 Volt PSU or another 12 Volt for lighting. If however you are running an ATX PSU, then you’re good to go.

Wiring

LED WIRING

closeup photograph of copper connectors on WS2812B neopixel lighting, with GND at the top DI (Signal) in the middle and 5V on the bottom

The wiring of the LEDs is very simple. As such we will start first with the connections to the NeoPixel LEDs.

DI /DIN (Data Input)

The signal connection is normally in the middle of NeoPixel LEDs and is revered to as DI or DIN. It is often easier to work outwards when soldering, so it makes it the best place to start from.

A 26 AWG cable needs to be soldered to the DI on the Neopixel LEDs. While ensuring the cable will reach the SKR V1.3 from where you will be placing your LEDs.

GND (Ground / Common (COM))

Simply solder two separate wires to the same GND on the LED. One silicone cable at 16 AWG, the other 26 AWG. Ensuring the cables are long enough to reach your PSU (16 AWG) and the SKR V1.3 (26 AWG).

5 V

We need one cable of 16 AWG to be soldered to the 5 V on the LED and again check the length of your cable will reach your PSU.

PSU Wiring

Nothing fancy simply wire into the terminals or clamps like you would any other power lead, just ensure it is the correct voltage and polarity.

SKR Wiring

Next we need to crimp and plug or signal wires. Using female 2.54 mm JST-SM connectors on the GND / COM and the DI / Signal wires.

The wiring is the same order as end-stop connections on the SKR V1.3.

SIGNALGROUNDNOT NEEDED
photograph showing the correct pin position for the 3 pin jst-xh 2.54mm connector with the lock catch facing forward, the signal cable is on the left, ground in the middle and voltage on the far right.
JST-XHP 3 Pin SKR V1.3 Wiring Orientation

Wiring Re-cap

  • LED Solder Wiring – 2x GND, 1X 5 V, 1X DI.
  • PSU Wiring from LED into PSU – 1x 5 V, 1X Com / GND.
  • SKR Wiring – Crimp from LED 1x DI, 1X Gnd into JST-SM connectors

Fitting Instructions

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Probe / BLTouch

If you have your probe or BLTouch currently plugged into the SERVO port on the SKR V1.3 then unplug this for the moment.

Now plug your wiring from the Neopixel lighting into the servo port. Remembering the orientation which is the signal cable to the far right.

Next replug the sensor or BLTouch into Y_MAX.

Thats it hardware installed, isn’t it great when its nice and simple.

Firmware Changes

As we have swapped things around, we just need to change our settings so the printer knows where everything is now moved too.

Configuration.h

screenshot of the neopixel led settings for WS2812B neopixels in configuration.h with neopixel type set to NEO_GRB sequencing

If you are going to be using a BLTouch sensor, and have not already enabled this feature in the firmware. Now is the time to do so. Simply leave the configuration as standard, and just enable the BLTouch.

Search for and uncomment //#define BLTOUCH

#define BLTOUCH
#if ENABLED(BLTOUCH)
#define BLTOUCH_DELAY 500
//#define BLTOUCH_FORCE_5V_MODE
#endif

Search for and uncomment //#define NEOPIXEL_LED

The notes alongside each setting will guide you along, however the main two we need to define are NEOPIXEL_PIN as P2_00 which is currently the SERVO0_PIN. Secondaly the number of LED lights / pixels there are. In this case there was 77. However you could start out with 10 and then count them up later.

#define NEOPIXEL_LED
if ENABLED(NEOPIXEL_LED)
#define NEOPIXEL_TYPE NEO_GRB
#define NEOPIXEL_PIN P2_00
#define NEOPIXEL_PIXELS 77
//#define NEOPIXEL_IS_SEQUENTIAL
#define NEOPIXEL_BRIGHTNESS 255
#define NEOPIXEL_STARTUP_TEST
endif

pins_BIGTREE_SKR_V1.3.h.

screenshot of Marlin firmware showing the pins configuration file for the bigtreetech skr v1.3

At the very top of the page is the SERVO0_PIN this is currently being used by the BLTouch or sensor. However as we have moved it we simply tell it where it is now plugged into. In this instance to Y_MAX.

When changing pins or settings, it is often advisable to leave reminders as to what they were prior. As we have set the SERVO0_PIN to P1_26 by placing a couple of forward slashes after the setting details we are able to leave notes for ourselves. For example //P2_00 just reminds us it used to be on pin P2_00.

define SERVO0_PIN P1_26 //P2_00

Additionally as the P1_26 pin has now been redefined we need to disable any previous references to that pin by placing forward slashes in front of the #define. Firstly there is the E1_DIAG_PIN see below.

//#define E1_DIAG_PIN P1_26 // Y+

Next there are three options within the Y_STALL_SENSITIVITY section. However it is important to note the below example presumes sensorless homing is not in use.

#if Y_STALL_SENSITIVITY
#define Y_STOP_PIN Y_DIAG_PIN
#if Y_HOME_DIR < 0
//#define Y_MAX_PIN P1_26 // Y+
#else
//#define Y_MIN_PIN P1_26 // Y+
#endif
#else
#define Y_MIN_PIN P1_27 // Y-
//#define Y_MAX_PIN P1_26 // Y+
#endif

Configuration_adv.h

screenshot of the neopixel LED control menu in the Marlin firmware configuration_adv.h file

Search for and uncomment //define LED_CONTROL_MENU

Now again read the notes along each option, to get an idea as to there purpose, but for the moment just enable #define LED_CONTROL_MENU.

#define LED_CONTROL_MENU
if ENABLED(LED_CONTROL_MENU)
#define LED_COLOR_PRESETS
#if ENABLED(LED_COLOR_PRESETS)
#define LED_USER_PRESET_RED 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_GREEN 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_BLUE 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_WHITE 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_BRIGHTNESS 255
#define LED_USER_PRESET_STARTUP
#endif
endif

Firmware Re-cap

  • Configuration.h – #define BLTOUCH
  • Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_LED
  • Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_PIXELS
  • Configuration.h – #define NEOPIXEL_PIN P2_00
  • pins_BIGTREE_SKR_V1.3.h. – #define SERVO0_PIN P1_26
  • Configuration_adv.h – #define LED_CONTROL_MENU

Guess what people, that is the SKR V1.3 NeoPixel & BLTouch how-to guide completed.

Just compile and update your firmware like normal. However, your lights may not come on the first boot, simply turn turn them on via the menu on the printer.

Now shut down your printer, and on restart it should carry out the Red Green Blue test in that sequence, it will then revert to user default.

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Thank You

Lets Celebrate

moody photograph showing the WS2812B neopixel lighting showing blue

Now in order to celebrate getting the NeoPixels working I have uploaded to thingiverse.com a simple and quick printing LED holder. Simply screw into your printers enclosure or where ever you like for that matter. You can just see them in the picture above.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3653820

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