Quick start guide

Note: After unboxing Beam, we highly recommend running through this quick start guide to verify everything is working as expected! 

 

Hookup

On the backside of the Beam PCB, there are two female connectors on each end. Both connectors are identical and either one can be used to connect to the your Raspberry Pi.

HOST_V+: Connect to 3.3V of Raspberry Pi. 
3.3V: Connect to the 3.3V pin of Raspberry Pi.
GND: Connect to ground pin. 
SYNC: No need to connect this pin to your Raspberry Pi. It's used when chaining multiple Beams in a row. 
RESET: Connect to any Digital pin on your Pi.  In our code, we use Pin #27.
IRQ: Connect to any Digital pin on your Pi.  In our code, we use Pin #22.
SCL: Connect to SCL pin on your Raspberry Pi.  This is Pin #3.
SDA: Connect to SDA pin on your Raspberry Pi.  This is Pin #2. 

Configuring I2C and install WiringPi

Switch on your Raspberry Pi and configure your I2C bus.  The best explanation is written up on Adafruit.  Check it out here -  https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-4-gpio-setup/configuring-i2c

You'll also need to install WiringPi.  That can be found here - http://wiringpi.com/download-and-install/

Library

Hit the link on the right to grab the latest Beam library. 

Usage

Open up the command prompt and start with some easy commands.

sudo ./BeamDemo [options]

Options:

-n [1-4] set the number of beams (defaults to 1)
-s [1-15] set the frame speed (defaults to 1, 15 is slowest)
-l [1-7] set the number of frame loops (defaults to 7)
-t "some text" display text on the beam
-f "some path" load and display a frames file
-h print this help

To run a demo specify the -n [1-4] option or no options

Examples

Run Demo on 1 beam:

sudo ./BeamDemo

Run Demo on 2 beams:

sudo ./BeamDemo -n 2

Text on 1 beam:

sudo ./BeamDemo -t "my text here"

Text on 3 beams:

sudo ./BeamDemo -n 3 -t "my text here"

Custom frames:

sudo ./BeamDemo -f "./sample-frames.txt"

Custom frames on 3 beams:

sudo ./BeamDemo -n 3 -f "./sample-frames.txt"

If you want to run your own program with Beam, check out the BeamDemo code and modify to your liking.

Connecting more Beams

Want MOAR Beams? Simply connect up to 4 Beams using the headers provided as shown. Going from left to right, make sure the slider switch is set to 'A' for the first Beam, then 'B' for the second Beam, and so on. So of you're using a total of four Beams, then the switch setting should be A, B, C, D from left to right.