What is RainbowShift?
Essentially it’s easy RGB. RainbowShift is a shield for an ESP8266 microchip module to enable easy use of WLED. It takes the potentially complex task of wiring up the ESP8266 to use RGB and makes it very simple. Electrically it utilises a logic level shifter for each data line to change the 3.3v logic to 5v logic and uses a smoothing capacitor to ensure consistent power to the LEDs.
While RainbowShift was designed for use in 3D printers running Klipper, which this manual will focus on, it has many applications beyond this as a simple yet powerful RGB controller.
The PCB is supplied fully assembled and soldered and can optionally be supplied with a fully soldered ESP8266 module so no soldering is required.
What is the RainbowShift Kit?
This kit includes the RainbowShift module and the option to add an assembled ESP8266 module to make the setup even easier and simpler.
While WLED is a powerful piece of software, wiring it up can be complex and will often need soldering, wires, components and maybe a breadboard to get everything connected. This can be difficult and prone to mistakes. Rainbow shift makes it easy. Simply attach the ESP8266 to the top of the RainbowShift module, attach power, and you have all the connections you need for two 3A capable RGB outputs.
Why Two Different ESP8266 Modules?
Availability of the various ESP8266 modules varies over time, for purposes of using RainbowShift they are all tested as working and all equivalent in their performance for this application. Choose whichever you fancy, which will typically be whatever is in stock!
RainbowShift General Specifications
- 2 x 5V 3A fused power output
- 2 x Level shifted RGB Data outputs
- JST XH compatible connectors
- ESP8266 GPIO header (optional)
- 5V up to around 7A
- Pin Socket for D1 Mini type ESP8266 Module
The type of RGB LEDs that this work with RainbowShift are the three pin addressable type, also known as aRGB, addressable RGB or Digital RGB. RGBW that uses 3 pin arrangement are also supported. The pinout is for 5V, Data, and GND and will not work with 4 pin or 12/24V LEDs.
The ESP8266 module optionally supplied with RainbowShift is the D1 Mini USB-C. Other D1 Mini type ESP8266 modules should work provided their pinout and the separation between the two rows of 8 pins is the same. The pin pitch is 2.54mm. On the module I have, this separation between the rows is 22.7mm and this is what the RainbowShift PCB design is based on.
The RainbowShift documentation includes instructions on usage. You can download the latest version from this link: RainbowShift Guide