Neopixels are a specific brand of individually addressable RGB LED (typically sold as a strip). Individually addressable means you can program the fourth LED in the strip to do one thing and the first to do another.

The firmware can communicate with WS2811 powered NeoPixel strands.

NeoPixel functions are defined in the neopixel.h header file.

Strand Initialization

By default, the firmware does not allocate memory for NeoPixels. You will need to allocate memory for a strand by calling mbl_mw_neopixel_init_slow_strand or mbl_mw_neopixel_init_fast_strand depending on your strand’s operating speed (fast = 800KHz, slow = 400KHz). When allocating memory, you also need to tell the firmware your strand’s operating speed and color ordering.

To free the allocated memory, call mbl_mw_neopixel_free_strand.

#include "metawear/peripheral/neopixel.h"

void initialize_strand(MblMwMetaWearBoard* board) {
    uint8_t strand = 0, gpio_data_pin = 0;
    // allocate memory for a 30 pixel strand with a slow operating speed
    mbl_mw_neopixel_init_slow_strand(board, strand, gpio_data_pin, 30, MBL_MW_NP_WS2811_RGB);

Setting Colors

The individual pixels of the strand are controlled with mbl_mw_neopixel_set_color. The color is determine by the combination of RGB values. When setting the pixel colors, you can enable a hold with mbl_mw_neopixel_set_color so color changes are not applied until the hold is released by calling mbl_mw_neopixel_disable_hold.

#include "metawear/peripheral/neopixel.h"

void color_strand(MblMwMetaWearBoard* board) {
    uint8_t strand = 0;

    mbl_mw_neopixel_enable_hold(board, strand);

    mbl_mw_neopixel_set_color(board, strand, 0, 255, 0, 0);
    mbl_mw_neopixel_set_color(board, strand, 1, 0, 255, 0);
    mbl_mw_neopixel_set_color(board, strand, 2, 0, 0, 255);

    mbl_mw_neopixel_disable_hold(board, strand);

Pattern Rotation

When you have a color pattern setup, you can rotate the pattern either indefinitely with mbl_mw_neopixel_rotate_indefinitely or for a fixed number of times using mbl_mw_neopixel_rotate. Rotations can be manually terminated with mbl_mw_neopixel_stop_rotation.

#include "metawear/peripheral/neopixel.h"

void rotate_strand(MblMwMetaWearBoard* board) {
    uint8_t strand = 0;

    // rotate the pattern indefinitely, trigger rotation every 250ms
    mbl_mw_neopixel_rotate_indefinitely(board, strand, 250, MBL_MW_NP_ROT_DIR_TOWARDS);