AiLight Jig

AiLight Jig

Last week (May 2017) I ordered and received another dozen of those nice Ai-Thinker LED RGBW bulbs. The thought of soldering wires to those tiny PCB contacts made me kind of cringe. Time to use my CAD design skills and my home-built laser cutter (Yes, I like to make tools myself :) ) to make a jig!

AiLight Jig - PCB

Design

The major challenge with this was how to figure out the exact positions of all those PCB contacts. Of course, there isn't any technical drawing readily available. Measuring the distances with a caliper was too difficult and imprecise as I did not have much of a steady hand...

An easier way was to take a high resolution photo of the PCB and measure the distances with photo editing software (In my case I used GIMP. This turned out later to be a very good solution; I had to re-adjust the measurements only a few times.

In Autodesk Fusion 360 I designed a 3D model for a component that needed to fit tightly in the Ai-Thinker LED RGBW aluminium body. For making connections to the PCB contacts, pogo pins are used and placed at the positions measured earlier. The first prototypes I made were from cardboard and later cut out of plywood with my home-built laser cutter. The pogo pins are wired and connected to an USB to UART adapter (CP210x Chipset).

AiLight Jig - 3D Model

AiLight Jig - Positions

Very pleased with the outcome and the precision of my home-brew laser cutter. It is minimalistic and very effective design. This could easily be 3D printed as well, but I just stuck with this edition :)

AiLight Jig - Top

AiLight Jig - Bottom

V2

AiLight Jig v2 is here! It has been a while and wanted to let you all know that I designed a new version of the AiLight Jig.

The first version was made out of plywood/MDF and although it worked great, it did not always stay fit in the light bulb's housing due to the wood being susceptible to natural conditions. So I decided to make a 3D printed version, which has:

  • better/tighter fit in the light bulb preventing the pogo pins to move around.
  • increased height, so the pogo pins sit in more straight (flip side is that they are harder to insert or get out)
  • larger opening which makes it easier to check whether the pogo pins are properly aligned or not.

AiLight Jig - V2

AiLight Jig - Model

Like One?

Some people have already requested an AiLight Jig and if you don't feel like soldering either, I am happy to make one for you as well. I only ask for a small fee that covers my time and expenses. There are three options you can choose from:

  • Fully Assembled and Tested AiLight Jig:

This is a completely assembled and tested adapter, so you can start right ahead flashing any firmware you like. If you want to avoid any soldering or are not keen on doing any precision work assembly, this edition is the right one for you!

Where to get: http://etsy.me/2tMiQD5

  • Kit:

This is a partially assembled AiLight Jig consisting of a 3D Printed adapter and a USB/UART adapter (based on the CP2102 chipset) with pogo-pins and wires pre-soldered. 1 Extra pogo pin is included. Only thing you need to do is insert the pogo pins in the designated holes of the adapter.

Where to get: http://etsy.me/2DsrnKP

  • Jig Only:

3D Printed element including 5 pogo pins. 1 Extra pogo pin is included. If you already have a USB/UART adapter this is the right option for you.

Where to get: http://etsy.me/2DsrnKP

If you like to have an AiLight Jig without my help (or don't want to spend any money), you can also build one yourself by following the instructions here: Make an AiLight Jig. This Wiki page also contains links to all the 3D design files.

Please feel free to leave comments or feedback here. Happy to hear what you think!

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