Pimoroni did an excellent job on this project. No soldering is required at all, meaning this is the user-friendliest version of the project ever released!
The project comes in a nice package, containing a pre-assembled panel and flat cables used to connect all snowflake boards.
Changes to the Original Project
The overall design from Francesco Mazzola did not change. The snowflakes look exactly the same, and all delicate lines on the front side are perfectly manufactured.
The circuit did receive some improvements. First, the platform is now powered by 5V instead of 3.3V. Each board utilizes a small voltage regulator to provide the 3.3V for the microcontroller.
A higher voltage reduces the current on the flat cable on the strand. Also, the voltage regulator will provide a less noisy power supply on each board.
Next, the 19 resistors for the LEDs are combined in resistor banks. I have considered doing this in the past, but decided against it, primarily because the components are quite difficult to hand-solder.
The boards can be connected using the provided flat cables. This is simply an addition to the solder pads. If you prefer, you can still solder your own cable to the snowflakes.
Finally, all components are pre-soldered. Assembling my original kit, which was available exclusively to Boldport Club members, was a great challenge – primarily due to the tiny 0402 LEDs.
The snowflakes from Pimoroni are 100% compatible with those used in my original project. Therefore, if you created your own firmware for the project as I suggested, you can easily use it on these new snowflakes as well.
If you have questions, missed any information, or simply want to provide feedback, feel free to comment below or reach out to us through Twitter!