HowTo: pxlBlck - build pxlBlck_8x8

The pxlBlck_8x8 was one of the first members of the pxlBlck family. Thanks to the few parts and the prefabricated WS2812 8×8 LED matrix, it can be set up fairly quickly and thanks to the adapter board it offers some expansion options that are not visible at first glance.

Using the installed pxlBlck plugin for ESPEasy, animations and icons can be displayed on the connected LED matrix. Different effects can be configured for both.

In addition, various watch faces and screen savers are available.

How you should proceed when building your own pxlBlck_8x8 is described in the following article.

Safety instructions

I know the following notes are always kind of annoying and seem unnecessary. Unfortunately, many people who knew "better" have lost eyes, fingers or other things due to carelessness or injured themselves. Data loss is almost negligible in comparison, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Because even the coolest project is not worth injury or other trouble.

Affiliate links/advertising links

The links to online shops listed here are so-called affiliate links. If you click on such an affiliate link and make a purchase via this link, will receive a commission from the relevant online shop or provider. The price does not change for you. If you make your purchases via these links, you support in being able to offer other useful projects in the future. 🙂 


For the assembly you have to master soldering tasks. The following articles contain tips on this.

In the following lists you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

Required tool:

1xSoldering iron  Buy at Amazon
1xUSB soldering iron  Buy at Amazon
1x Third hand  Buy at Amazon
1x Soldering tip cleaner  Buy at Amazon
1x Electronics side cutters  Buy at Amazon
1x wire stripper  Buy at Amazon
1x Hot glue gun  Buy at Amazon
1x 3D printer  Buy at Amazon

Required material:

1x 3D printing filament  Buy at Amazon
1xSolder 1mm  Buy at Amazon
1xWemos D1 Mini  Buy at Amazon
1x  Hot glue stick  Buy at Amazon
1x No products found. No products found.
1x USB power supply  Buy at Amazon
1x WS2812 8x8 LED matrix  Buy at Amazon
1x Micro USB cable  Buy at Amazon


Here you can see a small overview of what the display of animations and the time can look like on the pxlBlk_8x8.

Collect the necessary parts

So that you can start building your pxlBlck_8x8, you should first gather all the parts you need.

To assemble the pxlBlck_8x8 you need the following parts.

  • 1x WS2812 8×8 LED matrix including pin header
  • 1x satin acrylic glass plate 66x66x3mm
  • 1x Wemos D1 Mini including pin header
  • Adapter board
  • 3D printed light grid
  • 3D printed frame

Further overview of the required parts.

Adapter boards for the pxlBlck_8x8


The current version (v1.4) has space for various breakout boards. The pxlBlck_8x8 can easily be equipped with additional functions.

For example, it is possible to connect capacitive buttons/electrodes and use them to trigger actions on the pxlBlck or in the SmartHome. With the right extension, the pxlBlck_8x8 can also be used as a doorbell sensor, which notifies you when the doorbell is pressed via a loudspeaker and also via MQTT.

Ultimately, this board also makes installation much easier.

I uploaded and summarized the board data using the following link. You can also have the circuit boards manufactured there. New board versions will also be listed here.

You can find the STL files to print on your 3D printer in the repository for the pxlBlck_8x8 under the following link.

Solder Wemos D1 Mini/ESP8266 to the board

To make installation easier, you should first solder the ESp8266 installed on the Wemos D1 Mini to the adapter board

Insert the first pin strip for connecting the Wemos D1 Mini into the board as shown and first solder only one pin to the board.

Now check that the pin header is correctly aligned. It should work in both directions... straight and at right angles to the board.

If not, you can heat the solder of the soldered pin again and correct the alignment of the pin header.

As soon as the pin header is correctly aligned, you can also solder the remaining soldering points on the pin header.

Once the first pin header is soldered, the part of your adapter board should look like this.

Now solder the second pin header using the same principle.

Once you have soldered both pin headers, your adapter board should look like this.

Another view of the soldered pin header on the bottom of the adapter board.

After you have soldered the pin headers to the adapter board, it is now time to solder the Wemos D1 Mini to the pin headers.

To do this, place this on the pin headers as shown.

Make sure that the Wemos D1 Mini is not pushed all the way onto the pin headers. It should sit on the pin headers as shown.

To prevent the Wemos D1 Mini from slipping, you can solder one of the contacts to a pin.

Then check again that the Wemos D1 Mini sits straight and parallel to the adapter board on the pin headers.

As soon as it is in position you can solder the remaining contacts to the pins on the pin header.

The following contacts are important for the function:

  • A0
  • 3V3
  • 5V
  • G
  • D4

Prepare LED panel

In order for the LED panel to be connected to the adapter board, it must first be soldered to a pin strip.

To do this you need the WS2812 8×8 LED matrix and the associated three-pin pin strip.

Is the pin strip plugged in...

… on the page with the “DIN” contact…

…into the board of the 8×8 LED matrix.

Then solder the pin header on the front.

View of the WS2812 LED matrix with the pin header soldered (on the back).

Solder the LED panel to the circuit board

Now you can solder the prepared parts together.

To do this, you need the prepared adapter board with the Wemos D1 Mini installed on it and the prepared WS2812 8×8 LED matrix.

Now you can plug the adapter board onto the pin header of the WS2812 8×8 LED matrix as shown.

Align the LED matrix and the adapter board parallel to each other and then solder the pin header to the adapter board.

It is also important at this point that you connect your solder jumper marked “SJ1” with some solder. This solder jumper connects the data line between the Wemos D1 Mini and the LED matrix.

Another view of the unit consisting of adapter board and WS2812 8×8 LED matrix.

Insert the prepared circuit board into the housing

After you have prepared the “electronic part”, you can now move on to the “mechanical part”: assembly with the 3D printed housing parts.

For this you will need the following parts.

  • 3D printed frame
  • 3D printed light grid
  • Acrylic glass plate 66x66x3mm satin finish
  • The prepared unit consisting of Wemos D1 Mini, adapter board and WS2812 LED matrix

Now first insert the acrylic glass plate into the 3D printed frame as shown.

The light grid is now inserted into the frame in a similar way to the acrylic glass plate.

Pay attention to the correct orientation. There are recesses in the bars of the light grid, which leave space for the capacitors on the WS2812 8×8 LED matrix.

View of the inserted light grid.

Now you can use the prepared unit consisting of adapter board, Wemos D1 Mini and WS2812 8×8 LED matrix as shown…

…insert into the housing frame.

To ensure that the inserted parts stay in place, you should now add a drop of hot glue...

...put dex pxlBlck_8x8 in each corner.

This is how the inserted parts should…

...can no longer fall out.

View of the inserted and glued parts.

And that's it for the construction of your pxlBlck_8x8.

Program firmware

After setting up the pxlBlck_8x8, you now have to install ESPEasy including the pxlBlck plugin on the ESP8266. How you can do this is described in the following article.

Configure pxlBlck plugin

After installing the firmware you have to configure the plugin correctly. You can also find information about this in the article pxlBlck - Install and configure the pxlBlck plugin.

For additional orientation, you can also use the settings from the screenshot shown here.

pxlBlck Usecases

Articles are listed under the tag "pxlBlckUsecase" in which you can find examples of use. It also explains how you have to configure your pxlBlck for this.

Animations, icons and commands

More information about the display of animations, icons and the possible commands with which you can configure your pxlBlck can also be found in the following articles.

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described for you. If not or you have questions or suggestions please let me know in the comments. I will then add this to the article if necessary.
Ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

PS Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you think it's cool that I share the information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee fund. 🙂

Buy Me a Coffee at       


  1. Good morning

    Cool project, but how do I make it alternate between showing random pixels and running time?

    1. Hey Daniel,
      Under what condition should the random pixel screensaver be displayed and when should the running time be displayed?
      If you have a trigger, you can configure it using the rules in ESPEasy, for example.
      Best regards

      1. Hello Fab,

        I wanted to trigger the time, the running time should run through every 2 minutes, otherwise just random pixel screensaver

        Greetings daniel

          1. Hello, does this project work without an adapter board? If not, where can I get it? The project is really interesting, keep it up. Greetings from Saxony.

  2. Hi Fab,

    alternates in time

    I had imagined it in such a way that, for example, an animation such as the Random Pixel Screensaver, if necessary, runs through other animations and is always faded in between through the time.
    For example, the time should be displayed every 2 minutes

    Greetings daniel

  3. So I've already managed it successfully with a Wemos D1 Mini. Now I wanted to use my ESP32 with it. Flashing works, but I can't find it as an AP afterwards and I can't set the WLAN. Then I can't get any further. I had used the finished BINs linked here. How do I have to call ESPTOOL.PY with an ESP32 from AZ-Delivery / WROOM32? I assume it's the chip.... LG Alex

    1. hey alexander,
      When it comes to the ESP32, I’m also a bit “new” to it. I would (currently still) recommend flashing the code to the ESp32 via Arduino IDE. I'm currently copying the binaries manually into the repository. This means that they are not created automatically when the code is updated and are therefore not always up to date. I currently have a working setup here using the programming method via the Arduino IDE. However, I configured the WiFi access data via the serial interface. How to do this is also in the article explained. 🙂
      I would later also create an article on flashing an ESP32.
      Best regards

  4. Is there another alternative to ordering circuit boards?
    The Gerber data cannot be downloaded.

    Is it possible to see the wiring diagram?
    Oh, I have so many questions...

    1. hey jens,
      jain, I'm currently working on a new version of the circuit board, which I want to offer here for ordering. I'll also provide the wiring diagram. 🙂
      Bring on the questions! 😀
      Best regards

  5. Hey,

    I can't load the stl files from your Github into Cura, I get the error message “...cannot be opened... file could be faulty or inaccessible.” what am I doing wrong?

    Greetings Basti

    1. Hey Sebastian,
      Unfortunately, this is because GitHub delivers an HTML page to preview the STL file when you try to download the STL file individually. Please download the whole repository, then importing the file should work. 🙂 Otherwise, please let me know.
      Best regards

        1. Great, I'm glad. 🙂
          Regarding the pxlBlck_32x8: I'm still working on the circuit board for it, because I want to secure the power distribution a little better and also integrate a few more functions. I also posted info about it here:
          I hope to have everything ready with the next revision. Then all I have to do is create the assembly article. 🙂
          Best regards

  6. Hi Fabian,
    Am I wrong assuming, that your PCB for pxlBlck8x8 MUST HAVE jumper SJ1 soldered?
    Or the separate (and required, as far as we want to follow all the rules of connecting 3V3 controller to 5V WS2812B LEDs) level shifter T1, R2, R3 MUST BE mounted on PCB?
    None of this was mentioned in your assembly guide, but my measurements of your PCB show that DATA signal to WS2812B (on SV1) will no go unless you solder SJ1 jumper or solder the T1, R2, R3 level shifter.

    1. Hi DarS,
      You are totally right. SJ1 needs to be closed.
      But in fact it is mentioned in the description. Please search for the text snippet “At this point it is also important that you close”.
      To make this more visible I changed the text style of this part to bold. Hope this makes it better visible. 🙂

      Thanks for the hint and best regards

Kommentar hinterlassen

Your email address will not be published. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.