Guide V2


For discussion and to post pictures/videos of your MudLED in action, please see our RCGroups Thread.

If you have any questions you can ask on the above RCGroups thread or Contact Us.

Quick Look

Let's take a quick look at your MudLED board and get familiar.

[Pics of both sides of board]

  1. LED Power Connector. Connect a 5V or 12V supply to power your LED strips here.
  2. LED Strip Connectors 1-4. You can connect up to 4 LED strips here. If you're only connecting one strip, you can connect it anywhere.
  3. PWM Input. Connect your receiver here to switch between LED modes. This connector will also power the board itself.
  4. Config Button. Press and hold this to enter config mode (start the wifi).
  5. Power and Status LEDs. These indicate what your MudLED is up to. See the LED status table
  6. Power Jumper. Bridging these pads with solder will mean the board is powered through the LED Power Connector (1). DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE USING 12V LEDS. IT WILL DESTROY YOUR MUDLED. Only use this if you want to use a single 5V supply to power both the board and your LED strips.

The rest of this guide will go into detail on the following steps:

  1. Connect your LED strip(s).
  2. Connect your PWM signal.
  3. Connect LED power.
  4. Bring Up the User Interface.
  5. Configure the Board.
  6. Pretty Lights!

Connect Your LED Strips

MudLED supports a number of different LED types, that are available in all of the usual places like AliExpress, Banggood, Amazon, etc. They are available in different lengths, and different number of LEDs per metre. Which LEDs you may want to buy will depend on your use-case:

  • WS2812B is the 'original' 5V LED strip, and any LED that is broken will stop the rest of the strip from working.
  • WS2813 is an updated version of WS2812B, that can handle 1 broken LED out of every 2 (2 broken in a row will still break the rest of the strip).
  • WS2815 is a 12V version of the WS2813.

WS2815 is our recommendation if you are on 3S. You can then power the LEDs without a large BEC, and you will be dealing with much less current.

Once you've selected your LED strip(s) you can connect them to the connectors labeled "LEDx". Pay close attention to get the polarity right.

Connect your PWM Signal

Connect your receiver or other PWM source to the connector labelled "PWM". You will always need to supply 5V on this connector to power the board unless you have bridged the power jumper pads AND are using 5V LEDs.

You can get a PWM signal if you're using a flight controller with crossfire/sbus too - just see your flight controller's documentation for how to pass through an RC receiver channel to a PWM output/servo.

Connect LED Power

Connect your LED power supply to the connector labled "PWR". Pay close attention to get the polarity right.

Make sure your power source can supply enough current for the LEDs

  • For 5V allow 50mA per LED. So 100 LEDs would require a 5A BEC.
  • For 12V allow 15mA per LED. So 100 LEDs would require a 1.5A 12V supply (or 1.5A from a 3S LiPo).
  • This does vary between different LED makes and depends on what you are displaying (full white draws the most power). In testing 5V LEDs have drawn roughly 4.5A per 100 LEDs when all white. You can get away with a smaller BEC if you will never light your strip up all white, but you will need to measure your max current requirements, and Mud-Dart is not responsible if you break something.

If your strip is 12V, you MUST NOT use the power jumper pads on the board, and supply 5V on the PWM input instead.

Bring Up the User Interface

Once your MudLED is powered on (power LED should be lit solid and status LED off), you are ready to get connected.

  1. Hold down the config button until the status LED starts blinking, or cycle your PWM input between min and max values 5 times quickly.
  2. Grab your phone/other WiFi device and connect to the WiFi network called "MudLED".
  3. Your device may open the user interface automatically, or you may need to click a "sign in" button that appears. If neither of these happen, you can open a web browser and type into the addess bar.
  4. You should be greeted by the MudLED user interface!

[picture of UI]

Once you see the above page, you can begin to configure your MudLED.

Configure the Board

The first thing you should do is go to the advanced page. There you can enter the number of LEDs you have connected to each LED output. You will need to save and reboot the board at this point, you will then need to connect to it again.

[picture of LED strip config]

Once connected again, on the main screen you will see the PWM input bar - this shows you the current PWM value that the MudLED is reading from your receiver.

Below that, the bar is divided into sections for how many modes you have configured. For each mode there will be an edit button, which you can use to configure that mode. Now is a good time to set up a transmitter switch to switch between modes and then change the number of modes on your MudLED to the number of modes your switch has.

Save your changes to the number of modes, and then move your switch to activate the first mode and click the edit button.

Pretty Lights!

What is a Zone?

Once on the Edit Mode page you can see a button to return to the previous page in the top left. There are also save buttons at the top and bottom of the page.

Between the save buttons are 16 configurable zones. A "zone" is a collection of LEDs that you can assign a single effect to. You can add multiple sets of LEDs to a single zone, and the effect will animate across all of the sets.

Configure a Zone

Click on the name of a zone to open the configuration for it.

First select the range of LEDs that you want to apply an effect to. You can add and remove ranges at the bottom of the zone configuration. As you change the range beginning and end numbers, the zone will be brielfly lit up white so that you can see what you have selected.

Once you've set your ranges, you can adjust the rest of the zone settings:

  • Effect - Select an animation here. Its best to try them out and see what they do.
  • Color - Click on the colored square to change the color, or type one in.
  • Rainbow - If this is checked, the color setting is ignored and the color slowly fades through a rainbow.
  • Duration - This is the time the animation takes to loop through. Higher numbers make the effects go slower. Set the same number on zones to sync up effects.
  • Offset - This setting advances where the animation starts, up to the value of 'duration'. To start the animation halfway through, set this to your 'duration' divided by 2.
  • Reverse - This makes the effect run in reverse.

Once you have your zone set up how you like it you can add another one, or save it using the save button. Then click the 'Home' link in the top left corner of the page to go back and edit another mode, or hit the 'Quit' button on the main page to turn the wifi off so you can fly!

You can also have multiple zones use the same LEDs to overlay or blend effects together. The MudLED will 'add' the colors you've assigned together. For example if one zone is red and another on the same LEDs is green, you will get yellow. If you have 3 zones using the same LED, one red, one green, one blue, you will get white.

Firmware Update

On the main screen, click on the Advanced button. In the update section you need to enter the details of a wifi network with an internet connection (such as your home wifi). Once the update starts the LEDs will show status:

  • Blue means the update is starting and wifi is connecting.
  • Green means the wifi is connected and an update will start shortly.
  • Red means wifi connecting failed - make sure your network name and password were correct.

No status is shown during the update process, you need to wait for the board to reboot at which point your animations will return. It should only take a minute or two. Do not remove power from the board until it has rebooted.

Starting an update will always flash the newest version of the firmware, regardless if it is newer than what you already have or not. For this reason it's best to check the RCGroups thread to see if a newer version is available first. You can see your current version in the bottom of the advanced page.