External power supply for 5v+ components

So i just got my Spark and it’s great, i’m doing ok with it so far but one of the reasons i bought it was to try to make a networked led strip and most guides/strips i’ve found need a 5+ volt supply. What sort of power supply/other thing should i use and how would i connect it to avoid frying something? I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to electronics so forgive me if this is a) really obvious or b) missing some obvious step.


If you power the :spark: core using a USB outlet, you can power the led strip via Vin.

Just make sure that the outlet has high Amps output sufficient for your led strips.

Otherwise, you can use a separate 5V supply for the led strip and only wiring up ground and signal to the core and 5v and ground from the supply to the led strip :slight_smile:

you might want to clarify you mean a powered USB hub or phone charger, not your computer’s USB port which will be 500mA max, most of which will be used by the Spark.

Ah thanks for that, i was a little confused. So if i used the usb for the spark it would get the voltage needed to output 5v from the Vin pin, is that correct?

Using a USB hub for powering your LED strip may not be enough. For the Message/Twitter torch, I used an external 5V, 3A power supply that powered both the 4m neopixel strip and the Spark (the two wire connector). I connected the 5V supply to the Vin of the Spark. Note the 0.1uF capacitor between Vin and GND to act as a power filter. :smile:


Just out of interest - what made you add the extra decoupling cap ?


AndyW, the +5 supply wires are somewhat long and the power supply is a switching type supply so I decided to decouple just in case.

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