The SimulConn LED IO-board comes in one of these versions:

  • SC-SIMVIMX-LED-R1 (Obsolete)
  • SC-SIMVIMX-LED-R2 (PCB with pre-soldered SMD components. Add and solder connectors yourself)
  • SC-SIMVIMX-LED-R3 (PCB with pre-soldered SMD components. Add and solder connectors yourself)

LED board – rev2

This version of the LED IO board has all the SMD components pre-soldered, and all you need to do is to mount the connectors for the ribbon cable and for the LEDs and mount the Rext resistor.

It is recommended to use screw terminal blocks, but you can use pin headers or even solder cables directly between the board and the LEDs.

The LEDs are driven by 5v.

Brightness adjustment
To control the brightness of the LEDs use one of the following solutions:

  • use a resistor of your choice in J1/J2/J3/J4 between 1 and 50K, depending on the required brightness
  • solder a pin-header in J1/J2/J3/J4 and mount a jumper to get full brightness.
  • leave J1/J2/J3/J4 open and mount a 50K pot in R1B/R2B/R3B/R4B.

The brightness is controlled in blocks of 16. J1/R1B control LED 0-15, J2/R2B control LED 16-31, and so on.

The following components are recommended for the LED board.

 PlacementComponent 
J1-J4Pin header (2-pin)Optional
J5IDC cable socket 14pRecommended
X1-X16PCB Mounted Screw Terminal Block Connector 2.54mm 8-pinRecommended
J1-J450K potOptional

LED board – rev3

Rev3 is the newest edition of the LED board and has an optimized footprint, common anode connection, and better brightness adjustment. It can also draw a higher current than its predecessor.
Like rev2 it has all its SMD components pre-soldered, and all you need to do is to mount the IDC connector for the ribbon cable, the screw connectors for the LEDs, and the potmeter for the brightness adjustment.

Though it is recommended to use screw terminal blocks, you can use pin headers or even solder cables directly between the board and the LEDs.

Brightness adjustment
Mount a 50K potmeter in RV1. This potmeter adjusts all 64 outputs.

The following components are recommended for the LED board.

 PlacementComponent 
 J7PCB Mounted Screw Terminal Block Connector 5.08mm 6-pinRecommended
J5IDC cable socket 14pRecommended
X1-X8PCB Mounted Screw Terminal Block Connector 2.54mm 8-pinRecommended
RV150K potMandatory

Blue sections
Here you connect the LED Cathode pin.

Yellow section
Here you connect the EXTENSION board.

Green section
Here you use potmeter to adjust the current/brightness for all LEDs.

Red section
Here you connect the LED Anode pins.

Purple sections
Here you will find the test points for troubleshooting.

FAQ (rev3)

> How can I connect my LEDs?

You can connect your LEDs in the following ways:

  1. Single LED
    Connect the cathode of the LED  to a numbered output of the LED board.
    Connect the anode of the LED to one of the common anode connectors on the LED board. 
  2. Multiple LEDs in parallel
    You can use several LEDs in parallel, but beware that each cathode connector can only drive 60mA. As an example, if your LEDs have a working current of 30mA, then a maximum of 2 LEDs can be used (2*30mA=60mA). 
  3. Multiple LEDs in series
    You can use several LEDs in series.
    The upside is that you drive a low current, but the downside is that you only have 5v from the board to use. So if you as an example use two red LEDs that have a working voltage of 1.7v, they will work at full brightness (2*1.7v = 3.4v). But if you use two white LEDs with a working voltage of 4v, you will have very low brightness (2*4v = 8v).

Remember to check the hardware specs of your LEDs. You can damage the LED board if you mount LEDs incorrectly!

> How do I power the LED board?

The LED board gets it working power from the EXTENSION board.
The LED board rev3 requires from 7v to 35v. But 12v is recommended.
NOTE: Keep in mind that SimulConn is centrally powered and not all boards support up to 35v, so it is highly recommended to use 12v.

> How much power can the board provide for LEDs?

Each of the 6 common Anode channels can drive up to 1.5A.
Note: The total of all channels can not be loaded more than 3A in total!

> How much power does a LED board require?

The power needed depends on your use of LEDs.
Let’s say you have mounted 64 white LEDs, and the specs of your LEDs are 4v/20mA, then the board requires 1.3A (64*0.02) from the power supply.

> I use different LED colors and they do not have the same brightness

Different LED colors have different wavelengths, luminous intensity, and forward voltage. This means that it can be very challenging to give all colors the same brightness.
One way to solve it would be to use one LED board for each color/type and adjust the brightness for that color on the brightness tune (RV1).
Another way would be to collect all anodes of a group of same color LEDs and insert a potmeter between this point and the common anode on the board. This way you can individually adjust a single color.
NOTE: Make sure you comply with the technical guidelines of connecting LEDs in the above faqs!