WIZpix – short for Wiznet Pixels , was Robg’s entry into Circuit Cellar’s IoT contest. The challenge was to use Wiznet’s WIZ550io Ethernet controller modules to create an IoT project. The WIZ5500io is an auto-configurable Ethernet controller module that includes the W5500 (TCP/IP-hard-wired chip and PHY embedded), a transformer, and an RJ-45 connector.

Rob’s entry is an internet enabled RGB pixel controller with built in PoE( Power over Internet) . It’s intended uses include indoor Christmas trees and holiday decorations, stage lights and props for musical and theatrical shows, store signage and display, and a lot more.

The project uses the WIZnet W5500  to get online and an MSP430F5172 MCU( 25MHz, 32KB Flash, 2KB RAM ) to control RGB pixels. A built-in DC/DC converter allows the use of PoE, which eliminates need for directly connected power supply, ability to place controller far away from the outlet, and use of only one inexpensive CAT-5 cable.

The idea to create this device was born 2 years ago, when I first used RGB lights on my Christmas tree. Looking at ways to control this device, I had several options to choose from: UART, USB, WiFi, RF, and Ethernet. After careful consideration, I have decided that Ethernet offered many advantages over other options. When WIZnet announced 2014 Design Challenge, I figured this is the time to realize my idea.


Block Diagram


Board Design



RobG’s software currently allows control of built-in animations as well as control individual LEDs by sending HTTP requests. Some of the commands are illustrated below. Animations can be controlled as in pause, control, stop, reverse and resume.

Example commands: – all off – stop animation – resume animation – reverse animation – play animation #3

You can discuss Rob’s project in his 43oh forum thread. All code and schematics are available for download from his Circuit Cellar entry.