Kaimana RGB LED Board thread, RGB animations and more! SRK Tech Talk 2013 Product of the Year!



The furthest pin away from the USB jack on the Kaimana mini 20 pin connector is VCC, there is 2 of them in one column. Then 2 GND pins in a column next to it. Hope that helps :slight_smile:


Hey guys,
Recently I got an old Qanba Q4RAF arcade stick, and I want to install the Kaimana Mini led kit on it, while keeping the original PCB of the arcade stick. The pinout is very clear and easy to access on it, so I plan to make my own Kaimana Mini breakout board, and connect everything together.
But I got one problem; the Kaimana pinout is easy to find, but the Kaimana Mini version is nowhere to be found :frowning:
Is there any place I can find it?
Also, I was wondering, is it ok to connect each button pin the Stick PCB directly to the Kaimana, or is there any risk of frying it?
Last question; since it’s not possible to use LEDBlinky with the Kaimana for obvious reasons, I was trying to modify the Arduino code to have different light profiles that I can Switch with a button combo.
But before trying it, is there someone that already done something similar and shared his code?
Thanks guys :wink:

Edit: I found the pinout in a video showing an old breakout PCB, and I guess it’s not dangerous to plug the wires on the stick PCB since they are doing it:


Hey dude I noticed you found the breakout video which is great! For I the pinot it follows the standard 20 pinout found on a ps360 and the brooks ufb, there should be a diagram for those around.


If you get a kaimana breakout and connect the wires to it you could make it more interactive because on press it would light up the one he/shes pressing! I have a stick for the same purpose and my 2 yr old loves it. He’s had it since he was 1 so all I can suggest is to put the code to dim the lights because it can get very bright and they get very close to the leds


Hello there, I need help

I have purchased a Kaimana mini, as well as a breakout board in the hope of being able to light up buttons on my razer panthers evo arcade stick (Pictures of the sticks internals here http://imgur.com/a/mhSxEY7)

After research, all of the steps towards setting this up make sense, but there is only one problem I have. I have no idea how to power the breakout board. I have seen people do it for the razer panthera stick using a couple of pins that are near where the USB cable is attached to the pcb.

Any ideas would be extremely appreciated



There should be 5 exposed pins next to the USB plug. It should be parallel to the USB wires, so I believe from top to bottom is Red, White, Green, skinny Black, and thick Black. That would be, 5V VCC, D+, D-, GND, Shield. You can solder a wire to the VCC pin if you want and run it to the VCC screw terminal on the breakout board, or you could splice directly off the red wire on the USB plug. The breakout board is common ground so if you’re already grounded it you won’t need to take a ground off the USB. If you haven’t grounded it, then the 4th pin, the one next to the skinny black wire, is a GND pin you can use.


Just got everything hooked up in my new stick, and everything works great, although I noticed one small issue with my Kaimana Mini setup. All the LED’s work perfectly when idle, or when playing the idle animation cycle, but one of them doesn’t work when I hit a button and it’s set to use a random color. The same LED works fine in any other state, but when I hit the button it changes momentarily to the random color, then goes dark. The LED on the other side of the same J2 module works fine at all times, it’s just the one specific LED exhibiting this behavior.

Has anyone heard of this issue before? Or is there anything in the sketch files that might cause this issue? I used the tool at Brighstick to generate the base files, and then edited the custom file to match the LED setup I have, if that makes any difference.


This is a strange issue, does your wiring match what the brightstick site recommends?



Brightstick doesn’t do the order of the LEDs properly. Each J2.1 board has 2 LEDs on them. The normal order is K1, K2, K3, K4, P4, P3, P2, P1, JS. JS is a single LED because you don’t have 2 LEDs in a joystick, only 1. The designer of BS decided to go K1, K2, K3, K4, JS, P4, P3, P2, P1 or something like that, with JS being a single LED between each row of buttons instead of the last LED in the chain after the buttons. Since no one using Kaimana chains their button LEDs that way, everyone who uses BS always has the same issue.


That makes sense, but I edited the config after it was generated by Brightstick. Turned off the Joystick LED, then reordered the LED designation numbers to match my setup, and changed the LED count variable to match. That should’ve taken care of it, right?



I saw that you made edits but wasn’t sure of the extent. I would think so, but I’m not sure if BS is messing with the code beyond that. What happens if you swap the board that has the issue with another board in the chain? Say, for example it’s position 5, swap it with 6 and put 6 in 5. If the problem persists with position 6, then it’s simple and we replace the board. If the problem is still in position 5 but with a different board, then it’s somewhere in the coding.


I’m going to fiddle with the sketch settings, see if tweaking things there does anything. I probably won’t go for a swap out just yet, as the way the internals are put together in mine means a full teardown just to access the LED module (they’re all crammed under the easy build board in a Panzer case). No big deal if I can’t figure it out, it’s barely noticeable as is, and the other LED on the module works fine when pressed so it’s not like it really stands out either.

Oh, and the LED’s on mine stay on when the computer is off. Is there some flag in the sketch files that tell it “turn off when computer off”, or is this likely a Win10 USB power issue?


Most likely it’s a motherboard setting in the bios. Used a lot for charging phones while the PC is off.


Got it sorted. Had to enable the ErP setting in the BIOS, now the power-supply powers down the USB ports a few seconds after shutdown.


Hey guys,
I got an annoying issue with my Stick and the kaimana, maybe somebody already had the same problem and found something to solve it?
My stick has two modes, PS3 and Xbox 360.
The kaimana is connected to the buttons pinout of my stick motherboard.
So, in PS3 mode, it’s working perfectly, no problem or anything, but in Xbox 360 mode, the LT and RT being seen as analog triggers, somehow the kaimana see those buttons as always on, which messes up with the light of course.
I guess it’s due to the way the motherboard is managing those buttons, faking them as being analog, and feeding back the kaimana somehow.
Is there a way I can prevent that, by adding a resistor or capacitor to avoid any feedback from the motherboard?
I only have a basic knowledge in electronic, I don’t want to mess it up :stuck_out_tongue:


Nothing can be really done with the Xbox 360 triggers. Its how Microsoft wanted to do the software/drivers. But since the stick is made by a 3rd party and the stick is modded, Microsoft support will refuse to help.



I believe that’s because the triggers are “always on” depending on how the analog triggers function for a particualr PCB so of course, Kaimana will see it as always on. If you plug your controller into Windows and force it into 360 mode, then check control panel and controller settings. You’ll see the trigger buttons are on an axis, like the joystick in analog mode. What should happen, is the axis should be at 0 and when you press one button, it moves negative, press another, positive. Nothing, it’s centered. Since it’s an axis, it’s not a simple on/off, and functions similar to how the LS/RS horizontal and veritcal axis works. Not all PCBs function like that.

Let me know exactly which PCB your controller has and I can try to look into it.


One thing I’ve noticed now after a few days is I feel like the LED colors aren’t as correct or as saturated during normal use as they are during the boot loop or the idle animation. Take a look at the image below. I’ve set some buttons to pure red as the off color, 255,0,0. That’s the pic that looks pinkish. During the boot color flash, and during the idle animation, the buttons look like the more reddish image when they presumably hit 255,0,0. Brightness is also set to 1.

Is there anything in the code that can account for that? Anything I can do to correct this? I’ve tested out numerous color schemes, and all colors during the off or on state seem less accurate and saturated than at boot/idle.


Indeed, that’s exactly what’s happening and what I diagnosed too.
Also, when the kaimana is connected, in Windows the axises are messed up and don’t react well to the LT and RT pushes, probably because of the way the kaimana motherboard is interacting with it.
And of course it goes back to normal when disconnecting those 2 pins from the kaimana.
I have a Qanba Q4RAF stick.
I wonder how I could prevent the motherboard to feed the kaimana?



What happens when you make it pure blue? Does it appear Cyan after the unit initializes?
0, 0, 255


Kaimana board doesn’t do any interaction with inputs. It sits on the circuit and looks for when the circuit is completed. When you complete a circuit, a button press happens and Kaimana then lights up the corresponding button. There should be no alteration of that circuit since it’s a passthrough. It doesn’t “see” analog or alter inputs or anything like that, the circuit is either open or closed. The output from the board’s LED connectors is the only thing having any data processed out from it. I have a Q4RAF coming in that I can look at and will post further once I have more information, but speculation without data is meaningless.

If you’re also having lighting saturation issues then we need to know what you’re using to program and start seeing some code.

Thank you & Mahalo