A little something for a friend…

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Just a little something I’m working on for a friend, finished the code for it tonight.

I’ve got a NRF24L01 hooked up to let me jump through patterns defined in a separate file to the main sketch, makes updating a breeze. The wireless link also allows me to transmit live pixel data to the hoop from a laptop, but I still need to write some software to be able to properly make use of this!

Creating 3D models of PCBs from EAGLE

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HaD recently put up a post with a few ways to get some really slick-looking 3D renders of PCBs, so I had a look at what’s involved, and was quite pleased with the results!

A 3D render of a PCB I’m working on.

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Zombie Madness

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So, I have some friends who do some wonderful work in event production, stage creation, and all sorts. I recently got involved in some engineering work for them for a local, one-day event in my home town, which involved some giant, rotating MDF cogs as part of a stage facade. The next possible event is for a festival where they have been asked to create a zombie-themed area that has crowd participation.

Now, zombies are fun, but zombies that spurt blood from wounds add a little touch of realism that is sure to go a long way! I’m going to explore some ways of making this happen…

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Playing with pixels – Arduino and the T6963c

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The weather here in the UK has been pretty miserable this weekend, and rather than cycle about in it, I decided to stay in and tackle a project I’ve been meaning to get on with for a while; getting to grips with using graphic LCD displays. So this Saturday has been spent looking at how to get the very nicely featured arduino-t6963c library to do the business with this nice 240×128 graphic LCD you can see below, drawing text, bitmaps, graphic functions and even animations!

 

Graphic LCD in less-than-elegant casing...

 

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Updates…

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Well, from being on a roll to having to focus efforts else where (I’ve still got a pretty demanding day-job!). I wanted to put a quick update in before the weekend, and I’m writing this on my way to the airport on a business trip, so please forvgive the hasty composition!

I’ve made some progress in the way of all the internal wiring for the LED module clusters, and photos are on the way to give an idea of how they are shaping up. The controller has had it’s wireless radio coded up, and is streaming IMU data (pitch, roll, yaw) at approx 15Hz to my laptop, which is just oh-so-satisfying! The last major bit to complete is the mounting of the Li-Ion cells and to finish the chargining / power management circuitry, but that’s a day job for this weekend.

Costings are forever being re-negotiated with suppliers, but I’m getting the prices lower each time, so I’m hoping to be in the position to have a rough estimate to base pre-orders on before the end of January. I’m aiming to set up a product page where people can register serious interest, and if I get enough to justify building a batch, then at long last, these things might see market!

Again, sorry for the briefness, I’ll update with some photos and a bit more info on my return!

Peace out!

What does £100 worth of plastic look like?

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So these are the bits I’ve been waiting forever to get around to having machined. These will be used to mount the LED modules within the outer tube, a vast improvement from the old ways of epoxying them directly to support rods! I’ve included a few photos to show the idea from SketchUp to semi-finished product…

Read On…

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Get your tilt on…

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So after a bit of searching about on the internets, I found a code example that I can start playing around with, to do a proof of concept of the new prototype controller PCB and it’s orientation sensing capabilities. Initial results are shown below, with only a few minor tweaks needed to get up and running.

Read On… (more…)

Latest Generation Spec’s.

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Ok, so I’ve not even had the spec’s for the last model up very long, but here’s what we are looking at for the current model;

Read On For Spec’s…

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Rotation! (And the beginnings of tilt estimation.)

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So I spent a half hour last night playing about with some of the raw Accelerometer / Gyroscope data I’ve been getting from the new controller PCB, and I got Excel to make me a pretty graph to show a full 360 degree rotation of board.

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Arduino 1.Ohhh…

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So, over the weekend I had a little play with the nice, new and shiny Arduino 1.0 IDE. Along with some nice new colour schemes, and a good deal of added functionality within the context menus, it feels a lot tidier than previous incarnations!

However, the fun starts when trying to work on programs created in previous IDE versions. I ran into a few cryptic errors, and to help fellow Arduino-ers avoid the same head-beating torment, here’s a few tips to get around the errors that have popped up so far.

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