Glass block lights update

Topics generally related to Twin Cities Maker activities
jwhite
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Glass block lights update

Postby jwhite » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:43 pm

Hi Folks,

For folks who didn't see last night, we've got the glass blocks lighting up pretty nice; we have scrolling text, and a silly game.

I've updated the Wiki for the glass block project:
http://www.tcmaker.org/wiki/doku.php?id ... _signboard

I added videos and pictures. If someone wanted to post something to the blog, I think that'd be fun as well.

I'm trying to be a bit better about collaborating on the software, instead of just running ahead and writing everything myself. But it's so much fun I can't help myself :D

However, I have in theory got the code generalized such that people can just write code that talks in x,y terms, and the library will take care of lighting the right bulbs. If you have a Linux computer, I've even got a simulator, so you can do development without having to be connected to the blocks themselves. Holler if you're interested; I'd be happy to make it more available to others.

We've got another string that we need to mount, and we really should clean up the electrical at some point. Jude seemed to be on top of that process.

If anyone wants to buy strings to contribute to the effort, they're $65 at Costco.

Cheers,

Jeremy

User avatar
Orkraider
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
Location: downtown Saint Paul

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby Orkraider » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:27 pm

This is awesome.

I'm blown away every time I go out and look at the lights when it's dark.

Very nice, I can't wait to see more.

Riley
Riley Harrison
facebook.com/rileyharrison

User avatar
wammie
Site Admin
Posts: 1444
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby wammie » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:03 am

Awesome!! I want to remind folks again about a guideline for posting; if there is an existing topic thread going, let's try to find it and post as a reply rather than starting a new thread. This will help to cut duplication and help others find things.

User avatar
darus67
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:54 am
Location: Coon Rapids

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby darus67 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:52 pm

I've been playing with a string of the lights at home, on my own. (They'll likely find their way to the Hack Factory when I get bored with them.)

I grabbed the led.pde file from the github site ( https://github.com/knitfoo/geled/blob/master/led.pde ) but it wouldn't compile clean for me. It complained that 'bulb' wasn't defined, or something like that, but the line number of the error was one of the comment lines in the header. WTH?

After a little googling and some trial-and-error, I figured out that it didn't like the uint8_t types. I converted them all to char and then it compiled clean.

I'm running Arduino 0023 on Mac OSX.

Since I got the arduino sketch to compile, I've been working on a gui, written in python, to communicate with it.

I'll post up some source when I have something I wouldn't be totally embarrassed to show in public.

User avatar
paulsobczak
Site Admin
Posts: 861
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby paulsobczak » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:57 pm

looking forward to seeing your gui!

jwhite
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby jwhite » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:01 pm

darus67 wrote:Cool, and welcome to the project!

Note that there is a library defined which was meant to be general purpose, and python bindings shouldn't be too hard. The interface is just init/get size/set pixel/term. There is a simulator which exposes the same api, which makes it nice for doing development as well.

Holler if I can help in any way.


jwhite
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby jwhite » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:56 pm

I've spent some time trying to define a 'correct' way to do the wiring...and failing utterly. Luno suggested using trailer hitch wiring assemblies as an alternate, and that strikes me as a great idea. I'm going to try to get some parts to experiment with and return to get it right.

I did end up taking everything apart, so nothing is operational at the moment. The project parts are all against the east wall; there is a third board all ready to go...just waiting to be wired up.

Cheers,

Jeremy

jwhite
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby jwhite » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:29 pm

Alright, trailer hitches work great, and it looks like a PC power supply will work fine as well.

Sadly, I learned that running negative voltage into a string of lights seems to kill 'em. Hopefully, I've only killed the first light in the chain and not the whole string. So I think that counts as 3 steps back, 2 steps forward.

It's still disassembled, but I'll hopefully build out the beginnings of a final design next time I'm in. I mostly just need to figure out how to bake six female hitch ends into a case in some secure + robust way, and I should be done. Although if I can find a PCI 3 storage device, I could potentially work to get that alternate computer going as well...

It's again non operational, and against the West wall. I've got a bit of time, so hopefully I can come in and get 'em running again fairly soon. If anyone is interested on working on it, it wouldn't take a lot to set it up, just holler.

Cheers,

Jeremy

jwhite
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby jwhite » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:43 pm

Okay, I think I've done most of my awful electrical hacking and can get back to the software. Electronics gurus are welcome to go and clean it up, so long as you leave it operational.

The lights should be pretty much operational. Nicely, switching the PC power supply on/off is an easy way to turn the whole business on and off. I plan to tune up the web page a bit to make it easier to control the whole mess from a web page so anyone can operate the lights easily. Hopefully I'll get that done this week sometime.

I've updated the Wiki project page:
http://www.tcmaker.org/wiki/doku.php?id ... _signboard

I need to go out and get another string of lights to replace the ones I burned out; I'll try to get to that before they run out. If anyone has a string of 50 they want to bring in, the process for creating a board and wiring them up is now well understood and pretty straightforward (see the Wiki). We can take advantage of new light strings rapidly now.

Cheers,

Jeremy

User avatar
wammie
Site Admin
Posts: 1444
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Glass block lights update

Postby wammie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:12 pm

Great work, Jeremy! Awesomeness squared!


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron