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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table17 days ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I love the idea of a 3x3 wall of these panels, but seriously, that is a professional-level project (at a professional-level price, too!). I recommend starting small and building up. That's what I did. The first version of this table had just one LED ring and one motion sensor. Once I had that system figured out, I scaled up to around 20 rings, then later to 60 rings. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance, but it pays off!

    Anything is possible! I don't have any experience using audio to control the animation, but I have seen a lot of discussion on various forums about how to do that. If you're not going to have motion sensors you can save yourself a ton of work on the build!WiFi configuration should be pretty straight forward, but you need to know how to use the WiFi libraries.

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  • thatguyer commented on TheTNR's instructable VORONOI HEART LAMP2 months ago
    VORONOI HEART LAMP

    I made something similar for my wife for Valentine's Day. I wrote an Arduino sketch that pulses the heart in a realistic way -- I grabbed real data from an EKG! Let me know if you want to try it out on yours.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass3 months ago
    VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass

    Can you send me your modified code? I'll take a look

    Sounds like a bug of some sort, but I haven't seen anything like that. Can you tell me more about the hardware setup you have?

    Wow, beautiful! I love the wood and the shape. And the diffuser on the LEDs looks great. What material is it?

    Hi! Sorry it took me so long to reply. Typically, you get that message if you have a short somewhere in the circuit. Sometimes it happens if you try to power the hourglass completely from the USB port, but that is less likely. Unplug everything and check the connections. In particular, look for places where you might have accidentally reversed the polarity -- that is, plugged a wire that supposed to be 5V into the ground, and vice versa. That is the most common cause; I've done it many times myself!

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table4 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I'm interested. I also have someone else who is interested in a modular design that they could use to build a much bigger installation (like a whole wall!). You can reach me directly at sam.guyer@gmail.com

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table4 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I have seen some products like the one you describe, but for the simpler discrete LED table. The problem is that they aren't cheap -- but maybe having them made yourself would be cheaper. Here's an example:https://www.evilmadscientist.com/2011/octolively-d...I tinkered with making a hand-built module for a single "cell", but it seemed like more trouble than it's worth. A pre-fab PCB would be cool.Another wacky option would be to have a tiny MCU on each cell, so it is completely self-contained, except for power.See the attached photos of the enclosure that I built (you'll see a rotary encoder on there, too, but right now it doesn't do anything).

    Here's an instructable describing how to build a table using the Evil Mad Scientist modules:https://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-LED-t...

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table4 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    Great questions. The PIR sensor sounds like a good idea to save energy and probably extend the lifetime of the panel.I've been thinking about many of the same things because I'm hoping to make a wall panel as well! You are absolutely right that the 3-wire jumpers add a lot of depth. What I did is create more of a box, with the LED panel as the top and a sheet of 1/4 MDF for the bottom. I bolted them together with aluminum spacers and beams to make room for the jumpers. This also leaves plenty of room to attach the MCU and the power supply to the MDF board under the panel.The layers from top to bottom are:(1) plexiglass(2) diffuser (usually very thin)(3) Thin strips of wood a little thicker than the height of the IR sensors/emitters, so they don't get squished.(4) Cardboard panel with LE...

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    Great questions. The PIR sensor sounds like a good idea to save energy and probably extend the lifetime of the panel.I've been thinking about many of the same things because I'm hoping to make a wall panel as well! You are absolutely right that the 3-wire jumpers add a lot of depth. What I did is create more of a box, with the LED panel as the top and a sheet of 1/4 MDF for the bottom. I bolted them together with aluminum spacers and beams to make room for the jumpers. This also leaves plenty of room to attach the MCU and the power supply to the MDF board under the panel.The layers from top to bottom are:(1) plexiglass(2) diffuser (usually very thin)(3) Thin strips of wood a little thicker than the height of the IR sensors/emitters, so they don't get squished.(4) Cardboard panel with LED rings and IR emitters/sensors (analog multiplexers are glued underneath)(5) Aluminum L-shaped track to support the cardboard (along the long edges, but you could make a box)(6) Aluminum tubes cut to about 2 inches for spacers -- should be plenty of room for the jumpers.(7) MDF board hold the MCU and power supply.2 1/2" or 3" bolts go through all the layers (and through the spacer tubes) to hold it together. It's surprisingly sturdy. I'll take some some photos this evening and put them up.Going forward, I might try to chain the LED rings together in a different way to reduce the thickness of the assembled panel. I'm not exactly sure how, though. One of the side benefits of my original scheme is that the three-pin headers on each LED ring do a great job holding the in place in the correct orientation, even when the panel is held vertically, so there is no need for hot glue or any permanent attachment (which was also good because a couple of the rings had dead pixels!) I'd have to think about where to put the power supply, but it doesn't need to be right on the panel itself if you're not going to move it around a lot.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass5 months ago
    VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass

    Oops! Those were separate libraries. What I did is just copy the contents right into VizTimer.ino. I just pushed the changes to GitHub, so if you update your repo you should get a copy that compiles. Sorry about that!

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  • thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass's weekly stats: 5 months ago
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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass5 months ago
    VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass

    Switching to the TTP223 is no big deal -- it has the same pins. Using the ADXL345 is more complicated because it uses digital output (I2C) instead of analog output. The wiring would be a little different, but you would need to change the code more, too.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass5 months ago
    VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass

    Funny comment -- thanks!Yes, you can definitely build this project with an Arduino Nano. It is almost identical to the Adafruit Metro that I used. In fact, you can use any microcontroller that runs on 5V and has at least 3 analog inputs, 1 digital input, and 1 digital output.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass5 months ago
    VizTimer: the Electronic Hourglass

    I hear you. You can find all the same things at AliExpress:Microcontroller: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5LOT-Funduino-Nano...Accelerometer: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/GY-61-ADXL335-Modu...Capacitive touch button: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10Pcs-TTP223-Touch...LED strips (get 144/m): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1m-4m-5m-WS2812B-S...

    Thanks!

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table5 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I don't know the exact number. It depends a lot on the particular pattern and on the global brightness level set in the software. I have a 30amp power supply, but I'm guessing that most patterns use less than 5amps

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table9 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I use a Mac with High Sierra, and I have not had problems. What are you seeing? Is it a problem with the Arduino IDE recognizing the board?I am guessing that Mega would also work. The only issue is making sure you have enough pins. You need at least four analog inputs for my design -- fewer if you build a smaller surface.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table10 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    If the LEDs are definitely 1.2V 20ma, then I'd probably go with something like 47 Ohm resistors. It's pushing them a little bit.But LEDs vary quite a bit, and resistors are really cheap, so I would recommend getting the LEDs and figuring out the best resistor yourself using a multimeter.

    Oh man, I made that same mistake a bunch of times! Looking at your first photo, the horizontal and vertical lines look great, and the angle of the diagonals is right (up 3 and over 1). HOWEVER, they are not close enough together. If you follow a single vertical line up, there should be an intersecting diagonal every *two* units (every 60mm), not every three units. Look at Step 11 again, in particular the fourth photo that shows just two diagonal lines. Does that make sense?Also: do you have a plan for making all of those little holes in the plywood? It could be a huge pain!

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table11 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I found it confusing, too. You want the ones with female (socket) connectors on both ends. Sometimes the sellers call these male-to-male connectors because they join things that have male connectors on them. Just look carefully at the pictures before you buy anything.

    It depends on a lot of factors, but mine is sensitive up to 3 or 4 feet away. The factors that influence sensitivity are the power of the emmitters, how reflective the object is (eg, your hand vs a piece of white paper), and whether or not you have a diffuser over the surface. I used a minimal diffuser for exactly this reason.

    That's a good point. I found some IR emmitters that are more powerful and have a voltage drop more like 1.5v to 1.6v. I found it better to just try out different resistors and measure the current directly with my multimeter. I'll update the discussion. Thanks.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table11 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    I found this confusing myself. The connectors you need are ones that have female (socket) connectors on both ends. But the way the sellers describe them is as male-to-male connectors, since they attach to male connectors. So, the link is correct, though somewhat confusing. Hope that helps!

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  • thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table's weekly stats: 11 months ago
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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table11 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    It will mainly affect the sensitivity of the surface. I assume that the smaller IR emitters produce less light. With less infrared light emitted, there is less to reflect back to the sensor, so you might have to put your hand closer in order to trigger it.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable NeoPixel Reactive Table11 months ago
    NeoPixel Reactive Table

    Thanks! The rings are very cool. When you're ordering some, look carefully at the arrangement of the solder pads on the bottom -- there are a few different schemes I've seen. I used rings with two sets of three pads, which makes it relatively easy to string them together. Good luck!

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  • thatguyer entered NeoPixel Reactive Table in the Microcontroller Contest contest 11 months ago
  • Portable Low Cost DIY Solar Panel Setup

    Just a minor comment on the wording: saying "don't go below 14awg" might be misleading to people who don't realize that higher numbers are actually thinner wires

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber2 years ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    I can send you whatever files you need. I don't have a wiring diagram, per se, but all the connections can be determined in software. What's your skill level in electronics? Do you have the equipment to assemble a surface mount PCB?

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber2 years ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Thanks. I'm trying to get all the information together, but "work" is getting in the way! ;-) Aside from the blade, the electronics consist of four main parts: a Trinket Pro (from Adafruit) to run the program, a DFPlayer (from DFRobot, or one of the millions of clones) to handle the sounds, a gyro/accelerometer (you can get a breakout from Adafruit) for the motion, and an LED controller. Of all of the these parts, the LED controller is the most specialized. I ended up designing a custom PCB using Eagle and getting it made at OSHPark. It consists of a PCA9685 PWM controller and a bunch of N-channel MOSFETs to switch the higher power/voltage. I'm happy to share the project files. You can also just order the board directly here:<a href="https://oshpark.com/shared_projects...

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    Thanks. I'm trying to get all the information together, but "work" is getting in the way! ;-) Aside from the blade, the electronics consist of four main parts: a Trinket Pro (from Adafruit) to run the program, a DFPlayer (from DFRobot, or one of the millions of clones) to handle the sounds, a gyro/accelerometer (you can get a breakout from Adafruit) for the motion, and an LED controller. Of all of the these parts, the LED controller is the most specialized. I ended up designing a custom PCB using Eagle and getting it made at OSHPark. It consists of a PCA9685 PWM controller and a bunch of N-channel MOSFETs to switch the higher power/voltage. I'm happy to share the project files. You can also just order the board directly here:<a href="https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/6GX19Svs"><img src="https://oshpark.com/assets/badge-5b7ec47045b78aef6eb9d83b3bac6b1920de805e9a0c227658eac6e19a045b9c.png" alt="Order from OSH Park"></img></a>The alternative is to use the PWM pins on the microcontroller, but you'll still need to control the LEDs indirectly through power transistors.There's also a huge, crazy world of lightsaber builders (way beyond what I'm doing here!). You can find really good tips at https://www.fx-sabers.com/

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  • thatguyer commented on woodbywright's instructable How to Hand Cut Dovetails2 years ago
    How to Hand Cut Dovetails

    Nice description! Two things that I've found helpful. First, like you, I prefer to cut the tails first, since the angles don't matter much. The crucial detail, though, is that the saw must be perpendicular to the face of the board, otherwise the tails have a slightly different size/shape on the two sides, which can mess up the scribing of the pins. Second, I saw a nice trick (in Fine Woodworking, I think) for helping with the pins. One of the issues is that it can be hard to get a clean line on end grain. What they do is put a strip of blue painter's tape across the end of the board, then trace the tails onto the pins with a sharp knife. Peel away the parts where the tails will be, and you're left with nice clean pieces of tape where the pins should be.

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber2 years ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Hi! Thanks. I will be updating this instructable or writing a new one soon. I'm just waiting for all the parts to arrive. The COB LEDs came from aliexpress. The ones I used are only 6cm long, so I needed a lot of them. At $1 each, the LEDs were around $40. Here is the link:https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-10pcs-3v-3w-L6...All-in-all, this is not a cheap project to make. The goal was to make something super-bright, regardless of the cost.I'm working on a more complete parts list now. Stay tuned!

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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber2 years ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Incidentally, that's only about 60% of the theoretical max brightness. I started to get a little worried about safety.

    UPDATE: Here is a video of the completed saber:

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  • thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber's weekly stats: 2 years ago
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  • thatguyer commented on thatguyer's instructable 100 Watt Light Saber2 years ago
    100 Watt Light Saber

    Thanks! I'm trying to get the whole thing finished in time for Halloween, but my plan is to post a more detailed instructable with information about how to build the handle, details on how to choose and assemble the electronics, and a complete set of design files (including the code to drive it).

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  • thatguyer entered 100 Watt Light Saber in the LED Contest contest 2 years ago
  • thatguyer commented on spaktashabit's instructable Simple Lightsaber2 years ago
    Simple Lightsaber

    I've made a few saber blades this way, and there are some useful details that you should mention. First, the LEDs are actually wired in parallel, not in series. Sometimes this can cause a problem when you don't have a current-limiting resistor on each one, but I found that if you buy all the LEDs together they are pretty well matched. Second, it is really, really important to get them all oriented the same way (all the anodes on one side, all the cathodes on the other side). Once you bend the leads it is hard to see which one is longer, so what I did is first put a little mark on the cathode side of all the LEDs with sharpie. Third, you didn't mention how you're powering the blade. The blue LEDs usually pull 20-30mA each at around 3.2V-3.4V. With 110 of them, that's 2-3 amps! I've found...

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    I've made a few saber blades this way, and there are some useful details that you should mention. First, the LEDs are actually wired in parallel, not in series. Sometimes this can cause a problem when you don't have a current-limiting resistor on each one, but I found that if you buy all the LEDs together they are pretty well matched. Second, it is really, really important to get them all oriented the same way (all the anodes on one side, all the cathodes on the other side). Once you bend the leads it is hard to see which one is longer, so what I did is first put a little mark on the cathode side of all the LEDs with sharpie. Third, you didn't mention how you're powering the blade. The blue LEDs usually pull 20-30mA each at around 3.2V-3.4V. With 110 of them, that's 2-3 amps! I've found that the limiting factor on brightness is the internal resistance of the battery. You can switch to a high-drain 3.7V LiPo battery (like the ones for remote control vehicles) to boost the power. Although the voltage on a LiPo is a little high (especially when fully-charged), there is enough voltage drop along the LED string that it ends up being OK.Finally, if you want to take this design to the next level, you can wire the LEDs into separate segments and light them up in sequence using a microcontroller. Most microcontrollers cannot provide that kind of power directly through a ping, though, so you need to use a transistor (use a MOSFET) to switch the power.

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  • A Guide for Buying LED's on E Bay ---- Part TWO

    Another interesting option, if you haven't seen it, is the chip-on-board (COB) lights. I've been tinkering with the 12V strips that are sold as car accent lights. A 17cm COB can contain as many as 80 discrete LEDs, producing a very uniform light without needing a lot of added diffusion. Try searching for "cob led" on eBay. I pull off the outer frame and assembly, and re-solder them into various configurations. Cutting them is tricky because the underlying PCB has a peculiar circuit pattern, but I have been able to do it. They are ridiculously cheap -- $3 - $4 for a pair.

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