Adafruit’s just released a beautiful tutorial by phillip burgess combining NeoPixel strips, with the Arduino Uno and a supporting cast of parts to achieve highly refined digital light painting!
If you’re comfortable with wiring, soldering, heat shrink, image conversion, and are not at your first project, this tutorial is the one for you. As you’ll notice there’s a lot of expensive components used that need careful handiwork but the result is amazing.
Check it out
Light painting, or taking a picture of a moving RGB LED strip with a very long exposure, is the application du jour of Arduinos, photography, and bright, glowey, colorful things. Hackaday alumnus [Phil Burgess] has come up with the best tutorial for light painting we’ve seen. It’s such a good setup, it can be used to create animated .gifs using multiple camera exposures.
The build uses an Arduino Uno, SD card shield, and Adafruit’s new NeoPixel strip with 144 RGB LEDs per meter. Despite a potentially huge mess of wires for this project, [Phil] kept everything very, very neat. He’s using an Altoids case for the ‘duino, an 8 AA-cell battery holder and 3A UBEC for the power, and a wooden frame made out of pine trim.
Part of the art of light painting involves a lot of luck, exponentially so if you’re trying to make a light painted animated .gif. To solve this problem, [Phil] came up with a very clever solution: using a rotary encoder attached to a bicycle. With the rotary encoder pressed up against the wheel of a bike, [Phil] can get a very precise measurement of where the light strip is along one dimension, to ensure the right pixels are lit up at the right time and in the right place.
It’s a wonderful build, and if Santa brings you some gift certificates to your favorite electronics retailer, we couldn’t think of a better way to bring animated .gifs into the real world.
Filed under: Arduino Hacks
, led hacks
There’s no better way to show your geek cred on Christmas than hooking up your Christmas tree to the internet. While it’s certainly not a new idea, I was eager to try out my own spin on it this holiday season. The Lonely Christmas Tree lights up whenever you receive an email, hopefully adding a little cheer to your holiday season.
Read more on MAKE
Arduino user Geotechbd wrote us from Bangladesh to share his experience:
Our company here in Bangladesh owns a quite old concrete batch plant, which had full manual control requiring an operator to control 14+ switched and observe 3 mechanical scales (dial gauges). I was successful to upgrade this plant to an automated unit requiring minimal operator input using custom made Arduino Uno compatible board and LIFA. Wiring is still messy which I shall take care in the near future.
On his blog he then details a list of tools, components, and at the end of the post, thanks all the people and communities who supported him in this challenge:
My gratitude goes to my lovely wife for keeping me sane and my brother for arranging for ICs not available locally. My sincerest thanks goes to the Arduino community for helping me to remedy EMI problem and LIFA community for I2C communication troubleshooting. I must thank the developers of Arduino/LIFA/Fritzing for making electronics more accessible to the general masses.
My electronics and Arduino knowledge was gathered from websites as tronixstuff.com / jeremyblum.com / arduino.cc, so thanks to excellent contributors of these sites. I had support personnel (a very patient electrician and a plant operator) here who helped me with wiring high voltage lines, and plant operational knowledge; thus, they also deserve thanks.
It’s cool to see how open source creates collaborations among people all over the world!
Before [Woz] created the elegant Disk II interface for the Apple II, and before Commodore brute-forced the creation of the C64 5 1/4″ drive, just about every home computer used cassette tapes for storage. Cassette tapes, mind you, not 8-track tapes. [Alec] thought this was a gross oversight of late 1970s engineers, so he built a 8-track tape drive.
This actually isn’t the first instance of using 8-tracks to store data on a computer. The Compucolor 8001 had a dual external 8-track drive, and the Exidy Sorcerer had a tape drive built in to the ‘the keyboard is the computer’ form factor. It should be noted that nearly no one has heard about these two computers – the Compucolor sold about 25 units, for example – so we’ll just let that be a testament to the success of 8-track tape drives.
[Alec] installed an 8-track drive inside an old external SCSI hard drive enclosure. Inside is an Arduino that controls the track select, tape insertion and end of tape signals. Data is encoded with DTMF with an FSK encoding, just like the proper cassette data tapes of the early days.
On the computer side of things, [Alec] is using a simple UNIX-style, pipe-based I/O. By encoding four bits on each track, he’s able to put an entire byte on two stereo tracks. The read/write speed is terribly slow – from the video after the break, we’re assuming [Alec] is running his tape drive right around 100 bits/second – much slower than actually typing in data. This is probably a problem with the 40-year-old 8-track tape he’s using, but as a proof of concept it’s not too bad.
Filed under: Arduino Hacks
, classic hacks
Every week the Hackaday tip line receives an email about a new dev board. The current trend is towards ARM devices, and only once have we seen an x86-based device. Today that count went up to two. It’s called the 86Duino and stuffs an old Pentium II-class machine capable of running DOS, Windows, and Linux into the space of an Arduino,
The 86Duino Zero features, of course, an x86 Vortex86EX processor running at 300 MHz. This board also features 128 MB of RAM, 8MB of Flash and the usual compliment of Arduino pins in a Leonardo-compatible layout. Also on the SoC is a PCIE bus, Ethernet, a USB 2.0 host, and an SD card. There’s a lot of stuff on this board for such a small size.
Compared to the gigahertz-fast ARM boards around, the 86Duino isn’t really that fast, but that’s not the point. There’s obviously a market for extremely tiny x86 boards out there as evidenced by the Intel Galileo, and this board is $30 cheaper than the Intel offering.
There’s no video out on this board, so someone will have to figure out how to attach a graphics card to the PCIE connector before we build a miniaturized old school DOS gaming rig. Still it’s a very neat piece of hardware. If you need to have it now, here’s a vendor.
Thanks [sohaib] for sending this one in.
Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Multiplo, now available in the Maker Shed, isn't your average robotics kit - It's a complete Open Source system for learning about and building robots.
Read more on MAKE
Last June, Kris Temmerman was featured on this blog with a painting machine made with Arduino Due. Now he’s just sent us this cool project he made for his office window:
My house/office has a store window and I try to make use of it as much as possible. I had some projections etc. in there before, but now I wanted to make something interactive. We have a lot of loitering youth and many people passing by. To appeal to a wide audience, I thought it would be nice to make an old fashion arcade box like thing.
It’s now on the street for one day and people really seem to like it. Age or background doesn’t make a difference.
To make it a little bit more challenging, I thought it would be fun to try to run the hole thing on an Arduino without an external computer. Just to see how much power it actually has. And while I was at it, I decided to try to make everything myself. So I also made my own led screen, with his own “display driver” and display list, a 8-bit sound library, and of course the game itself.
Kris shared on his blog all the documentation to make your own version, check it out!