A box to make things glow...

Yes, once again I am continuing my theme of making things that glow.
We have battery powered light...
Next weekend we’re having a big camp out with a whole bunch of people for my wifes birthday. We wanted to make a bit of an effort since so many people are coming along so we’re going to be carting out the Zen Ball table for everyone to gawp at.

But we also wanted to light up the surrounding camp a bit, and I happen to have a whole bunch of the old style 8mm WS2801 LEDs that happen to look waterproof enough to leave outside overnight while camping in the desert. So…how
to power them?

Burning Man 2015 : Glowing Bikes!

Its been a while….it says on the strap line ‘infrequent blogger’…well one post every year seems to be more than I can manage at the moment.

Anyway, its time to share some blinky things from this years Burning Man!

First up, is our glowing bikes. This year we didn’t have much time for self decoration as we were working on our art installation, but we couldn’t go without getting a little bit glammed up so we threw this together for our bikes:

More photos after the break…

From Node to Diode

I have a confession to make. I’m an LED addict. If it involves making some blinkenlights I’m your man. In 2010 I helped build the Illuminatrix, a 4ft x 4ft wall of LEDs nestled inside ping pong balls that displayed hundreds of animations from people all around the world. This was my first big electronics project, besides a few kits I’d built and some awful attempts at implementing various audio syntheziser circuits I had found online. But I officially caught the hacker bug back then and that project inspired a lot of my work over the last few years.

This year we decided to build another project for the Burning Man festival. We’re calling it the Diodome and its an 18ft geodesic dome containing hundreds of LEDs. Obviously.

I’ll be detailing the build on my blog as we go, but the first step is to figure out how we’re going to control all these LEDs!

How we did this before…

One of the things I did when I built the Illuminatrix was to build a web based animation editor that anyone could use to easily create animations for the project. In that you could write JavaScript code that we could use to generate keyframe data for the animations. We took the keyframe data and dumped it on an SD card and had a PIC microcontroller and custom circuit boards read from the SD card then control the LEDs directly. This worked well enough, but was a lot of work, and wasn’t very stable or flexible. We could only use keyframed data, and we couldn’t modify the animations on the fly.