For a recent column in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Rolf Hut built a slick longboard with LED strips that respond to speed. If you think that sounds awesome, wait until you see it in action.
As the Maker explains, four magnets and a Hall effect sensor are used to measure the longboard’s speed so the Adafruit NeoPixels can react at the same pace. To achieve this, the magnets are glued to the inside of each wheel, while a Hall sensor counts the number of revolutions and sends that information over to one of two Arduino Micros. The first Arduino translates that into a speed, while the second Micro converts that speed into a signal for the LEDs. Everything is powered by a power bank.
Lights synchronized to music, what’s not to love? YouTuber “Robert Robert” has done just that using 24 acrylic blocks, an Arduino Uno, four 12-pixel WS2812B addressable LED strips, an Adafruit electret microphone amplifier, a 12000mAh external battery pack, and some code.
The blocks are divided into two sets of 12, held together by threaded rods and nuts, with LED strips hot glued to the back. A 60cm x 40cm stainless steel shelf rests underneath to reflect the light back.
The first part of the code is Adafruit’s own mic code which calibrates the sound level so that whether you’re using a big speaker or, as in the video, a tiny iPad speaker, the mic remains sensitive. The second part of the code maps the sound level onto 12 if statements so that when quiet it idles with the NeoPixel library rainbow but then as the sound level gets higher more effects are triggered. Within each if statement I have then included a random() function so that the display stays interesting. You can edit each individual strip pixel to create patterns in an infinite variety of ways and using the random () function you can keep on building so you never get bored. The code works best with music with a wide dynamic range (soft and loud parts).
We spotted this aquarium project on YouTube, and were struck with searing pangs of fishy jealousy; imagine having a 2000-litre slice of the Cayman Islands, complete with the weather as it is right now, in your living room.
aMGee has equipped his (enormous) tropical fish tank, full of corals as well as fish, with an IoT Raspberry Pi weather system. It polls a weather station in the Cayman Islands every two minutes and duplicates that weather in the tank: clouds; wind speed and direction; exact sunset and sunrise times; and moon phase, including the direction the moon travels across the tank.
The setup uses three 100W and 18 20W multi-chip leds, which are controlled separately by an Arduino that lives on top of the lamp. There’s also a web interface, just in case you feel like playing Thor.
DIY LED aquarium lighting project for my reef tank. The 660 watts fixture simulates the weather from Cayman Islands in real time. 3 x 100 watts and 18 x 20 watts multi-chip leds controlled separately by an arduino sitting on the lamp).
If you want to learn more, aMGee answers questions about the build (which, sadly, doesn’t have a how-to attached) at the Reef Central forums.
It’s a beautiful project, considerably less expensive (and more satisfying) than any off-the-shelf equivalent; and a really lovely demonstration of meaningful IoT. Thanks aMGee!
Sjaak built this blinky heart for his girlfriend this Valentines day. It is based on a MAX7219 and a PIC16f1823:
My girlfriend persuaded me to start this hobby side project and as a favor I made her this blinky heart. I don’t want to buy a standard trumpery from the shop, so I locked myself up into my mancave and started to solder and code as a monkey. I put a MAX7219 8×8 LED matrix, a PIC16f1823, a CR2032 coin cell with holder and a vibration switch together. Most of the stuff I had already lying around so I started immediately.
Somewhere on the web I found a small tutorial how to use the MAX7219 with the buspirate. That made it really simple for me to test the display for faults and get myself familiar with the command set.
The project draws from the theory of Wave–particle duality which considers the light to be a particle and a wave at the same time. In this case, the notion of the “wave” is uniform for the sound wave, light wave and a “tangible” kinetic wave with wide amplitude, physically presented in the space as stretched cables moved by a system of motors. The piece also refers to the topic of physical modeling of the wave processes which take place in various media and materials: “string”, “data flow”, “visualisation of sound”, “sonification of light” etc. In general, the installation can be viewed as a kinetic spacial light installation which reacts to the presence of audience and creates an autonomous sound and light composition.
The artist used led strips, servo motors, 2-channel sound system, ir motion sensors running on Arduino Mega and Arduino Uno:
A little lab controller PCB I’m working on. It centers around four high-power constant current circuits meant to be driven by an Atmega328’s PWM.
I hate working on anything mechanical in dim light; comes from dropping parts down under the engine when working on cars. I’m also pretty particular about my type of light. The “Cool White” or CFLs really bother me. I feel like I’m a bug headed towards a bug-zapper.
I have a few design goals,
1. Warm white is the way to go. I’m shooting for four 1k lumen warm-white LEDs at 12v at ~1A.
2. I’ve a plug for an Arduino Pro Mini (APM). It’s hard to fight the APM when it comes to small footprint and versatility, oh, and price. They are super cheap if you buy them on eBay.
3. I want to make a BLE serial interface using my HM-10. This would allow me to control my LEDs using my iOS devices.
4. The A4 and A5 pins are broken out, this is meant to make the boards chainable using I2C.