Thursday, December 31, 2009

8 Matrixes and counting

We're up to 8 running and updating. Might try to get 12 on one Arduino before I leave work today.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hooked up and lookin pretty

We're up and running. After alittle hiccup I was able to plug straight into my Arduino and get the trail statuses displaying right away. We're a go. We just need the rest of our boards to be cleared of this hiccup and we'll be good to go.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Final PCB in House.

After a long process, my boards have come in. We're on to the final phase of the build. Big thanks to Stillwell Baker & Screaming Circuits.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Guitar is installed.

The guitar is installed in Metals Rock!

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Art Guitar - better vid

I turned down the input from the computer, this displays the range much better. So the guitar can take input straight from any headphone jack or it has a mic that can listen to the surrounding sounds. The mic input is a little weak, the headphone jack works pretty well as you can see.

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Art Guitar side Project

Been on a hiaitus while I'm figureing out the solar power and pcb boards. But here's a video of a side project for Guitar Town happening at Copper Mountain this weekend. This is my art guitar, wonder where I got some of these ideas? It's not perfect by any means, but I basically put it together in 2 days. I had the idea 2 weeks ago but the parts took a long time, and I really haven't had much time to tweak it before this weekend. Gotta say I'm pretty happy with it though.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

8 MAX72XX is the limit

I reached the limit on how many MAX7219's can be chained together. That's 8. Good article here, so I'll have to use another 3 outputs on the arduino for my 5th matrix. Photos soon.

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External Power

So I did some reading and some internet searching, and think I have at least part of the power issue figured out. I purchased a 7805 +5VDC Voltage Regulator, wired up my 1/2 size breadboard as my external power supply and added an led to that board and to 3 others down the line as a visual to see if power is being routed properly. Now with just the ground from the Arduino going into the circuit I can get everything operating properly. So the next test will be to get a Voltage Regulator with a higher current rating and a heat sink to get up to the current I need to drive all of the leds. 2 internet posts that helped a bunch. *ITP Physical Computing & *


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Monday, July 6, 2009

4 and counting

We're up to 4 8x8 2 color matrixes. Hopefully move to 5 tomorrow. Then it's time to really start focusing on the power supply.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wiring things properly helps

So my knowledge of how breadboards work or lack there-of may of been stopping me from adding more matrixes to my test system. I now have 3 working, although one only can show green as I'm waiting for more Max7219s. They should be here tomorrow, so hopefully I can get 5 (the amount I've purchased so far) matrixes up and running. I still need to figure out the solar system for the 3 signs on hill and how to add extra power after the arduino runs of of forward current to drive the matrixes. Hopefully I can find that threshold.

If anyone out there in internet land can help me with these calculations I would be greatly appreciatative. Here are the datasheets for all of the parts. AT Mega 328(Arduino), XBee, 8x8 Led, Max 7219.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cutting the cord

Well one of them. We're now offcially wireless. I got 2 xbees talking to each other and was able to move my 2 matrixes across the room. This article here helped a lot with setting up the xbees. Next step will be power. Preferably we'd run on solar power (I can get one matrix running & xbee if I plug straight into the solar panel) still working on wiring up the battery and running off of that.

Of note I didn't have to change my arduino code at all, just plugged one xbee straight into the iobridge, GND->GND, 5V->5V, Rx->Tx & Tx ->Rx. The other xbee went to the arduino, 3.3v ->3v, GND->GND, Rx ->Tx & Tx ->Rx. Simple as that. Photos shortly, gotta charge my camera.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Really Web Connected

So last week while searching for information on solar power I came across this post. Not only did this cover XBee wireless and some solar but it sparked my interest in the ioBridge.

My shiny new ioBridge came in yesterday and quickly it was connected to the internet and my arduino matrix setup. With a little change to my arduino code, adding a few simple if statements to decide what to show on the screens based on the serial input, I was able to type X, O, or G into a web page I created (with help from this post and this post) and instantly display it on my matrixes.

The next step would be to write a script that sent this information everytime the Snow Report system was updated.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coming soon

Wireless connection with Xbee, solar power and more. The items are ordered and on their way.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

2-8x8 working

Quick update today. I reorganized the 8x8 led and added a 2nd in sequence. We now have 2 8x8 leds displaying open/closed/groomed.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

2 New Vids

Ok First we got the Red/Green function working for the 8x8 Matrix.

Secondly, we added a blue row to our LEDs and now show the open/closed/groomed status for 16 trails. I tried to make it a little easier to see the different rows by putting the cardboard on top. Here's a quick guide, Red = Closed, Green = Open, Blue = Groomed. Only one light will illuminate for each trail. Next step would be to do this with a single RGB LED. Also to note what it is doing, I create a quick startup sequence that runs when I reset the Arduino. Then I click 2 buttons I created in the flash program to turn on trails 1-8 & 9-16.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today, I was able to hook-up an 8x8 R/G led matrix and display X,O and G in red. Still need to get Green going and then re-write the code in Flash so I can connect it to the internet.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Web Connected

So using AS3 Glue, I've been able to talk to the Arduino using flash. This allows me to load my XML file for trail status, parse it and send the data to the LEDs. I currently am showing the open closed status of 16 trails. Figuring using the arduino mega, and 74HC595 shift registers, I should be able to show the Open/Closed/Groomed status of 96 trails. This might get a little smaller to make room for wireless. Expanding to matrixes instead of individual LEDs or LEDs in parallel will add some other difficulties I'm sure. I could also replace the 74HC595's with a STP16C596 shift register and take 8 to 16, or run the matrixes with MAX7219CNG. More testing once some more parts get it. I'll get a video posted later today.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

We're in Business

So about 4 hours ago I finally got the Arduino in the mail. So I decided to just do a little testing and get something working. Ignore the yellow LEDs, I haven't programmed them yet.

I'm still waiting on the 8x8 matrixes but this is a great place to start. Just learning some of the code and how the hardware interacts with the computer will help immensely. I'm not naive and know that a project like this will start with small steps and build to the final piece. It's those steps that get me excited.

Background music by Drive by Truckers. From NPR's Mountain Stage. Love it...need more.

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Rethinking the project

So this is one of our trail maps, what I would like to embed the RGB leds into.

Standing back and looking at it, I worry about visibility for the LEDs. Cool is only cool if it's actually useful. I don't have the luxury of just doing something to be artistic.

So retinking this, at least to start (I won't give up on the grandeous dream I have), around the resort there are many grooming signs. They have little sliders that every morning the ambassadors/lift ops have to slide to indicate what's open/closed/groomed. I think the perfect place to start would be to automate these. Here is an image of the first sign I want to tackle.
It's 4 sided, 3 with this infomation on it. I can replace each of the sliders with 8x8 LED matrixes and drive them witht he arduino Mega. Save the map for later, maybe that could be an indoor display that was more artisticly driven.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2nd Package

This one is exciting as I can start learning techniques I will need for this project, it's less about this project in particular more about background knowledge. The package is from MakerShed.
It includes:

The Learn to Solder Bundle
Getting started with Arduino

More details when the next package comes in.

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First Package Arrives!

Wow, look at that. Speak a ye shall receive. My first package has arrived. From Digi-Key. Included is:
32-220 Ohm resistors (Unit Price .42)
4-SN74HC595N 8-bit shift Registers 16-Dip (Unit Price .66)
2-STP16C596XTTR IC Driver Led Sink 16Bit 24TSSOP (Unit Price $3.53)

I know the resistors and 8-bit Shift registers are what I need, at least for phase one of the project, the 16-bit Led Driver was kind of a shot in the dark. I'll snap a picture when everything from my first round of orders comes in. I'll start a running list of supplies on the right side of this blog with links to purchase online, so when I need more it will be really easy to find and order.

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In the Beginning

Here it is, May 20th. I discovered Arduino this Sunday after purchasing Make: magazine issue #18. After doing a fair amount of research (there is quite a community online) I purchased a bunch of parts and I'm now impatiently waiting for them to arrive. I figured while I wait I should get this blog up and running and detail out the specifics of the project.

The Project:
Create an Interactive Trail Map using LEDs and one of our existing 6 foot signs.

The Specs:
Read trail data from XML feed available online.
Wireless data transfer
Must display Open, Closed, and Groomed status for each trail
Has to be legible from a distance
No daily human interaction, must update itself on it's own.

With that, welcome to the project, this will be the place for updates and for me to keep notes. Up next packages in the mail?

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