I am well aware that I haven't blogged in a while now; I have been busy doing lighting and sound for various stuffs.
BUT, I have bothered to do the electronics and code for the nixie clock, a topic on which you shall be updated shortly
But for now, MORE FIRE
Unfortunately, I could not be bothered to make this twitter responsive (too unreliable), but it's still cool.
This was done in about 5mins on Halloween night at about 4am, so very, very crude
When finished it had a nose as well...
I just filled it with loads of my UPS fireball pods (size G3 if you want to know). There is a blog post to follow on these, how to use and make them, proper firing (not used here ) and the size system, all done for ease of use.
I couldn't be bothered wiring to them to my detonator, so a 9v battery was used :-)
Here be the video, I think it's NSFW (language), but have not properly looked at it. Enjoy...
I apologise for the unforgivable quality...
For those of you interested, the UPS pods are essentially nitrocellulose, cardboard tubes and e-matches, but with lots of strange design work and maths-y stuff to make a decent system thingy (but anyway, more details later)
Sadly, not much has happened (with results that I can blog about).
Soooooooooooo... It would transpire that I am condemned to once again list the varying hypothetical projects that I may or may not be arsed to do.
Nixie Clock - You saw those Nixie Modules on HaD, well, I bought some (for about £110). It's about time that I made a nixie clock
Flape-Spitting Twitter-Pumpkin - Actually started this one (built the fire-spitting components and 'duino code written) Why so early you may ask, well, during the run up to Halloween, I reduce myself to a horror-movie-marathon watching machine, so I haven't much time to do other stuff.
Army Boot Can Crusher - May or may not happen, but it's about time I learned about pneumatics.
And what have I been up to, mainly stuffs for my robotics team (electronics and firmware)
There... Go Away
Sorry for the delay, but here's a review of MMMF, from last weekend
Photos are available on the Flickr set http://www.flickr.com/photos/dashroom66/sets/72157630923473206/
I was with the HAC:Man, the Manchester hackspace. We have a new space and need money, so BECOME A MEMBER NOW. We brought the "Baz Corner" of OpenServo crap, and his Ultimaker (the best 3D printer there, pissing off the actual 3DP booth), Frank, a Knock-Clock, Twitter Drummer, and Project-a-Sketch. Other hackspaces there included DOeS Liverpool, with a wide assortment of cool stuff (and bubblino, oh dear...); NottingHack, with more assorted stuff, including some crafty stuff, and NIXIES; the London Hackspace were there, selling EMF, and taking Tom Scotts 10'000th day alive crazy golf with them, and BuildBrighton had RoboXylo (robotic GLOCKENSPIEL). We were next to MCR game Jam, who use the same building, and have some HAC:Man buttons. Aside from that, Mark Gilbert had a booth, showing his fabricated awesomeness; a 3D printer booth (I know...), with printers inferior to ours; Cozydroid (google it, and BUY THEM, they are cool); Many Uni Students with cool projects; some crafty and retro stuff (cool, but I know nout about anything like that). There was also lots of Music stuff (including a cool synth-jazz guy, and tonefoat), and the cyclepong guys. MOSI did a great job, and there are several things I will have not seen, or temporarily forgotten about; my post does not do justice to the faire.
Ok, I am now on Github and Flickr - and some people don't know about dashroom66.com, so...
GitHub - http://github.com/DaShroom/
and there's always http://www.dashroom66.com/
Ages ago (I mean ages), I bought one of the spectacularly cheap TI MSP430 Launchpad dev boards, but have never been bothered to have a look at it. So, it was about time to have a look at it. As per trend, I went for the LED bag, and found a ping-pong ball.
It is RGB cycling, but no video to prove it...
Ok, it aint a wall, but for about 40mins at 4:30am, that was never happening
It was my first time using MSPGCC, so the code is quick and dirty, BUT I managed to do it without interrupts or timers, making porting easy, and letting the code be helpful to those trying to learn C (and me learning the MSPGCC commands)
More details are at dashroom66.com
Code is on my new github page
It's finally done. When some people finish projects, they look back and say "well that went quickly"; this was not one of those projects. There was about 80 hrs of soldering, then there was the design, software, CAM, assembly, drilling, glueing, and going to CPC to buy cables. This was not a quickie. In case you have not been reading the past posts, then I shall brief you. I previously built an 8x8 ping-pong matrix with a colorduino. Then I ran out of creativity, so decided that my next project would be the same, but bigger. I quickly realised that the colorduino was a no-go method, so quickly made up some really crappy PCBs (call it the beta ) with some 595s, BJTs and ethernet jacks. For reasons of shame they are not being Open Sourced, but never fear, the version 1.02 boards (which are smaller, and better in every way) WILL be released, and sold on www.dashroom66.com, along with kits (slightly modified based on lessons learned, and you probably don't want my link on the bottom of it, do you?), component sets .etc (modified for compatibility with solderlab code, as I can't release my modified code die to copyright, and mine is still not perfect). Some technical details (here comes the maths) will also be on there, with some help for those designing there own matrix (how one works, blah blah blah).
PLEA - I am 15, and therefore have no money, and am in the UK, so no kickstarter. V2 is in the pipeline, but needs prototyping. I cannot afford this. I rely on funds from kit sales, so please make your way to www.dashroom66.com AND BUY STUFF, thanks.
Back to normality, the software. As I was replying to comments on the youtube video for the original matrix, in the suggested videos I saw what must be the most amazing coincidence ever. A ping-pong LED matrix EXACTLY the same size as the one I was making (laser cutting at the time). I then proceeded to their website (now http://solderlab.de/) and downloaded their source. After a bit of compatibility modification I had their PC software up and running, and pushing frames perfectly. (I have my own in the pipeline, but not as good, yet). I also took some (quite a lot) of sections from their arduino and used them or learned from them for my own firmware. PLEASE, LOOK AT THEIR SITE, THEY ARE AWESOME. Yet more wonders of open source (or close to, there are some copyright issues for me selling the boards).
I could go all into the details, but I shall give all the tech specs on dashroom66.com, where you are all heading to buy kits, AREN'T YOU. Suffice it to say that this is primarily for discos and similar, so lots of S2L, and very bright colours, just not a lot of them.
I could not have done this by myself, or afforded to do so, so here is a list of aiding parties
Stonyhurst Lighting Crew - After receiving the crash course in soldering, they soldered all the LEDs into grids, with only one board being messed up (you know who you are, Reece). They also put about £75 into the pot
Al Cringle (spelt wrong, I will change it) - Apparently using my idea of mending plates to join the panels was "not fast enough" for the school to use it, so I went down to Darwin, and we made a hook thingy (I say we, actually I did bugger all)
SCHOOL DT - Use of laser cutter, and huge discounts, and some freebies, and making all the GCSE students miss their coursework deadlines with me hogging the laser cutter.
MIDGET - Our robotics captain, he helped with a lot of gluing, AS HE IS THE GOD OF HOT GLUE GUNS !!!!!!!! (yes, midget, that was sarcasm)
SOLDERLAB - From whom the code was nicked http://solderlab.de/
I shall now leave you with some pictures...
DOWNLOAD FILES FROM www.dashroom66.com
All the leds are soldered into grids by the wonderful school lighting crew (child / slave labour), and the school has paid for some cables, wire and solder (ran out, a bit) and got somebody to fab a hold(y) together(y) thing for them (as opposed to my semi-permanent method). This is in return for them being given use of it for discos and such like events (hence the easy disassembly) . I am about half way into getting the pcbs onto the back of the boards, making an even bigger green wire bird's nest), and being interrupted by CCF, school, fixing key-coding machines at a garage, and making a crappy light organ in a camera (write up to follow). BUT I now have a cough, from having a layer of flux about 3 inches thick inside my trachea. This is not a good thing . Hopefully it will be done by it's (hopeful) debut at MMMF. If you live in the north of England, BE THERE (28th and 29th)