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 8×8 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