Category Archives: wearables

New tiny parts

In the never ending quest to find a Voltage level shifter, to drive addressable LEDs, I found myself looking at these http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/sn74lvc2t45.pdf . These ICs can do 3.3V to 5V translation for 2 pins at a whooping 420Mbit and they cost $80c (USD) . So I ordered 5 from TI….

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Yep… that’s damn small. Not sure how I’m going to use those… I have no Surface Mount skills or equipment..Should have read the damn data sheet properly. Anyway, I’m glad there are 5, I will try my damn best to solder those pins to some larger pins and if i break any ill have a few extra to play with. If they work, ill be able to eliminate the Driver Pixel that i use in most of my application, most importantly ill be able to properly test higher data rates for the APA102 and the SK9822 pixel.

Next on the list are these $4 single cell Power Banks:

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These use a single 18650 to produce 5V at a maximum of 1A… With one more nice feature. They don’t have a power button. They activate simply when a load is detected. I’m using this as a test bed, and in a very non recommended way, I’m sure. I have the Output ports of all 4 into 1 Female USB port and was successfully able to power one of my latest creations:

 

Debounced switches

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I have been working on some physical interaction methods with my animations. This is the final version of the pushbutton board for a new project. It has 6 pushbuttons permenently connected to Gnd, the outputs default to Gnd and are fed back to the microcontroller. When a button is pushed, 5v is fed to the output, bur doesnt short out the feed. I use a diode and resistor in series in each button to achieve this. 0 bounce when the button ia pushed combined with a digital read method that does a quick sweep of all inputs

Lets cover a car in LEDs & GSPF 2016

A friend asked me a while back…

“what would it take to cover an entire car in these LED pixels?”

He even went so far as to give me a die cast model of a Ford Mustang GT to play with

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So I did

Now this is just a prototype for a large scale version. Covering a life sized car with LED pixels would be an epic effort I would love to undertake, but it would require some hefty funding. Not to mention someone donating a car to me… The car above used WS2812b pixels. I had a bunch of them lying around from another prototype that I had dismantled. No sense in binning these pixels if they can be reused.

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is happening again!!! This year, I have decided to enter. Not with a car covered in LEDs, however. But with the new WOW Suit! Id love to put it on a mannequin and have it displayed inside a shop window. I have some ideas for new animation sequences that would cater well for a shop front

White Night 2016 – The Wow Suit

White Night 2016 in Melbourne may not have been as huge as in previous years, but I sure had a blast. I walked around the Melbourne CBD and surrounds for about 7 hours and got my photo taken by A LOT of people! Everyone I ran into seemed to enjoy themselves and really liked the Wow Suit. Here are a few pics from the evening

I had a friend shoot some really good video of the suit, but until I get my hands on it, here is some from my Instagram:

Notice how the Official White Night Instagram account tells me to apply for an art grant next year, even though they sent me a Generic “NO THANKYOU” when I applied for this years event.

One more:

The Wow Suit @whitenightmelb !! #whitenightmelb2016 #whitenight #whitenightmelbourne #whitenightmelb

A video posted by Elec Dash Tron Dot Org (@wow_elec_tron) on

MOFO 2016 – Electric Light Yoga & Faux Mo

This year, I was chosen to work with a talented costume designer Sabrina Evans, to create 10 LED covered suits for MOFO 2016 the summer arts festival held by MONA in Hobart Tasmania. The results were amazing

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One of the suits was used in an awesome arty yoga session, also held at MONA, called Electric Light Yoga. Above is one the shots. Here is the suit from behind…

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Noodles of cabling! The rest of the suits were used by actors at the Faux Mo nightclub event on Saturday. They roamed around the huge art filled space, created by Jamin Kluss for MOFO. The make shift nightclub was built inside 12 Murray Street, Hobart. The ex government building is to be demolished shortly and was well utilized.

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But nothing is without complications. The box containing the battery modules for all the suits was shipped down to Hobart using Fastaway couriers(don’t use them). They advised a 3 day shipping schedule, its been 6 days and the box hasn’t arrived yet. I had to repurchase all the battery modules in Hobart at an exorbitant price

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Here they are charging the night before the main event, at our Airbnb that we rented in Battery Point, Hobart(no pun intended).

Check out my Instagram for some short Videos of all the Shenanigans

A new project for MOFO 2016

I have been commissioned to create 10 LED suits for Faux Mo as part of MOFO the Summer Arts festival in Hobart, Tasmania. The webbing of the suits was built by Sabrina Evans, an awesome costume designer form Hobart. The webbing is made of nylon and clips on to the person.

Not yet sure what will be done with all 10 suits, but here are a few demo shots of them in action on my model:

Some mad disco patterns

A few other samples:

Each suit is powered by a 20,000mAh 5V Battery module. The Strips are APA102 and controlled by a NodeMCU/ESP8266 Micro Controller.

Wow Suit Gen 3 – Up and Running

Problems listen in the previous entry have been resolved. It seems that I can not push the APA102 strips to run above 5MHz using the Raspberry Pi’s SPI port. That seems to be the maximum before I get noise on the line. 6MHz works as well but you can see some noise on the very end of the block when allot of power is consumed. I think it is a combination of things. but im happy with 5MHZ

 

 

The other issue was the Power Up drain. For now the best forward is to put hardware switches onto each power tap. There are 11 power taps. Ill assign 7 switches on a small perf board that joins all the taps together to the 6 USB power cables. If i start up the sequence sequentially, the LEDs have 0 noise and power on in the OFF state, which is what we want! If i power up all the taps at once, i get a huge whopping bunch of noise and the batteries cut out to protect themselves from overload.

New Panel Layout for the V3 Wow Suit

Here are 2 video demo of the new panel layout:

This one runs a simple pixel pusher to test each pixels colour and location:

This one runs part of the Wow Suits full software rendering suite:

Each panel consists of 255 APA102 LED Pixels. There will be a total of 12 of these panels, however the panels on the arms and body may be smaller.

Wow Suit V 3 – Production Update

I have used up the last of my APA102 strips from my previous order to make the 1st prototype panel for the 3rd Iteration of the Wow Suit.

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This is the panel for the bottom right leg. With this prototype i have 17 strips x 15 Pixels Per Strip totaling at 255 LEDs for one panel. The previous iteration of the Wow Suit had 10 x 16 pixel strips, which were 160 Pixels per block).

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I’m trying to get them as tightly packed as possible. The base block is a piece of felt secured to a thin piece of plastic sheet. Its both rigid and flexible enough to adhere to the cat suit Ill be putting this on to.

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I have also added a pixel inside the RPI casing as the driver Pixel. This pixel is directly connected to the SPI bus on the RPI and is driven by the RPI’s 3.3v Power Supply. Its the best way to get a reliable signal at very high SPI speeds. I’m essentially using the pixel as a voltage level converter. When driving LEDs, the software ignores pixel 0 and sends a blank pixel to it each render.