Category Archives: apa102

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:

 

Lots of hexagons

I have been hard at work on this new piece, for which i have not yet come up with a name..

It is constructed with 20 Hexagonal pieces. Each laser cut out of clear perspex. Behind each is a grid of APA102 LEDs all controlled by an ESP8266

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

Something new, something BIG!

Work has begun on a marvelous LED Installation for the Maitreya Festival. The project, titled “Space Theatre” will comprise of a huge “planet vs black hole ” diorama !

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Some goodies for the installation above! We are using over 2000 APA102 Pixels, driven by a Raspberry Pi A+. This installation will be built on the backbones of the same tech used int the Wow Suit.

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Here they are fully built and tested! Now onto building the LED layout map…

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.

Wow Suit 3rd Generation Production Update

Here is one of the panels that goes onto the arms for the 3rd Gen Wow Suit


Each arm will have 2 of these. I decided to make different sized panels for each body part. Makes it more interesting to look at. The panels are all very tightly packed with APA102 LED Pixels and so far have been working very well. Its taking me about 1-2 hours to prep each panel. I’m being super meticulous and testing each panel through each stage of construction.

New batch of NodeMCU ESP8266 Modules

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Received a huge batch of ESP8266 based NodeMCU modules today from Ali Express. Some of these will be used for a special installation project at Faux Mo for next Years MOFO Festival in Hobart Tasmania. The rest are for a new batch of LED Masks and some spares. These are great little devices that can run at 180MHz and can drive both WS2812b and APA102 LED Strips