Category Archives: esp8266

New tiny parts

In the never ending quest to find a Voltage level shifter, to drive addressable LEDs, I found myself looking at these . 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….


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:


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

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


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…


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.


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


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.

New batch of NodeMCU ESP8266 Modules


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

Structured interactivity

I have had long thought sessions about how to make my LED creations interactive. Toying with sensors, buttons, sliders etc… has often wielded “meh” results. In the end, a web/app based approach will probably be best. But how do i make it un-boring? The idea of the Idle render, what is rendered when no interactivity is around, is very important. I had an idea last night about a structured render algorithm that could be made to create really interesting patterns and be structurally interactive.

Most of my render algorithms are very similar, varying slightly in certain ways:

  • Create a color object using an index value starting at 0 ending at “6 x Maximum value of Each LED”
  • Create an X and Y coordinate using either a random number bound to the LED map, or a certain pattern
  • Apply color to a pixel, line, box or circle at X Y co-ordinates
  • render
  • add a delay of d milliseconds
  • apply a canvas shift function of some sort
  • apply a canvas fade function with a fade value f
  • repeat

The above creates some amazingly diverse animations. I plan to write up a simple web interface that allows you to control each step and then send the updates to the MU via wifi.

Here is a rough draft of a web app:


This sends a POST data packet at each change in the interface that looks like this:


LED Mask – V4

I started work on a new version of the LED mask. I recently found a less creepy plastic face mask, and decided to work my magic on it:

First thing to do is to map out the LED arrangements. This is key to how each strip is connected and how the software drives the LEDs. You can see the strip placement markers and the direction of data below.

 wpid-20150919_142458-1.jpg  This is the new mask I found.

It has a kinder, more neutral appearance…

Next I cut up the LED strips and prep them each for placement on the mask. I usually mark out the required length of connector wires on the mask and cut them up, prep them with solder and markers

 wpid-20150919_144719-1.jpg  This is general layout of the mask in 2 dimensions

Finally I connect each strip together in the order assigned in step 1, and the stick the strips to the mask:

wpid-20150920_170734-1.jpg Tada!

And here is a test animation of the new mask in action:

This version uses the NodeMCU V1 module. Great little piece of hardware!

A couple of new pieces

First off we have the lovely pink lady from many a Coco Poco Loco party:

wpid-20150915_114513.jpg This is in fact a very silly looking fiber glass model of a naked lady. It has a base with a normal bulb inside.

The outside is covered in small glass pieces and the inside is covered in jagged fiber glass that cut my arm up pretty badly

I was asked to work my magic and here it is:

I put a strip in the head, onto the bust, all the way up the spine and along the lower parts of the front facing legs. The whole thing uses about 68 LEDs from a WS2812b strip. I used a NodeMCU for this, just for shits and giggles and to see if i could get it to drive WS2812B strips. I used THIS modified NeoPixel driver with the NodeMCU module running at 160Mhz. Note you must use the UART driven library on Pin 4. Here is another example:

Next up is Jords Disco Shoulder Pads

wpid-20150917_230735-1.jpg Disco Pads?

I used a Arduino Nano for this along side a WS2812B LED Strip. The results is hillarious:

My best piece to date in my opinion:

Here are some #discopads please enjoy them #burningmanaustralia #burningseed #ledwearables #arduino #apa102 #ledstrip A video posted by Elec Dash Tron Dot Org (@wow_elec_tron) on