Guerilla theater hits two wheels

[Tom] wanted to take the show on the road so he added lights to his bike using theater grade control hardware. The picture above shows three tail lights comprised of 195 LEDs. Built on perf-board, a DMX512 controller can display several patterns on each module. The lighting technician (bike pilot) controls the patterns through a series of switches on the handlebars. There’s several pages of details posted including schematics and firmware. This would bring a little extra fun the next time you ride in a Critical Mass event.

You’re not seeing double: RGB Christmas trees

[mrpackethead], created this monster of a tree.  As shown in the video, it’s capable of showing animations, patterns, and potentially video. The 6m tall creation is studded with 2000 waterproof RGB LED modules. Software for the tree was written in Apple’s own Quartz Composer and integrated into Madrix, a piece of software designed with the purpose of controlling LEDs. The 600W system is 100% Arduino-free and costs less than the equivalent of 0.04USD per hour to run in New Zealand.

[Geoist] opted for the Arduino way to rig up his own smaller RGB Christmas tree. Finding a slightly kitschy fiber-optic model in his local department store, [Geoist] was eager to harness its colour-changing powers. Upon opening it up, it was discovered that it was controlled by nothing more than a light bulb and a spinning disk of coloured light filters. [Geoist] gutted the setup in favour of a breadboard with 3 RGB lights hooked up to an Arduino. The sketch for it is available on his site.

Arduino DMX controller

Arduino_DMX

This Arduino powered DMX controller came along at just the right time. We had shown you a project earlier that involved the DMX system and several commenters remarked on the price to get into DMX hardware. If you happen to have an Arduino around, you can build a DMX controller. He found a schematic for a DMX driver, and built some custom code to control it all. You can download his code on the project site.

Halloween props: DMX controlled skeleton

[scarylady] has posted this video about her setup. The skeleton was rigged up to a rotating base with a single pneumatic solenoid to jostle it. She then goes on to show how she has it all connected to her computer with an explanation of the software setup. Though some of us might feel she could have accomplished very similar results with a simple oscillating fan, this is a decent intro to DMX.

We also had several people submit this fantastic list of Halloween projects, The Halloween monster list. There is enough information there to keep you busy for quite a while. We were going to list our favorites, but there are so many fantastic ones, we think you should just go look at them all. Remember to send us more of your projects.

Colorize your election party

blue_red
[Eric] has put together a simple python script to scrape election results from CNN.com. It uses urllib2 to return the popular and electoral votes for each party and throws an ElectionWon exception when CNN calls the race. He’s planning on hooking this to DMX controlled RGB LED lighting that will shift to either blue or red as the night progresses. It’s a great starting point if you want to pull off something similar.

You may remember [Eric] for building the IKEA MAME table and the TRS-80 wireless terminal.

[photo: skenmy]

UPDATE: [Garrett] of macetech is putting the finishing touches on his version which uses 32 ShiftBrite modules and 2 4-digit displays controlled by a CuBLOC.