66% or better

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.

LED coffee table

Spark Fun’s centerpiece at Maker Faire back in May was this LED coffee table. They just recently posted about how it was constructed. The surface is made from 64 8×8 RGB LED matrix boards totaling 4096 LEDs. The eight rows are connected to a custom router board so that one SPI line can control the entire display. The main microcontroller is an Olimex LPC2106 dev board. It runs a four player cooperative pong game where multiple balls are added over time. Each player gets a classic Atari paddle for control. You can see a video of the table running a screensaver after the break. [Read more...]

RGB monome clone


[Julien Bayle] has posted this great breakdown of building an RGB monome clone. He is a musical performer using Ableton Live. He wanted to do away with the need for a computer screen and found that the monome would have been perfect had it been RGB. So he decided to build his own.

The parts list for the entire project is as follows:

  • 1x Arduino board
  • 4x Sparkfun breakout PCB
  • 4x Sparkfun buttons pads (like our door lock)
  • 4x Sparkfun buttons bezel
  • 64x RGB LEDs common cathode
  • 64x Diodes Small Signal (1N4148)
  • 1x MAX7221 (LED Driver)
  • 1x 74HC164 (8-Bit Serial-In, Parallel-Out Shift Register)
  • 1x 74HC165 (8-Bit Parallel-In, Serial-Out Shift Register)

He also has files for the schematics and source code as well as information on how to assemble and test it.

The RGB aspect is still under development. He is using the LEDMatrix-Serial Interface-RGB from Sparkfun Electronics to run it. It is expensive, but is exactly what he was looking for.

There aren’t very many pictures of the project, and none of the working RGB unit. He makes up for it in sheer information. Many parts have links to manufacturers or support forums. Hopefully he’ll post some pictures and video of the final product soon.

Synchronizing Fireflies NG


[Alex] from Tinkerlog has revisited an old project with Synchronizing Fireflies NG. Fascinated by how fireflies blink at same rate and synchronize with each other, he built a digital version. Each board has an RGB LED and a phototransistor or photoresistor. A ping-pong ball is used as a diffuser. The blink rate is controlled by an ATtiny13v. The board power can be daisy chained, but each firefly mote operates independently of the others. The microcontroller has a fixed flash rate and monitors for other flashes. It attempts to sync by flashing earlier. The color of the LED expresses how satisfied the firefly is with its current sync. You can see a video of eight fireflies attempting to self organize embedded below.

[Read more...]