Let’s face it, walking around in the rain sucks. [Matth3w] is trying to add a little whimsy to an unpleasant experience by adding an LED matrix to his umbrella. The array contains 80 LEDs that are individually addressable. This is a mutiplexed array that relies on a MIC2981 source driver for the eight rows (or rings in this case), with the ten columns handled by the Arduino. The effect is quite nice as you can see in the video after the break. Now that he’s proven this works, you might want to etch your own PCB in order to get rid of the Arduino board and prototyping shield, making it easier to waterproof the control circuitry. This would make a nice addition to your illuminated umbrella stock.
Continue reading “Putting on a show in the rain”
Here’s a quick and easy illuminated umbrella that [Mikeasaurus] built. How’s this for economical? He found an umbrella that someone left on the bus, and used an LED flashlight and clear poncho from the dollar store for the rest of the parts.
The scavenged LED circuit board is the perfect diameter to fit inside the handle of his umbrella. He removed the middle LED and drilled a hole in the board for the shaft to pass through. Although not well detailed, we gather he managed to shoehorn two CR2032 3v batteries underneath the PCB to power the device. The poncho is wrapped around the shaft to diffuse the light. This is a clever solution as the flexible plastic still allows the telescoping shaft to collapse down to its most compact size.
[Mikasaurus’] umbrella doesn’t make noise or emulate the weather but it is a clever idea. The low difficulty level and availability of parts makes this a great project to do with the young ones who don’t get included in your more intricate hacks.
Reader [Joe Saavedra] sent in his latest project: the spatialized umbrella. The base of each umbrella rib features an LED, speaker, and distance sensor. These are connected to an ATMega168 microcontroller running the Arduino environment. The IR sensor triggers a rain drop sound based on proximity. Shorter distances mean more droplets are played. The sounds are generated using a lookup table and the digital pins. You can see the demo video embedded below.
Using the Arduino environment without the associated board is part of another idea that [Joe] is working on. The MapDuino Project uses the standard Arduino hardware for programming, but then transfers the chip to a more barebones circuit in target project. They based their initial work on the ITP breadboard Arduino. Continue reading “Spatialized umbrella”