In gearing up to mentor a team at the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition, redditor [dd0626] wanted to do something cool that resonated with this year’s 8-bit gaming theme. Over the course of a few days, they transformed a top hat into a thematically encapsulating marquee: a LED matrix display loaded with gifs!
The display is actually a sleeve — made from shipping foam, a pillow case, and an old t-shirt — that fits over the hat, leaving it intact and wearable for future events. A Teensy3.6 displays the gifs on four WS2812 16×16 RGB LED matrices, and while a sheer black fabric diffuses the light, it’s still best viewed from several feet away. This is decidedly not intended to be a stealthy hat display.
To mitigate current draw, [dd0626] is using a 5V 30A DC/DC converter and keeping the brightness at a minimum — otherwise, each panel can pull up to 15A! To offset any dip in performance, they’ve bundled in a massive 22,400mAh, 24V battery pack to keep the hat running for a while. Despite all the hardware, the hat weighs under two pounds — eminently wearable for a long day of competition.
While they expect this hat to be a smash hit at the competition, it’s also a demonstration of one of [dd0626]’s most important lessons to their students: never underestimate the value of hot glue; they say that there’s over four feet of the stuff holding this build together!!!
13 thoughts on “A Gif-Playing Top Hat For FRC 2018!”
Lincoln Money Shot !!!
As former mentor of FIRST team 1902 my hats off to this team.
That is beyond cool… hats off!
Whats burning?…………………….MY HAIR!!!
Hey – look at my hat !!!
I want attention !!!!
What’s wrong with wanting an attention, or getting it by building (and wearing) something cool.
He’s jealous he’s never built anything cool.
I did something similar for team 5858! But yours is much more impressive! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POvtpbCsYLs
My God that is slick. I love it. I would love to build something like that into a normal hat if we can get some smaller components in the future.
Wow, this is great.
Isn’t a 22.4 amp-hour battery at 24v either incredibly heavy (lead acid based) or expensive (lithium ion)? Heck, even powered by AAs, it’d be something like 200 AAs, which would weigh quite a bit.
Say a 3200mah 18650 @ 4v, thats 6 in series to get to 24v.
7 × 3200mah to get 22.4 amp hours.
Soo 7 sets of 6 is 42 ($3-$5 a pop, 45g each) 18650 cells.
Thats a big expensive battery pack mang…
Or about 42(6 by 7, series parrellel) 3200mah 18650 cells – nearly 2kg worth.
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