Constructed in half an hour using a plastic Halloween mask and a length of green electro-luminescent (EL) wire, this project was first suggested to me by my friend and peer over at Starboard Engineering. This project required a steady hand to precisely drill the holes and careful planning to ensure the most efficient route when threading the EL wire through the mask. We have a bunch of masks available but order now to avoid disappointment.
After working on and off for nearly 4 years, this project is now finished. Upon discovering Deadmau5; the stage name of Joel Zimmerman, I had always toyed with the idea of re-creating the LED mau5 head that he wears during his shows. After some research, I began planning how it would all go together. The lights are a chain of individually addressable led pixels that were glued in place with hot-melt glue and a mix of custom led holders, some of which I 3D printed and the rest made by Shapeways 3d printing service.
A while ago the cabin fan in my car stopped working at lower speeds. Looking through the schematic diagram of the heater controls (courtesy of a Haynes manual) revealed that the motor speed was being crudely controlled by putting various large current limiting resistors in series with the motor. Upon inspection, the large wire wound resistor pack was cracked and a quick test with the multimeter confirmed my thoughts, there was no continuity across the two larger resistors for speed settings 2 and 3 (out of 4). I confirmed that it was only the resistors causing the problems by putting a wire in parallel with the resistor effectively by-passing it and confirming that the Fan ran at max speed.
I decided it would be a good opportunity to design a PWM speed controller to be compatible with the car’s pre-existing system. Two options came to mind immediately, the first was using a 555 timer and the other was using an Atmel ATTiny 85, both of which I had in my parts bin.
The two options would require a potentiometer to be put in the place of the original 5 position rotary switch but the 555 timer would need a lot more care to ensure that it would go from 0% to 100% duty cycle across the 80 degrees of motion that the original dial markings were spread across. Using a microcontroller would allow a map to be created and make full use of the limited potentiometer travel with ease. Not only would it make fine tuning easier, it would also allow the PWM frequency to be experimented with.
The circuit consisted of a LM7805 voltage regulator and capacitor bank to supply a clean source of power the Atmel ATTiny 85. A large N-channel Mosfet was used to allow the current to flow from the motor to ground. It was driven by the VCC rail and is turned off by powering the NPN which in turn shunts the pull-up resistor to ground, intern bringing the gate of the MOSFET to ground. The circuit was designed in Eagle Cad and sent off to OSHPark PCB FAB.
I used the eagleUP plugin for eagle and google SketchUp to create a 3d model of the board and the populated it with parts to ensure that the heatsink would fit.
The design was successfully implemeted into my car however a small compromise had to be made. With the PWM frequency set above the human audible range (20KHz) the MOSFET was overheating. It is possible that the MOSFET was not fully saturated but it is more likely becauase high frequency switching causes the it to spend longer in the transistion region which wastes power. To overcome this, the PWM frequency was reduced to 10KHz which does produce a faint whine under normal operation.
This arduino controlled, motorized camera slider uses both 3D printed parts and and 3D printer parts. It costs a fraction of the price of commercially available sliders and can be modified to suit you.
The video below was shot at Dartmoor National Park using this slider. The last 2 clips were done by combining this project with my earlier D40 remote hack to create a moving time lapse. Please view it in 1080p if you have the bandwidth…
The dual rail design was inspired by a cliff elevator. The beauty of this design is that the two slider heads move in different directions and allow a camera to move further for a given length slider. It later came to light that a start-up on kickstarter had already implemented this design and had started the patent process. It looks like a really nice piece of kit, however it is far beyond what I was willing to spend with my limited filming experience.
- 2x 1/4″ BSW x 1/2″ Long Whitworth Hex Bolt, Nut and Washer.
- 2x M3 14mm bolts
- 1x Nema 17 stepper motor
- 1x Pololu A4988 Step Stick
- 1x Arduino Nano, Uno or Leonardo.
- 1x Veroboard / Stripboard
- 1x DPDT Toggle Switch
- 1x 10K Potentiometer
- 1x Decorative Knob
- 1x Smooth Idler Pulley Kit
- 2x Sub-Minature Micro Switches
- 1x GT2 Timing Belt: 2mm Pitch, 6mm Wide, 700mm Long
- 4x Hardened Steel Smooth Rods: 8mm Outer Dia, 300mm Long
- 1x Aluminum Round Tube, 1/2″ Outer Dia, 16swg Wall Thickness, 300mm Long
- 12x LM8UU linear bearings, (8 are used but get 12 as they are damaged easily)
- Camera Remote
- DC Boost Regulator
- USB Power Bank
- USB Cable
- 1/4″ Ball Head Tripod Camera Mount
Unlike other led glasses, this kit uses larger 3 mm LEDs which offers a superior visual effect when animations are played. Not only that, our kit has a wopping 24 x 8 led matrix to provide more detailed text and animations. There are 160 individually addressable LEDs that work together to display scrolling text, custom animations and much more. Rave Shades are a kit that requires self-assembly with tools used for basic electronics, like a soldering iron, wire cutters, and a glue gun.
Ever since my EL-EE-DEE glasses got featured on the instructables homepage, I have gotten many requests to build them on commission. The original glasses took an age to make, so I decided to design a kit for people so assemble themselves. This kit only takes a couple of hours to complete provided you have previous soldering experience. After trying out a couple of prototypes I was happy with the design and began the write up on instructables, the link to which can be found by clicking the big green button at the end of this post. At the time of being featured on the instructables homepage, I released the Kickstarter campaign.
I came up with this idea after seeing similar videos on the internet. I however have improved on the design. What separates my glasses from the others out there, is that mine use an external matrix driver and battery. What this means is, for the cost of having a cable down your back when wearing the device, you get a greatly improved battery life. This also allows the device to use ultra-bright 1210 LED’s. Not only that, a full sized arduino can be used if you have one. This project uses cheap and easy to gain parts to allow you to create a one of a kind fancy dress party piece. These glasses do not obstruct your vision any more than the original shutter shades. Even with the glasses on turned on, no glare from the LEDs can be seen.
Earlier last year my University house mates and I had house party, in order to provide ample volume and substantial bass I decided to up upgrade from a pair of bookshelf speakers to an all in one, easy to carry sound solution. At the heart of the boombox is a 200W RMS car stereo amplifier, which is more than capable of driving the twin 75W mid/bass drivers.
The system has a 9AH sealed lead acid (SLA) battery, a mains powered battery charger and a high current 12V switch mode power supply in the form of a 203W xbox power supply. A large triple throw rocker switch allows the desired power source to be selected and the smaller rocker switch puts the xbox power supply in sleep mode or awakens in depending on the position.
When a powered IEC (kettle cable) is inserted, the battery management system immediately begins to charge and then maintain the level of the battery.
This project was documented on Instructables.com, click the button above to visit the page.
I made this device to demonstrate how electricity and magnetism interact with each other in a visual way. The basic concept was to create a large and short lived pulse of current that passes through a coil. The huge current flowing in a circular motion produces a strong magnetic field very briefly. This field passes through a conductive ring. This rise and collapse of the magnetic field induces eddy currents in the conductive ring. These eddy currents produce an opposing magnetic field which intern repels the initial magnetic field caused by the pulsed coil. Provided enough current passes through the initial coil and the conductive ring has a low electrical resistance it will fire straight up in the air. As magnetic field strength gets weaker the further away you are from it, it is important to dump a lot of energy in the shortest possible amount of time to have the largest projectile range.
When I demonstrated this to my peers and my lecturer at college it used a standard mains rated toggle switch to make the circuit. However, after 2 discharges the switch contacts had become welded together internally so I created open frame contactor who’s tip could be replaced easily. While it is possible to touch both contacts and receive a 400v shock, precautions were taken to reduce the likely hood of that happening.
The capacitor bank was made from 20 individual 100uF 400V electrolytic capacitors which were put in parallel with each other to hold more energy. The bank itself was then put in parallel with the capacitor on an external camera flash charging circuit. A disposable camera was not used as they are only rated for 1.5V which would mean approximately twice the charging time of the current setup at 3V.
This cheap and cheerful LED matrix helmet was loosely based on the masks worn by Daft Punk in the music video for the track titled “Something About Us”.
A Johnson decoded decade counter (4017) was used to cycle through the columns of the matrix, while 2 shift registers allowed individual LEDs to be illuminated in the column determined by the counter. An Arduino Uno was used to control the counter and shift in the desired pixels to form an image. These images can be played in quick succession to create the illusion of motion.
I was browsing the internet when I discovered a 5mm LED that would automatically cycle through various colours and strobe when 5v was supplied. After watching Makezine’s ‘Make a Pocket LED Cube’ video with Bre Pettis, I thought would be cool idea to make a cube using these LEDs. That way, no expensive micro-controllers and programming equipment would be required.
The case was made from 3mm Acrylic fused together with Tensol plastic adhesive. A jig was used to hold the LEDs in place whilst the structure was soldered together. The device was powered through a USB cable using a USB power adapter.