2019-06-21 (F) Weekly Summary

I appreciate it when folks give a message about using easy-to-find hardware in their projects so others can copy their work. This tenet has shaped a lot of my projects and stopped me from buying a lot of used hardware. The creator found an old fetal heartbeat detector at a flea market, and the sound output is a waveform that he manipulated with analog circuitry to make a rudimentary synthesizer.

Making my own kombucha was successful, and I harvested a couple of gallons of vinegary tea. This made me happy, and I have enjoyed drinking it. On the other hand, the scoby I collected and dried was too thin, which is a lesson for next time but still disappointing.
Filtering kombucha

I started a new project with my sights set on an upcoming hackathon. I hope to build a low-resolution cylindrical display for playing a game. I plan to begin with simple builds and add complexities until I have a working design.
  • The first iteration is a flat display.
    • Determine projection screen distance
    • Prove controls
    • Easy to explain in a demo
  • The second iteration is a cylinder with three strips in a ring.
    • Build a rotation mechanism
    • Show continuous rotation gameplay
    • Understand hardware
  • The third iteration is the final build with a triple helix of LED strips.
    • Heaviest
    • Portable
    • Batteries

First two builds of PillarGame

The first step was figuring out how the display would look. Shining LEDs directly into a player's eyes was a bad idea, so I wanted to dissipate the light with a layer of paper. I had some focusing lenses, and I wanted to see how they compared so I built a stage with two layers of plastic that could vary their distance from one another.
Lenses on LED strips

The stage was productive for testing, but the color bleed of adjacent LEDs was hard to photograph. Fortunately, it was not as bad as I feared, and the lenses may not be necessary.
Pseudo-random color selection

Controls for the game needed to be simple because, at a hackathon, it is crucial for a lot of people to play for a short time and explaining the gameplay for too long would waste time when folks could be playing. Arcade controls were my first choice and because I have lots of them on my shelf.
Simple controller

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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