Archive for the ‘Pixels’ Category

We’re getting there

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I’ve made quite a bit of progress that last few nights. I did get the remaining 72 cords stripped. When I counted them I thought I got shorted 2 cords, but apparently I can’t add. That may have been the worst part of this project thus far… stripping those cords. I got 24 cords attached to an enclosure, but the wires haven’t been organized yet.

The .25″ spacers came in today (Mouser Part #561-K8.25), so tonight I got the boards semi-mounted in the heat sinks. I’ve still got all of the screws to put in the triacs, but I’m waiting until I have a chance to test the boards one last time in case I have to take it off the heat sink again. I fully tested one board tonight with DMX firmware. Here’s Phil’s notes on what needs modified to run the DMX firmware. The key thing for me was that the first PIC gets the desired start address for the board, and the remaining PICs get a start address of 1. Once again the DMX firmware hasn’t let me down, but I haven’t really done anything major with it yet, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. As you can see from the pics, the nylon spacers aren’t all that different from the poly tubing ones I was going to make, except they are exactly .25″ and they are exactly straight. Considering they were only .06, I think it was money well spent so that I don’t have the get the length of the tubing just right, and worry about it getting cut off straight.

I’ve been trying to figure out where I’m going to mount the Ren2DMX adapter boards (assuming I actually get them), I’m leaning towards double stick tape on the door of the enclosure, but we’ll see if I get them, and what they look like if I do. Next on the list, get the other three boards tested, finish mounting them in the heat sinks, and get the wires in the remaining two enclosures. Then I’ll have to get pipe mounts attached and glued in before I can start wiring the boards to the plugs. Still plenty to do and I haven’t even begun to think about sequencing yet… How many days are left???

Giveth thy Pixels… Taketh thy Pixels

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I sat down last night to try an finalize a BOM for the Pixel boards that I just received. I (just last night) noticed that JEC had added a new spot for a pull-up resistor and a jumper so that the DIY Pixels could be run with the self programming firmware that allows their DMX addresses to be programmed from a Vixen sequence. I was trying to figure out where the resistor was connected to using my multimeter and just couldn’t get anything. I thought that was very odd. So I started probing around and many of the connections I thought should be there just weren’t. I started questing if my multimeter was functioning properly and if I was making a good connection with it.

I even started holding the board up to the light to try and find the traces. I’m fairly new to examining PCBs but it didn’t seem good that I couldn’t find traces that I thought should be there, one LED didn’t seem to have any traces going to it whatsoever. I pulled up a pic that JEC had on his website of the last rev of the board, and the backside clearly had traces on it, while my boards did not. I took some pics and sent an email to JEC. It wasn’t long before he responded back that my assumptions were correct, that all of the traces that go on the back of the board were left off. He said he would get in touch with the board house to see how long it would take to get new boards made up. So, no Pixels for me for a while.

In other Pixel news, however, I got in touch with a seller on eBay who sells LEDs, bestshop2008hk, and inquired about the cost of 200 each of the five colors of LEDs that I needed for the Pixels for a total of 1000. He quoted me ~$45 including shipping. That is an incredible price. He set up a new auction for me and I jumped right on those. I’m very excited about that buy, as I was expecting to spend around $70-$90 on the LEDs.


Sunday, March 29th, 2009

My pixel boards arrived yesterday! I’m very excited about these babies. I can make them any color I want through DMX, plus at 3 5 channels a piece times 30 pixels, my channel count goes up quite a bit :). I also got a few of the power injector boards to make the cabling a bit easier.

Not too much other news on the Blinky Flashy front. My whole family has been sick the last week and a half, and it appears I am getting it too, so I haven’t spent as much quality time with the blinky flashy as I might have hoped. As far as the pixels go, I still have to get parts to populate them, but I can’t do that until I sell a bit more on eBay. I’m determined to not spend much more “out of pocket” money on Blinky Flashy, any further funds will have to come from selling stuff on eBay or something like that.

I started working on a Vixen plugin to control my BetaBrite sign that I dug out of the closet a few weeks ago. I’m hoping to document the process as I go, because there isn’t much info out there about developing plugins, and it is something I can hopefully give back to the community.