Posts with «leds» label

There’s More To MIDI Than Music – How About A Light Show?

MIDI instruments and controllers are fun devices if you want to combine your interest in music and electronics in a single project. Breaking music down into standardized, digital signals can technically turn anything with a button or a sensor into a musical instrument or effect pedal. On the other hand, the receiving end of the MIDI signal is mostly overlooked.

[FuseBerry], a music connoisseur with a background in electronics and computer science, always wanted to build a custom MIDI device, but instead of an instrument, he ended up with a MIDI controlled light show in the shape of an exploded truncated icosahedron ([FuseBerry]’s effort to look up that name shouldn’t go unnoticed). He designed and 3D-printed all the individual geometric shapes, and painstakingly equipped them with LEDs from a WS2818B strip. An Arduino Uno controls those LEDS, and receives the MIDI signals through a regular 5-pin DIN MIDI connector that is attached to the Arduino’s UART interface.

The LEDs are mapped to pre-defined MIDI notes, so whenever one of them is played, and their NoteOn message is received, the LEDs light up accordingly. [FuseBerry] uses his go-to DAW to create the light patterns, but any software / device that can send MIDI messages should do the trick. In the project’s current state, the light pattern needs to be created manually, but with some adjustments to the Arduino code, that could be more automated, something along the lines of this MIDI controlled Christmas light show.

An LED Effect for Every Occasion

Quality software development examples can be hard to come by. Sure, it’s easy to pop over to Google and find a <code> block with all the right keywords, but having everything correctly explained can be hit or miss. And the more niche the subject, the thinner the forum posts get. Bucking the downward trend [HansLuijten] provides an astoundingly thorough set of LED strip patterns in his comprehensive post titled Arduino LED strip effects.

Don’t let the unassuming title lead you astray from the content, because what’s on offer goes beyond your average beginner tutorial on how to setup a strand of NeoPixels. [HansLuijten] is thorough to a fault; providing examples for everything from simple single color fades and classic Cylon eyes to effects that look like meteors falling from the sky. Seriously! Check out the video after the break. Those chasing lights you see around theater signs? Check. Color twinkle and sparkle? Check. Color wipes and rainbow fades? Check, and check.

At this point, an average forum post would be a jumbled mess of source which only works on an authentic Arduino Duemilanove running at 3.3v sitting on top of the 2nd printing of the author’s favorite issue of Make. But not here! These samples work with Adafruit’s easy to use NeoPixel library as well as FastLED, the quickest pixel in the West. On top of that the examples are clear and concise and explanation is plentiful. But the best part is definitely that each effect has a video clearly showing what it looks like.

If only everything were this easy to use, the open source revolution would already be here.

An Arduino-powered backlit Clemson Tiger Paw

Most people support their school or favorite sports team by buying a shirt or tuning into games. Jacob Thompson, however, took things one step further and created his own Arduino-powered, backlit Clemson Tiger Paw.

Thompson’s “WallPaw,” as he calls it, uses an Arduino Uno to receive signals from an infrared remote and to pick up sounds with a small microphone. This information is passed on to an Arduino Mega, which controls a five-meter-long strip of WS2812 LEDs to provide lighting effects.

He notes that it would be possible to use only one Arduino board for everything, but patterned his code after this tutorial that included two. The paw itself is cut out of wood and clear acrylic, allowing the lights underneath to shine through nicely.

You can see the build in action below and find more details on Thompson’s website here.

Hack Your Car into the Future with an LED Heads-Up Display

This LED heads-up display is a simple modification for your car, but it makes your car look very futuristic.

Read more on MAKE

The post Hack Your Car into the Future with an LED Heads-Up Display appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Hack Your Car into the Future with an LED Heads-Up Display

This LED heads-up display is a simple modification for your car, but it makes your car look very futuristic.

Read more on MAKE

The post Hack Your Car into the Future with an LED Heads-Up Display appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

An interactive LED floor to get the dance party started

If you want a light-up dance floor for your next wedding or other special event, you can rent one; however, that can be quite expensive. On the other hand, you and your hacker friends can always build one. How hard can that be?

Turns out, very hard. While it may be simple to get one translucent panel to illuminate with LEDs, this 17-square-foot interactive dance floor used 64 panels with four lighting cells in each, for a total of 256 lighting arrays and 7,680 RGBs arranged as 2,560 addressable pixels.

Even with some advanced tools like a pick-and-place machine for PCB manufacturing, as well as a laser cutter, it still took volunteers many hours over the course of 11 months to get it working. LED control is accomplished via a Teensy 3.1, while 256 pressure switches under the surface are read by an Arduino Mega.

You can see more details of the impressive project in the video below (including a round of multi-player Dance Dance Revolution) and a few more technical details in AvBrand’s write-up here.

A cool infinity mirror-style bottle opener

In his quest to create “the coolest wall-mounted bottle opener in the entire world,” it would appear that YouTuber “Never Stop Seeking” has succeeded.

As seen below, the infinity mirror-style unit is made of plexiglass and two-way mirror film, and equipped with Arduino Uno-controlled RGB LED strips that are activated by a proximity sensor as you open a beer or soda. He even included a magnetic catch for his bottle caps!

Want to build one of your own? Good news, Never Stop Seeking plans on sharing more details along with a how-to video in the coming days.

Need desk lighting? How about 1,200+ LEDs?

After he’d just finished a project using RGB LEDs, Imgur user nolobot’s brother mentioned he needed a new computer desk. Most people would probably just let their brother buy one, others would make something out of wood, but nolobot instead decided to create something truly amazing using more than 1,200 WS2812 RGB LED modules, an Arduino Mega, aluminum extrusion, and translucent polycarbonate.

The Mega controls these LEDs with the FastLED library, which are sandwiched between a base piece of plywood and a strip of polycarbonate using custom spacers. This diffuses the light nicely, allowing for beautiful light animations directly on the desk’s surface.

You can find more on this awesome build on the project’s Imgur page!

Dot² isn’t your typical coffee table

Coffee tables are useful for putting coffee, food, or perhaps way too much junk on, but it’s 2017—we can do better than that! Akshay Baweja certainly has at least with Dot², an interactive piece of furniture that can run animations, display lighting effects, and play old-school games.

The Arduino Mega-based table features a matrix of 296 LEDs that shine up through sections of diffused acrylic, and uses a grid of foam board strips to keep each light in a square. Dot² can be controlled either by a PC running GLEDIATOR software, or via a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection and its own custom app.

The outside doesn’t look too shabby either. With an interesting wood pattern on the side, even when off it seems like there could be something more lurking just below the table’s glass!

Want to build one of your own? Head over to this incredible project’s Instructables page to get started. And, if you’d like to know more about how it’s controlled, check out Baweja’s app here or GLEDIATOR’s site for the computer software he used.

Interactive geodesic LED dome = extreme geometric fun!

We’ve all seen geodesic domes in one form or another, whether as a modern experiment, as housing from a bygone era, or perhaps as a gigantic structure in Orlando (technically a geodesic sphere). Jon Bumstead apparently wasn’t satisfied with current dome options, and instead created his own, integrating elements from programmable LED tables to make it interactive.

The resulting build is quite spectacular. Each triangular section able to be lit up with an RGB LED, and further information is output to five MIDI signals in order to produce sound. This means that up to five people can play the dome as an instrument simultaneously. If that wasn’t enough, the Arduino Uno-based dome is programmed to play a version of Simon or Pong, and can be set up to display a light show!

I constructed a geodesic dome consisting of 120 triangles with an LED and sensor at each triangle. Each LED can be addressed individually and each sensor is tuned specifically for a single triangle. The dome is programmed with an Arduino to light up and produce a MIDI signal depending on which triangle you place your hand.

Pretty cool, right? Head over to the project’s Instructables page to see more, or if you’d like information on constructing the dome itself, check out Domerama.