Art and Technology are Friends

The Art

Collider 60


 
Collider 60 is a very simple device – 60 LEDs on a square board, a knob in the middle. Lights run in a circle and the speed is adjustable by turning the knob.
Connect two or more Colliders and see the magic happen. When the lights run and hit the same spot at the same time, they “collide” as though they are running bullets, making clicking sound and change direction. By adjusting the rotation speed of each unit, the “collision” happens at a different interval.

The real fun starts with three or more units connected together. The results are no longer predictable.

Collider reminds us how all complex things in nature is comprised of simple roles. When you have enough number of “simple” things reacting together, you get unpredictable and interesting results.


A12 – Wearable LED Gadget with Full-Color LEDs

A12 Twinkle




New addition to my wearable LED accessories is A12. A12 is the same size as R48, uses the same microcontroller and battery, but with 12 full-color LEDs. A12 produces patterns similar to Aurora mini 18, but lighter and has a built-in battery holder in the back.

A12 comes with a non-rechargeable battery (CR2450) and a black cord (lanyard) to hang around the neck. The battery lasts for about 5 hours or more in continuous run.

There are also rechargeable battery (LIR2450) and the charger available. With those, you won’t need to keep buying batteries.
The charger is very compact and plugs right into an USB port.

Features/Notes:

  • 12 full-color LEDs produce beautiful colors.
  • A12 is available fully assembled or soldering kit.
  • Comes with a non-rechargeable battery (CR2450, easily replaceable).
  • Battery will typically last about 5 hours continuously.
  • Also comes with black cord (lanyard) to hang around your neck.
  • 10 beautiful animation patterns preprogrammed.
  • “Demo” mode automatically runs though all animation patterns – changes every minute. (Activated by holding the button at the startup.)
  • Rechargeable battery (LIR2450) is also available as an option. This recommended option lights the LEDs brighter, as it has higher voltage.
  • The charger for the above is also available.
  • Dimension: 1.9 inch diameter, 0.4 inch thick (including the battery)

Technical Details:

  • 12 common-anode RGB LEDs.
  • PIC24F08KL301 16 bit microcontroller @ 32 MHz.
  • Each LED is PWM controlled in 128 gamma-corrected levels.

- more technical info here.

In-stock and shipping now!


Installation at Ingenuity Cleveland

rainfall01

Just came back from Ingenuity Cleveland art festival. I installed a piece titled Rainfall.

Rainfall consists of 24 vertical lines of LEDs on a wall 16 feet wide and 8 feet tall. Each line is made up of 10 modules with a microcontroller and 48 LEDs, so the total of 240 microcontrollers (plus a hidden main controller) and 11,520 LEDs are used.

Wiring up all of those modules were a pain, but I got through it.

The installation was a success. People were stopping and gazing at the piece, then taking pictures and video.

After the festival was over, the installation was moved to Cleveland Public Library, where it will be on display for 3 months.

I had a great time in Cleveland. Thank you so much everyone!


New R48 Video Clip

Finally, a short but sweet video clip of R48 blue. I hope you enjoy…

> R48 blue and accessories


R48 and Li-Ion Charger

R48 comes with a non-rechargeable battery (CR2450) and a black cord (lanyard) to hang around the neck. The battery lasts for about 7-8 hours in continuous run.

There are also rechargeable battery (LIR2450) and the charger available. With those, you won’t need to keep buying batteries.
The charger is very compact and plugs right into an USB port.


White LEDs look yellow when they are not lit. Other colors (red, green, and blue) look like the photo above.

Features/Notes:

  • Available with 4 different color LEDs: Red, Green, Blue, and White.
  • Each R48 is fully assembled, and comes with a non-rechargeable battery (CR2450, easily replaceable).
  • Battery will typically last about 7-8 hours continuously.
  • Also comes with black cord (lanyard) to hang R48 around your neck.
  • 25 beautiful animation patterns preprogrammed.
  • “Demo” mode automatically runs though all animation patterns – changes every minute. (Activated by holding the button at the startup.)
  • Rechargeable battery (LIR2450) is also available as an option. This recommended option lights the LEDs brighter, as it has higher voltage.
  • The charger for the above is also available.
  • Dimension: 1.9 inch diameter, 0.4 inch thick (including the battery)

In-stock and shipping now!


R48 – an Wearable LED Gadget Pre-order Starts

Here’s the sneak peak at the upcoming wearable piece – R48. (I promise that better video will come soon.) Four different LED colors (Red, Green Blue, and White) are planned, but the first color available would be blue.

The item will be in stock in the 3nd week of July, and the price will be $49. Pre-order starts now at $45 a piece.

Also available are optional rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and the charger. The charger is very compact and plugs into an USB port. The photo below is showing the prototype. The final version will look better in black. (Will post the photo as soon as available.)

Features/Notes:

  • Each R48 will be fully assembled, and comes with a non-rechargeable battery (CR2450, easily replaceable).
  • Battery will typically last about 5 hours continuously.
  • Also comes with a black cord to wear R48 as a neckless.
  • 25 beautiful animation patterns preprogrammed.
  • “Demo” mode automatically runs though all animation patterns – changes every minute. (Activated by holding the button at the start up.)
  • Rechargeable type battery (LIR2450) is also available as an option. This recommended option lights the LED brighter, as it has higher voltage.
  • The charger for the above is also available.
  • Dimension: 1.9 inch diameter, 0.4 inch thick (including the battery)

R48 is now shipping – pre-order is ended.


New Items Debut Tomorrow @ Maker Faire

A few new items are debuting at the Maker Faire Bay Area tomorrow.





Didn’t have time to take video to show you what they do, but I will post more info after the Maker Faire.


Color Organ Triple Deluxe II

Just finished this project, and published the instructables.

More info here


Aurora 12 bar – All Through-Hole, All New



Aurora 12 bar is a simple, straight line RGB LED sequencer/chaser. Aurora 12 bar’s hardware is almost identical to Aurora mini 18. In fact only difference are (besides their shapes) the number of LEDs and the microcontroller that they use. Oh, and Aurora 12 bar doesn’t use a single SMT (surface mount technology) part!

In addition to all the animations that other Aurora’s can do, Aurora 12 bar also has the analog input ready. By hooking up to Audio Interface, you can turn Aurora 12 bar into a full-color sound/VU meter!

- Aurora 12 bar Schematics

Video and Instructables are in the works, however the kits and PCBs are ready to go.

- Purchase here.


Aurora 9×18 and 18×18 Firmware Update

I discovered a bug that prevents start up at the power on. The condition is relatively rare, but if your Aurora 9×18 mk2 or Aurora 18×18 is suffering from occasional lookup at the power up, please reprogram the PIC with the updated firmware.

This firmware (version 1.4) is also revised to keep the speed change setting in the EEPROM (note: speed adjustment is only possible via IR remote), so that your set speed will be restored after power off/on.

Please let me know if there are any issues with this updated version.

- Aurora 9xx18 mk2 firmware: aurora9x18mk2-1.4.hex

- Aurora 18×18 firmware: aurora18x18-rev2d-v1.4.hex


Aurora mini Clock by Steven Hibs


Check this out!

Steven Hibs created this beautiful Aurora Mini-Clock. Made with a Chrome Table Lamp, 126 commom cathode RGB LEDs, and seven segment displays. The circuit and the firmware is based on my Aurora mini 18.

The spherical chrome bowl complements the Aurora design very well. Great work!


Aurora 48 Kit

Aurora 48 is a compact and thin profile full LED sequencer. It’s built entirely with surface mount components, so the profile is nice and clean.

  • Capable of individually controlling 48 Full color LEDs.
  • Each LED can be faded in 7 bit per channel - 2,097,152 colors.
  • Gamma corrected brightness curve for very smooth fades.
  • Simple, one button control.
  • 11 sequence pattern (as of firmware version 1.0).
  • Compact – 2.68 inch (68 mm) in diameter.
  • Thin profile construction (0.137 inch (3.5 mm) thick).
  • No leads sticking out on the back. Ideal for wearable projects.
  • Firmware is easily upgradable via 5 pin ICSP connection.

Please review the instructables before purchase – assembly requires some skills. You will also need PIC programmer such as PICKit 3, ICD 2, ICD 3 (PICKit 2 doesn’t work with the PIC used). If you don’t have a programmer, you can purchase the PIC programmed with the latest firmware.

- Detailed technical information at instructables.com

- Aurora 48 Schematic-rev3a (PDF)

- Aurora 48 part placement (PDF) (revised Feb.18, 2013)

- Firmware ver.1.0 (aurora48smd-1.0.hex)

*** Purchase Here ***


Aurora 48 Sequence Video

Here is a video of Aurora 48 showing all of its preset sequence patterns. Watch it in full screen – it’s full 1080p HD.


Aurora 48 Preview



Here’s the new project that I’ve been working on.

Aurora 48 has 48 full-color/RGB LEDs, each individually controlled. Each and every 48 LEDs has 7 bit per channel = 2,097,152 possible colors. Like other Auroras brightness curve is gamma corrected so the fades are very smooth.

Using all SMT components, Aurora 48 is compact and low profile. 2.68 inch (68 mm) in diameter and only 0.137 inch (3.5 mm) thick.

Aurora 48 inherits most of its circuit from other Auroras before it. The controller is PIC24FV16KA304 (same as Aurora 18×18), however doubling the RGB bus by the help of a binary decoder chip (74HC238).

- Schematic-rev3a


Some Old Works of Mine


I was doing some clean up and found some old works from years ago…

(more…)


Wave JT – LED chaser with Joule Thief

Wave JT is a multi-function LED chaser/scanner/sequencer. Wave JT incorporates Joule Thief to power the LEDs, so it operates on just a single AA battery.
Wave JT has over 16 sequence patterns, and speed can be adjusted by double/triple tapping the button. It’s the most compact yet versatile LED chaser.

Sequence patterns include many variation of the classic “Larson Scanner” from “Knight Rider”, random sparks, fade in/out, flashing, etc.

Even though there is only one button switch on Wave JT, you can control many things with it.



> Purchase Wave JT kit or PCB


Aurora mini 18 Firmware Update

Aurora mini 18 now has three new animation patterns added. These new patterns are based on random numbers, instead of smooth transitions of original patterns. Now Aurora mini 18 has total of ten patterns for more fun.

- Download new firmware: Aurora18mini2-1.3.hex
- Purchase Aurora mini 18 -


Aurora 9×18 mk2 Final Preview

Here are some pictures of Aurora 9×18 mk2 final version. PCB diameter is 4.3 inches.

 


Aurora 18×18 + Audio Interface Video

Here’s a video showing how Aurora 18×18 works with the audio interface. I’m still tweaking the firmware to add more animation patterns, but it’s working quite well.

Aurora 9×18 mk2 will work the same way, except with only 9 channels of colors, so the range of animation is limited.

The audio interface hardware is still being finalized. I’m waiting for the final candidate PCB to be fabricated, so that I can make the final prototype. It’s only hardware/cosmetic that I’m working on now – the circuit itself is finalized and working well, as you can see from the video.

(Here’s the final version)


Aurora 18×18 Final Preview

Here are some pictures of the final version of Aurora 18×18. Production PCBs will be here in 2 weeks time, and I will start shipping the kits as soon as I have the PCBs.

Interested in building one? See here for the pre-order deal.


What! Aurora 18×18!


I know I just announced the Aurora 9×18 mk2 to be arriving soon. However I’ve also been working on this big brother to Aurora 9×18 – Aurora 18×18. I’ve finished the prototyping and finalized the design. The above is the composite image of the final design. (outside diameter is 7 inches)

I couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you.

Please note that those are prototypes in this video. Two of them are slightly different, and the final version will be very much like between the two (as far as the LED layout is concerned).

Like Aurora 9×18 mk2, Aurora 18×18 has infrared remote control receiver, so you can use any remote controllers that can control Sony TVs to control Aurora 18×18 – mode/pattern change, speed control, pause, and power on/off. (All universal remote controllers I know can control Sony TV)

Provision for the optional audio interface is also there. (Update: here’s the video and the pics.)

Here are the specs:

  • PIC24FV16KA304 microcontroller
  • GP1UX311QS or equivalent IR remote receiver
  • 324 x 5mm RGB LEDs (common-cathode)
  • 3 x MOS FETs
  • 18 x NPN BJTs (Transistors)
  • A push button switch
  • Requires DC 5V, 500mA power supply (1A capacity recommended. USB power is ok)
  • Board diameter is 7 inches

(More technical info is here.)

Now I need your help to bring Aurora 18×18 into self assemble kits like other Aurora’s. In order to do that I need a small capital to start the production of PCBs, etc. So I’m offering a “pre-order” deal to speed things along.

Please view the post here about the pre-order deal. Hope you can help.


Aurora 9×18 mk2 sneak preview

The “new & improved” version of Aurora 9×18 is almost ready to be released.

The overall dimension (4.3 inch diameter), LED layout, PWM capabilities are all exactly the same as the original. However the PIC microcontroller has been replaced with a newer one (PIC24FV16KA301), which simplifies the driver circuit a bit. The new version also has an IR (Infra-red) remote receiver, so you can control it via any universal (or Sony TV) remote controllers.

There is another, new function that adds new excitement to Aurora – audio interface. With an optional Audio Interface (will be available as a separate option), you can connect Aurora 9×18 mk2 to any audio sources. Aurora 9×18 mk2 will then give whole new dimension to your music listening experience.

Photos and video of the working prototype will be posted very soon…

The original Aurora 9x18


Now I need your help to bring Aurora 9×18 mk2 into self assemble kits like other Aurora’s. In order to do that I need a small capital to start the production of PCBs, etc. So I’m offering a “pre-order” deal to speed things along.

Please view the post here about the pre-order deal. Hope you can help.


Aurora mini 18



 
Aurora mini 18 is only 2 inches in diameter, yet controls 18 full-color (RGB) LEDs individually. The technology that enables this little thing is as amazing as the lights it produces.

Please review the instructables before purchase – assembly requires soldering skill. You will also need PIC programmer such as PICKit 3, ICD 2, ICD 3 (PICKit 2 doesn’t work with the PIC used). If you don’t have a programmer, you can purchase the PIC programmed with the latest firmware. (The PIC will be soldered to the PCB)

- Detailed technical information at instructables.com

- Aurora mini 18 part placement chart (PDF)

* Firmware update – download here *

*** Purchase Here ***


Aurora 9 bar

Since the introduction of Aurora 9×18, I received many requests for the kits and PCBs. I’m still quite undecided about making those available for a few reasons. However I really want other LED lovers (ok that sounds too much :) to be able to build one themselves.

So I came up with Aurora 9 bar. It’s a bare essential version of Aurora 9×18. In fact the circuit is almost exactly the same (with a lot less number of LEDs of course). Even the firmware is essentially the same. So it has the same super smooth color fades as Aurora 9×18.

You can now build Aurora 9 bar yourself! Details are at Instructables:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Aurora-9-bar-The-Essence-of-Aurora/