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## Decagon Light (Part III)

It’s been a while since Decagon Light (Part II), but we’re here with Part III! Thanks to Jason we (mainly he) finally got around to do the CNC work for this monstrosity. Becky then wired it up while I worked on the programming. (Thanks, Brinn Labs!)

Below is the small prototype again…

A post shared by Pete Prodoehl (@raster) on

Besides adding some new patterns, I modified the code so you can use any consecutive pins. For the LEDs I use pins 1 through 10, but for the lamps we’re using 2 through 11. (Don’t ask why.) I also added an logic flipper, because LEDs and relays work opposite, HIGH is LOW and LOW is HIGH, depending on which you are using, so yeah, a lot of the code writing was just to deal with the differences between two version of this thing. Anyway, I squashed the last bug today, so it’s all good. (I think.)

And here’s a short video of it in operation. There’s still work to do, but we’ve made great progress in the last two weeks. (And yeah, I really wanted it done before Maker Faire, but didn’t quite hit that deadline.)

You’ll notice the design of the lines changed a bit. It’s still a decagon (a 10-sided polygon) but it’s no longer a 9-simplex. It’s almost a 5-orthoplex, but not quite. If you can figure out exactly what it is, let me know.

Categories

## Decagon Light (Part II)

When we last saw the Decagon Light the scale model wasn’t functional… Well, it is now functional!

I spent a bit of time at Kenilworth Open Studios getting things wired up and writing some code. I wrote a bunch of functions to run different patterns. Each function can be called with two parameters, the delay (which specifies how long the light is on) and the number of loops the pattern should run. Right now there are just four functions, but they can be called differently, and put into iterative loops. (I’m sure I’ll write more as this project progresses.)

For this test I’ve got the DecaLight powered by a Teensy with one of my Teensy BOBs. There’s also a USB battery pack from Brown Dog Gadgets supplying portable power. The final version will probably use the Teensy but use an AC adapter for power.

I reused a bunch of JST connectors that were chopped off some other wires to plug the LEDs into. There’s also plenty of pieces of wire and heat shrink holding it all together. At some point maybe I’ll build this into a much nicer looking unit.

The combo of an OSH Park purple board with the SparkFun Pink Teensy 3.1 (Anouk Edition) makes this one of the most colorful PCB project I’ve worked on yet.

Here’s a quick video of the light in operation.

Categories

## Decagon Light

One of the projects I’m working on for Maker Faire Milwaukee is something I call the “DecaLight” which will (hopefully) consists of a decagon-shaped structure with ten light bulbs that are controlled by a set of relays and can turn on and off in pre-programmed sequences. For those unfamiliar with the Decagon, it’s a 10-sided polygon (sometimes called a “10-gon”) and this specific model is a 9-simplex.

While I started with building a quick and dirty prototype I also decided to build a scale mode. I used the laser cutter at Brown Dog Gadgets to etch and cut a piece of 3mm Baltic Birch plywood.

While the full-sized version will use light bulbs, the scale model will use 10mm LEDs. I just drilled holes for the LED leads since I never got around to adding holes to the laser cutting file.

Sometimes printmaking techniques come in useful when not making prints. I spray painted the wood and after it dried I rolled on some black ink to make a pure black and white version. For the full size version I’ll be using a CNC router to cut grooves (pockets) and then paint those white while the top surface will be black.

Here’s the bigger prototype I worked on, which just has a piece of plywood with lamp sockets attached. I got the sockets for cheap from ebay, but they’re terrible.

I later spotted some nice ceramic (rather than plastic) lamp sockets at Menards that were just a bit more than the crappy plastic ones, so I’ll probably switch to those.

Hopefully I can get the prototype working in the next week or so. I’ve still got plenty of time to complete the full-scale version, but even with 174 days until Maker Faire Milwaukee, that time will go fast!

A video posted by Pete Prodoehl (@raster) on