Sunday, April 24, 2011

I messed up

So I drove two and a half hours to see my family for Easter. We had a great get together, and I also spent some time with Sebastian's family. We all ate food, and had a good time playing games and stuff. But when I went out to my car to get my kit with all of the LEDs that I prepared just a few days ago, it seems that I forgot to pack it in my car. So I have the project board prototype, and that is about it. I think that I am going to get it all ready however (sanding down the necessary parts to make it all level) so the next step is easier.  The good news is that I should be posting a quick video of what the pattern v1.0 should look like either Tuesday or Thursday, so look forward to that. I may also make a quick little something in the meantime. So even though there isn't much in the way of real content today, there is stuff to come!

Oh, and this is the board that I ordered that is still in the mail :/ damn US postal service...
so pretty (: blue was a good choice for a board

Until next time...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Diffused LEDs

So I decided to go ahead an diffuse the LEDs that I got in the mail. I would like to let everyone know that it takes a long time to pour the hot glue on top of the LED, then let it cool enough, and at the last second sort of mold it with your fingers to make it nice and round. I must have spend at least two and a half hours doing so... Next time I am definatly getting diffused LEDs instead of trying to do it myself.

Two LEDs with the same source to show that they are both the same brightness (not the color of the finished product, but they help give an idea of how diffusing works)

The LED on the right was 'diffused' with hot glue. Much more of the light is now coming out of the sides as opposed to off the top
Five of the first LEDs
24 of the 25 LEDs diffused. One of the LEDs had a bad connection, so it wouldn't light up. 

After all of the diffusing, I decided to work on the frame a little bit. I was hoping to get farther, but I had to get ready for work, so I just stopped here for today. 

W00t, a frame!
It is starting to look good. All it needs are some LEDs
So the project is starting to take shape. All I need to do is get a replacement LED (because like an idiot, I bought exactly 25) and trim down the tops of the inner walls of the housing. You can't really see it in the picture, but when I put in the backing, it ending up raising the inner walls about 1/8 of an inch. Good news is that my dad bought me a Dremel, but it is in the mail. So again, we are going to have to wait.

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No post today d:

So there is no post today. I ended up taking two 3.5 hour finals today... I guess that is what happens when you wait to the last posible moment to take a final though. The good news is that I am on spring break now, and should have a little bit of time to work on stuff, be it the blog (getting rid of the awful stock template) or building my prototype board.

As for the prototype board, I would like to let everyone know that I got the LEDs in the mail, so those guys will be going up soon. I did get blue. They look awesome. Even though I got my LEDs, I still do not have the ardrino board, so the majority of the work is still a ways a way.
So pretty d:

I still need to diffract the light (sanding) so that way the board does not show any hotspots (brighter center points)

I have come up with some more projects that I want to do. All of which are going to be cool. The only challenge is that I am trying to save up some money so I can get an apartment with my best friend Sebastian, my cousin Alex, and his girlfriend Twelve. Because I don't have unlimited money, I might not be able to keep doing new projects at the pace other bloggers might be able to. Of course, if you like my stuff, make sure to share it on facebook, or whatever.

Boring stuff aside, here are some of the things you all can look forward to me making (in no particular order):
- bitchin' fountain
- bitchin' desk lamp
- bitchin' spirograph
Basically I have a lot of bitchin' stuff to come. It is just a matter of time/money (:

Until next time...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scrap Attack 1

Since I am still out of town, so I don't have access to any of the materials for my Daft Punk project, I decided to make something else. This is a segment that I hope that I will be able to do every now and again. Basically the idea is that I make a project out of stuff I already have laying around the house. The only downfall is that I normally don't buy to much excess when trying to build things, so it will be a bit more of a challenge finding extra parts from previous projects. I saw this really cool DIY personal air filter on, so I thought that I would try to make one. The following is my step by step process (sort of... at one point I forgot to keep taking pictures, so there is a chunk of time where there are no records, but I think that the concept still comes across nicely).

The list of materials that I used for the project in no particular order:
-Half a board of plexiglass (fairly small in size. I don't recall the dimensions)
-2, 4-inch computer fans
-8 included fan screws
-1, 47 ohm resistor
-5, red LEDs (standard)
-Hot glue
-About a sheet and a half of air filter
-Electrical tape
-1 zip-tie (to keep the door shut)
-Old cellphone charger (power source)

Also, here are the list of tools I used:
-Screw driver
-Hot glue gun
-Wire stripper
-Needle nose pliers
-Box Knife
-Dry erase marker
-Ball point pen
-Electrical tape

Just to give fair warning, all of the photos were taking in really bad lighting conditions, and with my cell phone. I was too lazy to seek out a good light source d: Without any further ado... the pictures...

The Plexiglas that will be cut down to mount the fans/serve as a window

Drawing out the pattern of the vents that are to be cut out

The cut out cardboard that will be used as a vent

Since I didn't have an empty cardboard box laying around the house, I decided to make one from a larger box.  I was able to do so by cutting, then hot glueing the flaps of the box to the already cut out vents.

I dremeled out the area of the plexiglas where the fan blades would have to operate, then mounted them via fan screws

Action shot of glueing the sides to the back 

I made a hinge like door, cut out a square of cardboard, and then superglued the plexiglas to the cardboard. I also laid some air filter around the sides to help pad the entire thing down.

The finished project of my air filter 1.0. 

The back of the air filter

What all of the goodies look like on the inside. Personal motto, 'LEDs make anything instantly cooler'
All in all, I think that the project was a success. There are a few thing that I would have like to have done differently. The part that actually took the longest was constructing the box from scratch. So next time, I would have like to have found an old shoe box or something to build the entire thing in. I also have a on/off rocker switch or two, but it was about 4 in the morning, and I had been up for something like 30 hours at that point, so I was ready to call it a night. The cool thing about this, it that we actually built three. I helped my best friend Sebastian (click to check out his bog) as well as my cousin Alex (blog-less). I don't have any pictures of their's but if everyone asks really nicely, I might be able to get a few of the finished products. Below is a video of the fan in action.

As always I would like it if you all would leave comments on how you think I can better my blog/earn your respect enough to have you follow, facebook, twitter, digg or whatever. If feedback just isn't your thing, or you have a phobia of typing, then don't. It is ultimately up to you (:

Until next time...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Out of Town!

So I am going to be out of town for the next week, I will have internet access as well as my computer. However, since my stuff from Amazon have still not come in yet, I will not be able to work on the project too much. I do hope to make a preview video of what some of the designs might look like. So you all have that to look forward to. As for actual completion of the project, it seems like it is going to be at least a week before I will be able to work on it any more.

All in all, shipping sucks...

I do love the input I am getting from the community, and because I am not going to be able to work on the primary project, is there anything you all might want to see in the meantime? Be creative (:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quick Update

Since I am still waiting for my stuff to come in from Amazon, I really don't have too much to post about my project. I was however trying to think of how I can better my blog, so I made a simple poll. I would like to invite you all to leave your vote, or comment here in regards to that.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blogger Colab

So I have been thinking a lot about some of the patterns that I want to have the LED's display on my board, and I was thinking, 'hey, why not get some input from the blogging community as well'. So over the next few days, I will be accepting 'applications' for light designs. If you are even so inclined, you can make a string of designs so they become an animation. Of the designs that get submitted, I will pick the ones that I think are interesting, or cool, and put them into the final project. Below is a template that I made so designs will look a little more uniform. The black square represents the LED. If you would like to have it be the other way, just say so in your particular post.
A simple template. Black square represents an on LED. Copy and past to create patterns. 

If you are having difficulty with coming up with a design, here are some ideas that other people have Incorporated into their devises. 
Daft Punk Coffee Table
There are also lots of other like videos posted up on YouTube as well as all over the web. The designs are to be submitted no later than April 17th 2011, as that is the last day I will be taking consideration. Expect a post about what the light scheme 1.0 will be around the 20th or so. Email all designs to

Until next time...