LED thingie

As mentioned last week, I found myself in the possession of a cardboard tube, and I already had 320 LEDs just waiting to be used for something. I’d had the idea of doing something cylinder-like in the back of my mind for several weeks now, and it was time to see if the idea would translate to reality. Unfortunately, my apartment is REALLY small, so the only tools I have room for are a cutter knife, a small screwdriver set, and the soldering iron. This means that whatever I make will always end up looking crude. Sigh.

Essentially, this is an 8×6 LED matrix, with one row of 6 LEDs wrapped around the piezoelectric speaker inserted at the end of the tube. Ultimately, I’ll make a cardboard case for holding the Japanino and battery pack as the blaster grip. The concept is an energy weapon that has a power-up sequence. The power-up has the bottom column of green LEDs on each side of the tube lighting, followed by the top column of green LEDs. When the yellow, then red LEDs in the middle columns are fully lit, all three columns turn off and the yellow LEDs wrapped around the speaker blink for a 10th of a second. If the trigger switch is released mid-way, the LEDs turn off in reverse order. The speaker emits a rising hum as the blaster “powers up” and a short chirp during the blast. A toggle switch on the side of the main tube allows for disabling the speaker. The speaker’s not that loud, but it can be annoying to everyone else in the apartment if I have it on during debug late at night.

The green LEDs aren’t bright, and almost can’t be seen in room light. But, they do look good in the dark. At the moment, one row of LEDs are apparently shorted somewhere and aren’t lighting up, so I need to fix that. But, I do have the power-up/down animations working, and a couple chaser patterns to run when the thing’s been idle for 20 seconds as kind of a “screensaver”. I may add one or two more patterns at some point. And when it has been fully debugged I’ll tape it up so it looks a bit better. In any case, this is what I’ve got so far.

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