expressing time with LEDs

first project for second semester major studio: computation class. this is the first iteration, and uses blink intervals, sequencing, and color to express the passage of time. 12 LEDs and an Arduino.

the idea is the blue LED represents seconds (i realize here, it is much faster, around 500ms intervals), and every 5 seconds, a new marker lights up, until are are lit. then a complete blink sequence begins, with the interval getting smaller and smaller. then repeat.


soldering workshop

This weekend, Joel Murphy, my physical computing teacher, held a soldering workshop at the 10 floor DT lab at school.  We built 555 timer circuits, able to control up to 220volt anythings (lights, motors, etc.)



Pin three on the right side is the important part – it is raising and then sinking a voltage at an adjustable rate, which is what operates as the switch.  Two power relays (which can handle up to 220volts) are then attached to the PNP/NPN section, which is what you connect any apparatus to (robot arms, vacuum cleaners etc).

We started by building the circuit on a breadboard, which was met with instant success, everyone had theirs working within the first hour of the workshop.  Then the real work came when we had to design and furbish our own PCB boards for permanent implementation of the circuit.

This got extremely tedious, and real frustrating.  Nick and I left after working on it for 5 hours, our circuits not functioning at all.

Somehow, I perservered, and returned on sunday (yeah, sunday) and fixed my circuit!  Nick is jealz0r.

top of finished PCB
top of finished PCB
bottom of PCB board - thats all solder and stripped wire
slop solder city. bottom of PCB board
Nick; before reaching the point of utter frustration and humility
Nick; before reaching the point of utter frustration and humility
nick, joel, claudio, and dan from the left
nick, joel, claudio, and dan from the left

In this vid, you can see the soldered mess I made on the underside of the PCB board, and all of the components on top. So, so, so sloppy, Joel doesn’t have any faith in my completing any of the ridiculous projects I have proposed for the rest of the semester and beyond. It’s ok, I’ll show him.


Only thing left is to include the on/off switch in the project box enclosure, as well as terminals for the power relays to connect to the robot eyes / traffic lights i’m going to control with this beast.