Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Had some time to do wiring last night on the blade... it went really well!  You must have a tool that can strip 20 AWG or smaller (mine does 22 AWG) but not the adjustable kind - needs to be the kind that has notches for all different sizes unless you strip wires all day for a living!

The soldering only took about 15 minutes so I imagine total soldering time to be about an hour but sizing and stripping the wire is time-consuming.  I am going to try stripping the whole thing next time and then inserting heat shrink tubes between the LED leads and see if that is faster (basically replacing the insulation with my own).

The E-6000 adhesive works really well holding the flat-top LED to the inner rim of the blade (cast in PET, not the original).

I thought I had screwed up the layout at first by doing AK KA AK KA because the rim wire needs to connect the A then the K then the A then the K it might have been better to do AK AK AK AK because then the inner two leads (K A) could be tied together.  Six of one, one half dozen of the other I suppose.


  1. If you're planning on being able to individually address all 30 LEDs, you're going to want to use smaller wire otherwise it will be a mess. Trust me on this as I already did the wiring to individually address each LED using 22 AWG wire and it was too much to fit inside the disc with the rest of the electronics. I had a lot better results using 26 AWG wire. That was what was in the video I linked in the post you commented in on my blog.

  2. Hey Thor post a link to your blog... I only have your album linked on here. So you are doing 5 in parallel and individually addressing 6 sets of 5? We are addressing each individually with only 10 wires but only one LED can be illuminated at a time. However, since we loop through them at 14MHz your eye can't see it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_of_vision

  3. Here's a link directly to the start of the guide I'm throwing up for it:

    Can you just link to me as "Thor" on the right, thanks.

    Ah, yet another way of doing it. Mine uses a LED driver along with a Netduino Mini to address all the LEDs. The driver can control up to 64, so the current mod is well within that limit. There is no overbearing voltage requirement for it as you have mentioned in the past (been reading your blog since you posted on mine today). But then again, there is a limit on the speed of the animations with my system. I have plans to raise the number of LEDs up to 46 with the addition of the inner ring, and possibly more for the outer ring (take it to 5 groups of 8 instead of 6). The problem that raises is the animations that the Harford Hackerspace guys (the maker's of the original mod I based my off of) did were based on a tricky set of programming they did on a generator to get the animation sequences. I'd have to rewrite that or figure out the animations myself to make them useful.

  4. I fixed the link and the display name.

    Any plans to make a kit available now that you have the BOM figured out?

    I really wish I could have done the code in C# but we are at $20 for the Arduino Nano with no driver needed (compared to $43 for the Netduino Mini and the driver). I didn't do anything too fancy - just the startup sequence and the blade activation and rotation.

  5. Thanks for the correction and linking to my blog.

    Nah, I'm not planning to commercialize it at all. Just throwing up a guide to fill in the details that were left out in the original guide. I'm just doing this for my own amusement. I'm not even making this for a costume or anything. It's just something fun to tinker with for me.

    When I first saw the mod I didn't look into it a great deal, then I saw another page about it with a bit more detail and when I read the Netduino was based on the .Net framework (which I already program in) and C# (messed with it a few times and have been looking for an excuse to code in it) I decided to try it myself.

    If you can only address one LED at a time that'll definitely limit what animations you can do, but then again, the one animation everyone wants on their disc is the one from the movie, which isn't that complex.

    I can understand why you went the cheaper route since you are doing the kits and the "build it for them" service. I just have no desire to do that.

  6. Whoops...posted with the wrong browser...yeah "Thunder" is me as well.

  7. Yeah, I love doing this kind of stuff too - easier to justify to the Mrs. if I can earn a little money back in the process...

    Now don't get me wrong... using my trick you can still turn off an individual LED in the RAM and he will get skipped the next time his interrupt fires.

  8. Yeah so far I have no Mrs. to justify my spending...just what I can afford on my budget, which isn't a lot.