While starting my prototyping, I have focused mainly on the electronics and control side, since I have not worked with arduino much before. Using a kit that I have along with some parts from a friend, I was able to build a setup with an arduino uno, a sound sensor module, and a custom amplifier and filter circuit. With this I practiced programming with arduino, and was able to create a proof-of-concept for lights reacting to audio and ambient noise. Below is a short video clip of a single LED responding to volume levels from a song being played. This is from before I experimented with frequency band filtering.
I learned that the amplifier may not be necessary. The microphone module outputs with enough resolution that it can be directly digitally scaled to the LED’s range of brightness. I am making use of some moving average code developed by a friend for our Battle of the Rockets competition to dynamically adjust to overall volume. Some other details I learned:
- Digital pins 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 are able to write out analog values
- Digital pins 5, 6 use 960Hz instead of 490Hz
- Analog reading works 0-1023, but writing is 0-255
For the physical portion of the maquette, I created a rough cardboard approximation of the diorama to get a feel for its size and to be able to try out some forced perspective. Not how the model itself tapers towards the back, leading the viewer along the central path and giving a greater illusion of depth. Next I will be adding in additional terrain effects at the sides and perhaps at the back. I would like to have a model car of some sort as a center piece, and am looking for a suitable model.
I am still blocking out the lighting sections, but I am thinking I will have three active zones in addition to EL wire following the path.
Materials I still need are:
- Acrylic panels (Clear and possibly colored), about 12 sq ft total
- LED strips? (Individual LED’s may work as well)
- Thin wire for connections to arduino
- Spray paint (black, possibly other brighter colors to accent)
- 3D printing (available at Foise)
- Model car
Items such as the paint or model car will probably be bought in person at stores like Target or Home Depot, so that I can more easily and quickly find selection. LED’s and wire can be purchased from Amazon, or a site like sparkfun or digikey. The acrylic might be more challenging, although clear panels seem readily available on Amazon as well. I might be able to buy clear and use something like kapton tape to color the acrylic for the sunset.
This week I would like to be able to test with acrylic (or other scavenged plastic) edge-lighting. I would also like to finish setting up my band-pass filtering for the audio, and consider speakers or other details about the origin of the music. If I cannot get the acrylic early enough to test this week, I will test it as soon as I can find a suitable size piece. I can go shopping in person this coming weekend. Assembly of the final version can hopefully begin soon next week if my tests go well. That will allow me to be able to troubleshoot and resolve issues/buy more material in time for a final product by the 22nd. Polishing can happen once it is all working until the 26th presentation.