Jurek and the Amazing Techno, Colored DreamWall

Jurek and the Amazing Techno, Colored DreamWall

The title is mostly a placeholder, as I haven't really figured out a name for it yet. This project is a wall hanging that consists of semi-large triangular pixels using discrete RGB LED's and PWM to control intensity levels of each LED, resulting in a 4096-color display.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Testing Update

This is a fairly small update -- not much has been happening lately, mainly because the 'wall is still at the Center Earth studio.

I bought some rope, pullies, tie-downs, and clips to mount in the workspace so I can hoist up the wall and work on it while it is vertical, but also still have good access to the back of it. When I was building it before, it was always troublesome to shift it around and get at the cabling in the back while also requiring to look at the top of it (for the pixels).

I usually ended up either blocking it up on some pieces of wood or large batteries, which generally left it just balancing there, or horizontal on sawhorses and counter-weighted on one end. I had to counter-weight it because I needed access to the back, which was hinged in the exact middle of the pixels. The power supply shadow box extended beyond that and added a bit more weight, making it more bottom heavy. The counterweights also obscured several of the pixels, making it slightly harder to debug wiring, soldering, and coding problems.

The setup that I'm working on now will get rid of all of these issues. The only problem I think I may have will be with being able to muscle the wall into position. If it becomes a bigger issue, I will have to rig up a block-and-tackle assembly to make it easier.

Pictures when I get it done...

The gluing has finally finished on the small 20-pixel test box, so I can finally start playing around with different combinations of things (e.g. 3-color LED's, different reflectors, different positioning of the LEDs). More will come with time.

There were 2 driver boards that each had a single LED not working, so I spent a little time resoldering the pin on each of them, so they will both hopefully work now.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

More Center Earth

Center Earth
I went to Axe Man to buy a couple supplies for the wall (50' of wire, a small switch, and something to mount it on) to be used for the Center Earth set project. The small button next to the power switch is a general purpose on/off port on the processor that the code can poll to do whatever I need to use as external input. So I assembled and wired up the 50' wire, so the director can hit it when he wants from afar (e.g. his chair). I then soldered the wire directly to the existing switch, and viola—a tethered remote control for the director.

We brought the wall over to their set stage last night, which was pretty easy because it's only about 6 blocks away from my studio. Today, they're finishing up the set building and doing a rough color test (I think). Tomorrow will hopefully be the first shoot with it, and I'll be on hand in case certain tweaks need to be done or something breaks unexpectedly.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Center Earth

Coding update
So I suppose I can now tell you all a bit more about this project that I'm getting the Technowall (unofficial name, but it seems to be sticking).
The project is called Center Earth, and it's a pilot for a science fiction-y type show, akin to 70's shows like Doctor Who. Right now, it's slated to be used for at least one set (Can't remember the exact name of it, but it's a department in the main government/oversight building), and potentially several others.
I've been busy coding up what the director wants, and am mostly done at this point. I still need to do a bit of wiring (wiring up a pushbutton on a very long cable so he can control a trigger mechanism directly), but that's a rather minor thing. The shooting for that scene is set for a week from this coming Tuesday (so the 15th-ish). I will hopefully try to block off some time to go and supervise things, in case the code doesn't work right or certain elements of the operation need to be tweaked (changing colors, speed, etc).

Anyway, the website is here: www.center-earth.com. There's not a whole lot on there yet, but the theme music is pretty sweet, and the open call list might give you a better idea of the focus of the show.

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