Posts Tagged ‘Electronics’

Solar Collect Call by Thomas Saraceno

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

A friend from Studio Saraceno called because some solar panel mirrors had to be assembled here in Berlin. Those are actually large frames with solar panel foil behind a glass coated with some reflecting film. Inside the frame is a battery thats loaded by the solar foil and provides power to load cell phones and such. Looks quite nice but the efficiency is greatly reduced by the fact that the foil has to laminated to be applied to the frame without folding and breaking. The film on the glass further reduces the amount of UV light that reaches the foil. since we worked indoors there was no way to do some measurement.

the solar foil

the mirror

To apply that film they extra sent the stuff from Frankfurt to Berlin, but apparently the guys who did it here didn’t do their job too well, judging from the scratches on the glass and dirt behind the film. There seems to be some kind of magic to it, since even the manufacturer of the film doesn’t seem to know how to handle this.

Tech Stuff

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

My current task is to build some stuff for the Computerspiele Museum. Thats not as exciting as it sounds, however it totally fits to the stuff I’ve been doing over the last months. An interface/video player is to be controlled using a joystick while LEDs are lit correspondingly. Again, Christian was very helpful here and provided me with a basic idea, how to build this. The plan changed various times since at first I was told I had to work with 12V LEDs, no one knows why. That sounded easy at first because I thought I could simply take those LED clusters that replace common halogen lights. But it turned out that most of them are not dimmable, unless you take really expensive ones (~€ 30,-). So now I use 3W ones on a heat sink. looks quite nice.

I even found a shop to buy arcade hardware such as knobs, joysticks etc. Sure there’ll be more fun with that soon :-)

to illustrate the current affairs

PD and Arduino

Monday, October 18th, 2010

I explored some ways to use PD to communicate with an Arduino. There are wo ways to interact with an Arduio from PD: serial communication via the [comport] object and controlling the Arduino directly with [pduino] using the firmata firmware.

[comport] simply sends and receives serial messages. I found it a little difficult to convert those messages into the right format as to understand and further process them. The PD help file isn’t exactly helpful to that extend, but I found a patch called ArduinoPDMessageSystem that makes sense of the serial messages, even though I haven’t understood every objects function there yet.

So far, I have managed to send messages to the Arduino to interface a HCF4094 shift register controlling 8 LEDs. I use the same register to control my “Diskokugel”, so heres for the next step to its completion :-)