I want to share a new and exciting LED string technology emerging. It has the potential IMHO to change the way we think about LED strings.
To pay credit where credit is due, this opportunity has been brought to my attention first by racemaniac (see in my Arduino lightsaber thread), thanks for him to introduce me this unique technology!!!
So here is the trailer:
Who did not dream about building one day an LED string saber with the possibility for color change? Moreover, people assembling their LED strings know the pain of suddenly loosing an LED, solder joint coming loose, etc.
This just might be the answer to both of these major wishes. There is a new, prefab LED string
on the market called neopixel (type WS2812), you can find a lot of offers on ebay, for instance:1-2-5-Meter 60 LedÂ´s/m WS2812B Streifen Stripe weiss RGB | eBay
Technically speaking these stripes mount LED modules on a flexible PCB, which can be cut at any LED position. The LED modules integrate:
- 3 colour, RGB LEDs in one package
- together with a tiny controller IC already integrated into the package of the LEDs
The controller can be programmed with a 1-line serial interface. It has for each of the colours an 8-bit PWM (pulse width modulation), summing up to 24-bit/LED module. The serial interface runs through the whole stripe, i.e. the aggregate of all LED modules act like a giant shift register, which can be programmed in one go.
To program it, you need only therefore 3 wires:
Wire#1: VDD supply (rated at 5V, but I tried, it's crazy, but it works down to 1.8V! 3.7V is ideally suited to supply the stripe!!!)
Wire#2: 1-line serial signal to program the stripe
The programming of the stripe can be done so fast, that you will not notice, so features like flicker, FoC etc. can be implemented very easily. Since ALL LEDs can be programmed individually (yeah, no joking), and the LED stripe can be cut at any joint, it would be ideally suited for Kylo Ren type crossguard sabers. You just make a stripe for the main blade, then 2 sub-stripes for either half of the cross guard, and connect the 3 stripes in series, programming them all together.
As to stability: they are mounted on a PCB, the backside of the stripes have a string 3M adhesive tape, for a blade you can simply glue 2 stripes together back-to-back, wrapped in a diffusing foil it will allow you to duel with it in my assessment. Looks very solid.
I made a video showing how it can be used for lightsaber blade.
The software running on my DIYino
prototype board is the so called LSOS
written by neskweek. I just included basic drivers for neopixel LED stripes. For the saber FX, all credit goes to neskweek, and racemaniac who started me off this path.
(Disclaimer: sorry for my bad spoken English, just ignore my ranting and enjoy the light show)DIYino demo of Neopixel lightsaber blade with LSOS - YouTube
This video uses sound fonts from Soundfont.com, home of the best sound fonts ! I especially thank Novastar, Genesis Custom Sabers for their saber fonts (Novastar a and bespinII), and the creator of one of my favorites: Ancient Saber!
If you like Bruce Springsteen, you can also chill out at the end of the video with one of his hits