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Author Topic: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it  (Read 174 times)

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Offline Obi_1

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RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« on: February 06, 2018, 06:18:57 AM »

I've been pondering upon what would be a good replacement of the bar graph currently in use to pimp up our saber hilts. The one used widely (see link Sehr helle LED-Balkenanzeige grün/gelb/rot 10fach LED-Bargraph f. LM3914, BG02 |) look good but is a pain to solder up and eat up a lot of room on the saber boards, not to mention control signals. They are definitely obsolete in my eyes.

But hey, now we have neopixels, why not use them as bargraphs? Neos only need one single data line, no resistors, can easily be wired up, you can pick the color and they are soooo much easier to program a nice sequence to. Therefore I started to experiment turning neopixels into bargraphs. Fortunately at the same time Adafruits released the neopixel sticks, which are even more densely populated as the 144l/m stripes (NeoPixel Stick - 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers ID: 1426 - .95 :), making them ideal for a programmable, RGB bargraph. I used my 3D printer to make outer encasing for them, making them look like the bargraphs we are used to. I printed one for the 8-pixel long stick as proof of concept, but provide the 3D models for all lengths from 2 up to 8-pixel ones.



Cutouts are provided along the sides for the wires and the stick fits in perfectly.



They of course need a similar diffusing as the neos used in blades, so a wrap and a thin sheet of opaque plastic just below the slits, I did not include them to make the pixels visible. I already use the sticks in my E11 blaster builds and am about to make a saber with one on the outside. If you look at my earlier E11 blaster videos, you might see that the bargraph already uses neopixels, of course without the jig.

On Thingiverse you can find the models for variants ranging from 2 pixels to 8 pixels (sticks have 8 pixels)


Link to the models:
Adafruit Neopixel stick bargraph by Protowerkstatt - Thingiverse

Using FX-SaberOS with a DIYino board you can easily chain up the bargraph in series with the blade.

Have fun with the new bargraph!

Offline NobAkimoto

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Re: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 11:49:35 PM »
Handy little thing. Also gives some ideas on what to do with leftover leds from making a blade maybe.

Offline jbkuma

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Re: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 05:53:26 AM »
I made my first pixel PLI two years ago for my Pathfinder build ;D

Offline Obi_1

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Re: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 12:53:46 PM »
Yes, credit goes to jbkuma, the PLI in FX-SaberOS is also his work alone and works wonderfully. I took the deliberation to include it into FX-BlasterOS because there I use a separate PLI bar graph and now I designed a holder to make it more like a bar graph.

Offline Spiceweasel

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Re: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 01:45:13 PM »
Every time I see a post like this I get itchy to pick up a 3D printer kit . The options for projects like this are so cool !

Offline jbkuma

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Re: RGB bargraph / PLI - a brand new way to do it
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 02:49:43 PM »
3D printing is the future.  Just wait.. I've got a dozen projects I'll end up posting in the next couple months that feature tons of 3D printing! :D