New Version

I’m making progress with the new ‘Billion Light‘ modules (aka V2): the new design is more modular and easier to build and assemble and still looks awesome with the moving lights and clock hands:

Different Enclosure and Arrangement

Different Enclosure and Arrangement

The units can be used standalone (single unit with a micro controller and a single dual-shaft motor) or as dual unit (one micro controller for two dual-shaft motors). Multiple units can be connected together: below are two dual units together:

Modules Front Side

Modules Front Side

Different from the first design is that each unit has 40 (or 80 in the case of dual unit) RGB LED’s, directly controlled by the unit. The LED rings are optional and can be removed.

Clock Modules

Clock Modules

Each motor in its unit can be arranged in different ways. For the initial tests I’m using 3D printed enclosures which can be attached/connected with each other. With the connection cables I’m flexible how I want to arrange the motors:

module back side

module back side

On the left side of the above picture there are the two motor PCBs with connectors and hall sensors. On the right side there are two PCBs with the micro controller, the motor driver, hall sensors and RS-485 interface. Power and RS-458 can be easily daisy-chained, and with the cables the boards can be freely arranged: as a matrix, on a line, as a honeycomb, with round enclosure, etc.

Different Enclosure and Arrangement

Different Enclosure and Arrangement

Enclosure back cover

Enclosure back cover

Power consumption of each clock unit has been reduced (right now around 10 mA if idle). For the semester and labs the plan is to build 100 units which then can be used in the labs.

PCBs

PCBs

Motor PCBs

Motor PCBs

Below a video of a first test run with 4 clocks:

The new design makes it now even easier to build larger walls. With the round shape (80 mm diameter) different arrangements are possible. I’m thinking of using magnets to attach the units to each other or to a metal plate on the back side too. The firmware has been updated too to work with the new features of the board.

The initial 10 boards are working fine, and I hope that the ordered parts will arrive on time for the remaining boards (with COVID-19 things take now much longer).

Happy Clocking 🙂

Links

2 thoughts on “New Version

  1. That’s cool! With the hands it reminds me a bit of a project I did for Burning Man back in 2011: http://n1vg.blogspot.com/2011/02/black-rock-city-navigator.html

    Mine was a GPS navigator for my bicycle. It had an acrylic disc on the front engraved with the city map, and it’d use the LED hands to show your position. It was my first mechatronic project (aside from Lego) and it worked pretty well. I’ve since replaced it with an OLED watch.

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