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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 🙂