Arduino + PressureSensor + VU Meter (Simple Circuit w/LEDs)

This might be extremely handy for providing visual feedback to the user of our DC Fest Organ. It is also from the Fritzing community.

Fritzing File + Code available here:

5 LEDs / (6) 1k resistors (brwn,blck,red) / 1 FSR / 1 arduino / 1 breadboard / ~12 wires.

forse sensor VU meter
forsce senser VU meter




Arduino + GE Color Changing Lights + new Library + printing PCB, please!

I found something at the bottom of the comments on link that Daragh sent us; you know, the one with the tutorial on hacking GE lights + Arduino

After viewing the this Arduino+GELights hack Post, a guy created a GE ‘Color Effects’ library for Arduino software: . This is hot off the presses kids, and was posted in Nov 2011. Here is the Direct Link to the Library Zip File.

If you don’t remember how to add a library in Arduino software, here is Arduino’s Documentation on Libraries:

Scott Harris’s ARDUINO CODE that inspired above library:

Futhermore, here is a close-up of a single 3-led light in all its glory from Scott@MentalFest:

I found a rather odd demonstration of the potential of these lights. Music and setting aside, I can see how these can totally define the piece.

Ok, Ok, back to business. Most important thing here:

(1) Actual GE Lights

(2) Light Hack Page + (and/or Useful Multi String How To )

(3) GE Color Lights Arduino Library (w/ example sketch)

(4) Hack the RemoteControl or build PDB > ColorNode Board  to replace the regular controller. Here is the schematic blueprint (can we print this board with our new machine?):, can we print this board with our new machine?

This could be a very fun (& USEFUL) project. Let’s do this!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Epilogue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS – OK, now further down the initial GE lights hack page, a comment from “Steve” on Oct 3 goes like this: “Thanks for the info on the protocol it sure made hacking easer. My approach is to put a node in each of the controller boxes and link them together on RS485. I’m able to fit all the parts in the existing controller using DIPs if I switch to surface mount I’ll have all kinds of room. I’m using a PIC16F688 micro, I2C EEPROM (1 or 2), and a RS485 transceiver. The only mod is to drill a hole for the RS485 cable. I built a test setup to check my programming and powered it with a USB to TTL serial interface (I was able to power 2 of the LEDs from the USB port for testing). So far I’ve written code to do the following. 1. – Address and change individual LEDs in the string 2. – Load a lighting sequence into the EEPROM 3. – Run a sequence in the EEPROM (I have room for at least 16 different sequences).

The next step is to change over to RS485 and do line testing.

For the screws on the controller just get a set of jeweler’s screwdriver from the dollar store, one of the flat blade work perfectly to remove the screws.”

I’m not sure what this means, So I figured some info on RS 545 ports might come in handy? Ahh it goes on and on… 😛

Arduino+Pressure Sensor (Amplify+Stabilize=OpAmp)

This will prove handy for the DC Fest Organ project as well, methinks. If we are incorporating many of these sensors into our design, we will need a few OpAmp circuits.

This Fritzing schematic shows how you might create an Operation Amplifier (to be able to amplify and stabilze a resistive sensor like an FSR (pressure sensor) or Bend Sensor).

Check it out ( *Click Image Below* to get associated Fritzing + Processing files) :

Amplify + Stabilize Pressure Sensor
Amplify + Stabilize Pressure Sensor

(From the Project Website): Use a 10K pull-down resistor, any resistive sensor (an FSR for example) and an LM 358 Dual Op-amp. Connect the parts as shown in the screen-shot and also feel free to place a small ceramic cap between PIN1 on the Opamp and GND to smooth the signal even better.

BioScience Internship Experience

So, as a part of my research activities this semester, I have decided to host 2 awesome interns from the BioScience High School in Phoenix
( See: BioScience High School Website & About BioScience HS on Wikipedia ).
We are going to be spending the year learning how to use Unity3D (a game engine), Google Sketchup (a free 3D-modeling software package), Audacity (a free audio editing program), & Photoshop. We were going to use Seashore (a mod of the GIMP visual editor) but since Nataly & Bennett already had Photoshop installed, we are just going to have fun with that. I’m excited! So, to keep track of all the fun and interesting things that we are doing, we are going to be keeping blogs, in the spirit of 21st century documentation!

Here are links to the free software packages we are using: , ,

JavaScript Adventures

Well, I’ve started the Head First JavaScript book by Michael Morrison, and I’ve made it to Chapter 03, p. 91. I figured since the Unity game development engine uses JavaScript and C# for scripting, knowing JavaScript in general would be a good thing. And since in many ways, it is similar to Java, the main programming language used for developing scenarios and software for SMALLab (my research group’s main media system at ASU at AME), I can keep my brain plasticity strong and keep learning and developing over the summer.

So far the book is quite interesting and engaging and uses the cognitive techniques that seem to be really effective to help me teach myself the logic of JavaScript. I will provide an update as I make it through this book.

Making Sense of It All (aka Sorting Out the Details)

Well, it’s been about three weeks since my first year as a PhD Student has come to a close, and I’ve been invigorated by all the things that I have learned and been exposed to. Eventually I will put together a software and hardware list, but it is quite staggering really. There is so much to learn and while trying to assimilate knowledge, there is the challenge of remaining balanced upon the tarmac that is the Information SuperHighway. I mean there are so many possibilities, so many directions that one can go, that I look forward to spending the summer exploring these possibilities further.

Just today, I spent some time upgrading some of my software. Got the latest version of Max (5.1.??) & Max Runtime, Live 8.1.1, and looking forward to Unity 3 here pretty soon. I will also be reviewing some great books that I have assembled in my learning arsenal of pulp paperbacks, because I am just now decompressing from the incubator of learning in the Arts Media & Engineering environment.

SOFTWARE: Processing, Max/MSP, Databases, Mercurial, Pure Data, X-Code, Unity3D, Blender, TUIO, CarnivoreClient, Eclipse Development Environment

LANGUAGES & CONCEPTS: Java, C++, Objective C, Cocoa, JavaScript, C#, Boids, Cellular Automata, Signal Flow, Databases, Terminal navigation

HARDWARE: BioSensors (such as Heart Rate Monitors & Skin Conductance Monitors: IOM Hardware & Infiniti Thought Technology Physiology Sensors); Brain Control Interfaces (NeuroSky Mindset); Motion Capture Tracking Software (Tracking Tools) & Infrared Devices; Arduino MicroController & Development Tools, Light Resistors, LEDs, Bend Sensors, PIR, and the list goes on and on and on….