Flashing lights

Discussion in 'Building and Customisation' started by DrHankWanfordSnr, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    So.

    I'm making a thing for my rack, and I'm going to post some pics of the progress

    Its a spectral display - nothing high quality or exact - just some lights which will flash in relation to the racket I make.

    Like this one


    It'll be 1u and based on a 1u vented plate with some things fixed to the back of it - with the leds shining through the holes. I've done alot of image analysis of picture of rack fascia plates with vents to get one that matches up to the leds to perhaps avoid having to cut anything. Cost a fiver.

    Initial progress is 2x very inexpensive hobby kits to make simple spectral displays. (N.B. More expensive and complex/accurate kits exist, but my arbitrary budget is £20 or less so........)

    2018-03-02 16.39.16.jpg

    Which involve alot of soldering of tiny surface mount stuff (forceps, magnifying glass, steady hands etc)
    2018-03-12 18.10.59.jpg
    [you'll note my idiots guide to leds written where I can't forget it]

    I'm currently most of the way through the soldering the first one.
     
  2. Wade Garrett

    Wade Garrett I am the projectionist.

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    Flashing lights, I'm in!
     
  3. beans & rice

    beans & rice Well-Known Member

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    Shiny things!
    It's a good way to challenge yourself to not get distracted when you play. :D
     
  4. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Yippee !!

    One working, one has a wiring/soldering fault (my fault) to troubleshoot. And my vented 1u plate to make the frame from is at the sorting office. Deep Joy



    Before you think 'that's not very responsive' - its not - it was roughly the price of a coffee and bagel** - its to make the rig more interesting* - and (I thought of this as a reason for it yesterday) to let me know that the helix is making a sound regardless of whether the power amp(s) are on***.

    I've researched more pricey but detailed/responsive ones, at roughly £30 each... So not completely out of reach, but not this month.

    Next job - make wiring to attach displays to the rig via the power amp pass through.

    *its already pretty interesting, but....
    ** I like bagels
    *** valve amps and their warming up time !
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  5. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    So. A small i/o board for the display.
    Draw it with a magic marker.
    io board 01.jpg
    Soak it in etch (HCl plus H2O2)
    io board 02.jpg
    The copper leaves the board and swims free!
    io board 04.jpg Wash the etch and copper away
    io board 05.jpg
    Wash the marker ink away with acetone. At home I'll draw on some flux, and coat the traces in solder. +5v, gnd, Left / Right. The diaudio +/gnd will be attached to the rig by a hum eliminator gnd loop device.

    Having a lab with chemicals and such at hand is handy.

    NB - Be safe. I'm wearing labcoat, gloves, have adequate ventilation (fume hood) and a lucky rabbits foot at hand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  6. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    A trip to the sorting office.

    Test fit. Yippee it fits nicely.....
    2018-03-17 10.31.42.jpg
    NB - this one has had a terrible accident in the usb region.

    Sadly the leds don't quite line up with the vents so they have to go. The plan is to cut perpex plates to go over/behind the [cut out] vents with a one way film (got a free sample in return for pretending wanted privacy film installing in the patio) to hide the leds unless they are on. The kits came with really neat perpex boxes which are 'just' right for this including predrilled holes for mounting. If I can't make the edges of the cutting neat with filing and paint - they'll be hidden behind the perspex with tape or something.
    2018-03-17 10.43.05.jpg
    'knickers'
     
  7. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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  8. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Snowing outside -so time for the jigsaw and filing
    2018-03-17 13.07.39.jpg
    another test fit.
    2018-03-17 13.28.01.jpg
    After this I cut out down the perspex oblongs to act as front glass, and mounts for the circuitboard(s).
     
  9. Wade Garrett

    Wade Garrett I am the projectionist.

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    This is cool!
     
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  10. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    It might end up being cool. Cut out the remaining metal (the electric jigsaw really didn't like that) and smoothed the cut edges.
    2018-03-17 15.25.13.jpg
    I think I can get away with not painting this as I've not marked the face of the plate. Just colour in the bare metal with a magic marker, clean off the tape residue and 'tis done.

    Next up - some more soldering. Cables, i/o board,and some final assembly of one side..... just have to wait a few days for the replacement kit to arrive to complete it.
     
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  11. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Sunday morning drinking coffee in the office watching the snow....
    2018-03-18 11.48.17.jpg
    Test fit and a pre 'hotglue / cast in stone' try out.



    Need to get the one way foil to be wrinkle free. And sand/polish the perpex fascia plate edges. And centre the display in the frame. But its projected to be "winner winner chicken dinner" for this project.


    * clearly I've got a sample of mirror privacy film rather than blackout..... firstworldproblems
     
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  12. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    A package from the orient ! The displays need 5v. My pedalboard supplies 9v.

    Two DC : DC step down transformers (£1 each !!). These will convert 9v down to 5v for each of the displays. I'm going to initially try it with a 5v mains power supply, but if that poops out I'll use one (or both of these) powered from my pedalboard. One of these runs my FCB1010 from the same powersupply, so I think it'll be fine. 2018-03-22 07.22.57.jpg
    In prep for the remaining kit to arrive, I've built it up and installed it..... but not connected it up yet. At the weekend I'm re-ordering the loops, and adding a rack shelf to hold the laptop*. I'll cable it up during the upheaval of cables. Also need to swap the mirror film for blackout film...... ho hum.

    2018-03-21 20.20.42.jpg
    *want to add cables and an led to extend the laptop's on/off switch to the front of the rack... but that's a bit of surgery for a later day.
     
  13. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Cheapo rack shelf arrived. A tenner with free postage.

    Its not the most heroically sturdy - but its not going to hold alot of weight. The vented plate with the displays clips on the front (lightly bend some corners). The laptop fits on the shelf (I'll add some velcro eventually, but a foam pad for now).
    2018-03-23 18.04.53.jpg
    I've added an extension cable from the motherboard to the front panel for a momentary switch to switch it on/off. Which I'll get at Maplin before it closes.

    The lucky part - all of the cables are just long enough to reach the monitor. 2018-03-23 20.24.08.jpg
    Need to pop over to Maplin for a switch tomorrow, and wait for the postie to drop off the last display to finish the soldering jobs...........
     
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  14. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Postie has delivered. Soldering later. After housecleaning, car washing, laundry etc.
     
  15. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Nearly done. Going to swap the silver film for black, align the displays and 'cast it in stone' with glue.
    But it works !! Traditional poor quality video (with Altered Carbon audiobook playing in background) below.

    NB - I'm playing a hollowbody - thats why its louder than the amp. They're also hella bright.

    and again in daylight
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  16. Wade Garrett

    Wade Garrett I am the projectionist.

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    Too cool!
     
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  17. Chu

    Chu Well-Known Member

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    Dude! Of all of the gear that you have (much of which is properly awesome) this has me fully aroused. I want it! Trade it for a kidney (not mine, one careful owner)?
     
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  18. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Ha Ha Chu ! I'd swap it for a kidney. Never hurts to have a spare.

    I do like a nice project to fill in my spare time when the weather is cold. The nice/lucky thing is - its freq range sits over the guitar range, and its sensitivity is just right to live with the Helix on half volume. And the pass-through sockets on the 9100 work !!

    I want one for my hifi now.........


    edit - the black window film came, and it looks 'the bomb'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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