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  1. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 2:38 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #26

    Got my 8x32 LED Matrix from SureElectronics. Nice little package I must say.


    Compiled the given code, uploaded it to my Arduino, and gave it a test run.
    Whoa!!!! It worked!!

    First thing I noticed is that the animations are not played sequentially. They're basically picked at "random". <<My wife made a comment that random functions are not really random and the algorithms behind them normally follow patterns>> I know she's right, plus I want more control over what gets displayed. So, I made a few mods to the code, and now I got it to display all 14 animations sequentially.

    Take a look.
    YouTube - Arduino & 8x32 Matrix from SureElectronics

    Ah..yeah, I also changed one of the messages to display my nick "tekparasite" just for Fun. It's easy to change in the code, so it was no biggie.

    more to come..
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  3. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 3:25 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #27

    Now for the controls portion of this project. Options?

    As most of you know, Volpin is going all out! He's skipping wires entirely and doing a wireless (WiFi) solution complete with iPhone app interface. As much as I like the idea, that's too far out there for my reach

    Instead, I'm going in the opposite direction and downgrading the technology. Okay, maybe not to the level where I'll be using strings, pulleys and gears, but I'm going ANALOG.

    Here's what I'm thinking. In a practical sense, people will look at me (the helmet) and respond with.. "That's cool!!" or "Awesome man!!" or something similar. In the same way, I want to be able to display a generic response quickly in the matrix with the usual "OK" or the like.
    If I see a cute lady or group of ladies, I would like to display the 3 heart shape animation.

    In short, I want to be able to select certain animations on demand and/or have a setting where they play sequentially.
    So, I'll be using this:

    It's a 5-position switch. My plan is to make Position 1 be default and will play all animations sequentially. Position 2-5 will be pre-selected animations out of the 14 available. Any selected animation (2-5) will be played continuously until I switch to a different position or take it back to default (position 1).

    This implementation will be so useful later. If I'm walking around and need to improve my visibility, I'll select a less intrusive animation. If I'm standing still or sitting down, then I'll crank it up full blast to display all LEDs... etc.

    PROBLEM:
    This is a switch, not a potentiometer! After searching online for a potentiometer with hard stop positions and coming out empty, I decided to convert this switch to act as a potentiometer that Arduino can read.

    More on that later.
    Last edited by tekparasite; Apr 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM.
  4. Member Since
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    Apr 17, 2011, 3:51 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #28

    Awesome . Can't wait to see more.
  5. delta0142's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 3:54 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #29

    I'm putting together a pep Thomas too, I love the LEDs; only question is are you going to be able to see out of the helmet?
  6. RPF Premium Member
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    Apr 17, 2011, 3:59 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #30

    That is so awesome! I wish I could figure out how to rig up something like that. At this point I don't think I'll be able to put lights in my helmet at all.
  7. RPF Premium Member Grey's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 4:20 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #31

    The LED effects look awesome, but wont it be weird when the display is flat and the visor is a semicircle?
  8. RPF Premium Member Volpin's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 5:30 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #32

    oh, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to steal that Space Invaders animation...

    Nice work!
  9. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 11:06 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #33

    Before I get ahead of myself, I wanted to share with you some helpful information and links for those that want to follow this implementation.

    WARNING: I really don't know what I'm doing, so if I get stuck, you'll be stuck too. So, proceed at your own risk.

    Let's continue, shall we?

    ARDUINO:

    • Buy the hardware. I'm using the "Duemilanove" version for now, but my plan is to use the "Nano" version in the final piece.
    • I'm not going step-by-step here, but download the software and make sure you know how to compile and run. At a minimum, you should be able to run the "Hello World" and/or the "Blinking Light" examples.
    • Here's the code base for the animations as you saw in the video from my previous post.
      http://www.plasmado.com/pro3/ThomasV2.zip

    Sure Electronics



    Now, below are the connection instructions.

    1. Looking at the display from the back (logo facing right side up), connect the flat ribbon cable to the right port. It's keyed, so there is no way to mess this up
    2. Make sure dip switch 1 is ON while leaving the rest in the OFF position.
    3. Extend the flat ribbon cable without turns or kinks so that the connector faces you. Notice that the 'keyed' side should be on top while the flat side on the bottom.
    4. Looking at the diagram below, make the connections between your Arduino and the Matrix connector.

  10. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 17, 2011, 11:20 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #34

    delta0142 said: View Post
    only question is are you going to be able to see out of the helmet?
    Of course, I have x-ray vision.
    Just kidding. Good question though. I don't know if you guys have realized, but I plan to hack the crap out of that SureElectronics module. Remember I said, I may fall flat on my face? Well, seems like I'm heading that way. We'll see, just stay tuned for a good laugh or be amazed.

    Risu said: View Post
    That is so awesome! I wish I could figure out how to rig up something like that. At this point I don't think I'll be able to put lights in my helmet at all.
    I'll provide as much info as possible. I'll try anyway.

    Spike said: View Post
    The LED effects look awesome, but wont it be weird when the display is flat and the visor is a semicircle?
    Yes. I'll figure something out. I'll bend it or something.
  11. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 18, 2011, 12:02 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #35

    Sorry guys for the continued spamming..
    Now, back to the 5-position switch. So, I know Arduino can read via a potentiometer (pot). A pot is nothing more than a voltage divider using resistance. As you move the pot knob, you change the resistance. So, to simulate this, I'll be using resistors.

    A typical unit would be a 100K Ohm Potentiometer. In a 5 position switch, I'll need 4 resistors connected in series in between each pole.
    So, 100/4 = 25 or 25K Ohm. I couldn't find the exact one, so I bought 22K Ohm. No worries, that would work.

    Here's the diagram.


    ... and here's how I soldered them.





    So now, I have 3 leads coming out of my switch: +5V, GND and Variable.
    Here's how I connected them to my Arduino.
    Arduino - Potentiometer


    I modified the code to read the values of this POT and Whoa!!!!

    It worked!!!!

    Position 1 - Plays all sequentially
    Position 2 - Eyes
    Position 3 - OK
    Position 4 - Hearts
    Position 5 - Daft Punk (black background).

    Of course, I can re-program each position to display the animation of my desire.
    Last edited by tekparasite; Jan 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM.
  12. SUPERprops's Avatar
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    Apr 18, 2011, 1:47 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #36

    Keep it up!
  13. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 20, 2011, 7:11 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #37

    After getting some PET sheets in the mail, I was able to fit the visor. Even after measuring and re-measuring, I still had to do some minor adjustment cuts for a good fit.

    The PET is crystal clear, I just left the protective film on both sides as I'm handling it quite a bit so to avoid scratches.



    I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to keep the visor in place on a more permanent basis to prevent movement yet have the ability to take it out if I need to.

    As you can see, the visor is fed from the inside.

    Now, this is what I'm planning on using for a sub-visor. The reason why I'm not using the same PET sheet as in the visor is because this piece is already curved in its resting position. Luckily, the curvature matches perfectly with that of the helmet, so I can safely say..WINNING!



    [[ EDIT ]] Oh Wait.. I forgot to include this update. A sea of LEDs!!
    Last edited by tekparasite; Apr 20, 2011 at 7:17 AM.
  14. SUPERprops's Avatar
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    Apr 25, 2011, 1:46 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #38

    That is a lot of leds! haha...have fun soldering
  15. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 27, 2011, 10:43 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #39

    Now is time for some tinting.

    I started by getting the biggest stockpot I could find at "Mal-Wart" .
    I found this 21 quart capacity pot. I don't think I needed this big of a pot, but I was also planning on tinting my guy manuel visor.



    Anyway. First, I filled the pot to about 3/4 full ,and set the temp at 160 deg F.

    Once the water reached that temp, I poured the dye. I used 4 packs


    Rigged the visor with a clothes hanger for an easy way to pull it out, and in it went for its first dip.


    It only took 10 seconds to realize the water was too hot for the thin PETG sheet. It was basically floating like a noodle.



    I did see, however, how the dye was adhering to the plastic.

    After a few trials, I noticed that 140 deg F, only a pot half full of water, and 4 packs is what I needed to get the dye into the PETG and still keep the visor form intact.

    I basically left visor in for 5 minute intervals with a cool bath after each dye dip. The picture below is after (2) 5min dips.




    After 5 dip sessions, I came out with (what I think) a final piece that had enough tint


    Here it is from the front



    Some comments about this approach:


    • Visibility is EXCELLENT.
    • Didn't notice any tint difference after 3 dip sessions (at least from what I can tell).
    • The visor has a really reflective shiny look. Don't know if this is good or bad. We'll see.
    • It's critical that you get the right temp. You want the highest temp you can get away with without melting or warping the PETG. For me, it was around 140 deg F before I started to see deformations.
    Last edited by tekparasite; Jan 2, 2014 at 5:11 PM.
  16. Agent RayBans's Avatar
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    Vermont, USA
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    Apr 27, 2011, 10:57 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #40

    This thread is going to be so helpful for when I continue working on my Thomas helmet, thank you so much for being so detailed and thorough.

    Would you be willing to putting the visor through some tests while in the helmet? I'm really curious to see how it looks in flash photography, and outside in sunlight.

    Keep up the great work.
  17. SUPERprops's Avatar
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    Apr 28, 2011, 2:35 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #41

    I think the reflective is good because, unless your looking real close to the visor, you won't be able to see through it.
  18. RPF Premium Member Volpin's Avatar
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    Apr 28, 2011, 9:51 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #42

    what thickness PETG are you using?
  19. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 28, 2011, 10:09 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #43

    Volpin said: View Post
    what thickness PETG are you using?
    I'm using 1/32" PETG Thermoform Plastic Sheets

    At the moment, I'm leaving it as-is until I can get some lights inside the helmet and my head in it.

    I'll be as detailed as possible while capturing my successes and failures.
  20. Member Since
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    Apr 29, 2011, 9:38 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #44

    Great job! You seem to be getting the same results as I have with the RIT dye. It is definitly my preffered method for tinting with flawless results, and yes temperature is absolutly critical. I always use a test peice reguardless of what the thermometer says. I would be willing to bet that Daft Punk's helmet builders use this method for their visors as well.

    Can't wait to see more progress, keep it up!
  21. Member Since
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    Apr 29, 2011, 10:52 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #45

    Loooking great dude, well impressed with the visor tinting. Great work and look forward to seeing more pics.
  22. TechDante's Avatar
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    Apr 29, 2011, 11:44 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #46

    looking good wish i could get one of these helmets.
  23. tekparasite's Avatar
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    Apr 30, 2011, 6:50 PM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #47

    So now let's take a look at the sub-visor.

    As I had stated before, this is what I plan on using for subvisor

    Unlike the visor piece, the unit above only covers a portion of the visor area.

    I bought this 4" x 10" bare prototype (peg) board as a template. I marked with a Sharpie the first panel of LEDs (8x8).


    Here is the same template with all panels marked (8x32)



    ..and here's my fancy "workbench"


    The setup consisted of a piece of foam underneath the visor to prevent scratches and save drill bits.



    The nice thing about the subvisor material is that I can flatten it, and it will bounce back to its original form. So, I taped the subvisor to the foam and sawhorse to prevent movement.



    Then, I clamped the template prototype board as such



    The drill bit I used was #67 (I believe). I sourced this drill bit from a local hobby store that has a train department. I just took a piece of prototype board and tried different drill bits thicknesses until I found one that worked.



    I used my dremel for this task, but I had to use a special collet for grasping the smaller drill bit. Any hardware supply store should have a 5-piece collet kit for around $6.

    It was time for some drilling. First panel went without flaws.



    Moving at a slow steady pace just letting the weight of the dremel do the push down force and at the lowest speed all the panels were drilled. The foam underneath was excellent as it provided enough room to 'catch' the drill before the drill bit hit any of the harder wood underneath.




    I had bought 3 bits (at $1 each) anticipating some drill breakage, but I'm glad to say, one drill bit was enough for the job.

    Here's a picture of the finished product.
    Now, I realize there is more room on top than the bottom, and this was done on purpose as I still needed to make room for the headers.




    Here's a picture of the sub-visor with the header holes already drilled and extra material trimmed.

    I'm NOT doing multiple pieces, so I'll move forward with the project with this piece. If something goes wrong, I'll revert back to this step.



    Happy so far with the sub-visor.
  24. Thermistor's Avatar
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    May 1, 2011, 12:28 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #48

    Brilliant! I was wondering how I was going to put one of those in my Tron Guy-Man helmet. The way you did the holes is perfect.
  25. FIREWIRE's Avatar
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    May 3, 2011, 7:39 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #49

    hey tekparasite. I spoke to you on youtube yesterday. This is looking awesome. i can tell this thread is going to be a lifesaver when the time comes to do this myself...

    did you ever consider cutting 5mm holes in your sub visor and mounting the leds through the plastic from the rear? its just that this is the way i had planned tackling the led matrix and wondered if you had opted for this way due to issues etc.

    i suppose that the if you require a clear sub visor, and mount it my way, the light from the leds may travel along the plastic and create a red band of light.

    also, does the 32/8 led matrix you bought from sure 3 or 5mm leds?
    Last edited by FIREWIRE; May 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM.
  26. SUPERprops's Avatar
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    May 7, 2011, 1:07 AM - Re: Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters #50

    LOL...I'm glad I(as of right now) do not have to drill all of those holes. Now I know to buy a drill press before I try this project!!! haha well done!
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