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  1. ThreeFN's Avatar
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    Feb 10, 2013, 7:51 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #76

    So, news. New news at that.

    Managed to get the Arduino DUE 'working'. Which is to say, everything you see in the 'threading' video is now working again on the DUE.

    Thank the creators of the Saleae Logic. I now love this little guy.

    I did manage to borrow my friends o'scope a couple weekends ago but it really only confused me more. I saw a pretty nasty ramp on the return to HIGH so I figured I had some horrid analog effects that I know almost nothing about fixing. In retrospect I'm not sure if that wasn't caused by measurement somehow.

    I spent all day yesterday slogging through different hardware and software combinations. Finally 'magic' happened when I slowed it down from 400KHz to 100KHz clock. Then I started noticing that only parts of the start-up routine were working.

    Turns out there are a ton of variable type definition problems moving to the DUE. That makes sense given that it's both a different architecture (SAM ARM) and different type (32bit vs 8bit). I'm sure I'm going to continue to have problems with variable types as I port over more and more code.

    Right now, the display is able to run 'animations threads' while also running the 'cheeks eq' thread, all at the faster 400KHz bus speed. I hope to shoot a comparison video splicing in the last video I posted to youtube to show the wonders of a faster processor. So far I see no lag at all regardless of the animation that's running alongside the cheek stuff.

    I've also become intrigued by the WS2811 LED driver. Some developers out there have made ridiculously tiny breakout for these chips, much smaller than shiftbrites. I might lose 1,000mcd going to one of these guys but the wiring will be night and day easier.
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    Feb 10, 2013, 8:00 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #77

    Cool man
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    Feb 16, 2013, 8:22 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #78

    Is there gonna be any new vids soon? :3
    Even if it's just saying what the progress is, and maybe show. Couple animations with the progress of the rainbows!
  4. ThreeFN's Avatar
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    Feb 21, 2013, 12:11 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #79

    Jackscoby said: View Post
    Is there gonna be any new vids soon? :3
    Even if it's just saying what the progress is, and maybe show. Couple animations with the progress of the rainbows!
    So... bad news first.

    I cooked my test rig. Circuit popcorn. When power cycling the display (very common when messing around) I inadvertently set the power supply to a higher voltage range. High voltage to rainbows, very not good.

    So that leaves me with only the main display to work with. And unfortunately it gets (somewhat) worse.

    The helmet display is showing its 'age' quite poorly. I really don't handle it very much, but it seems like every time I do (or the cat jumps up on the worktop) it gets worse. Nothing has been show stopping (yet) and I figured I'd just do a final 'tweak and fix' before the helmet went together in it's most permanent form. But it does have problems with cross coloring (insufficient insulation between two colors) and inconsistent color (any number of problems).

    Another 'age' related problem is that I can't really buy replacement rainbowduinos anymore. The newer rainbowduinos on sale are substantially upgraded with components and features I really don't need, and probably want even less given that I strip the boards down to minimum.

    I faced this problem before, just before I did the strip/soldered wires mod to the helmet. I debated if I should try and spin my own PCB version of the rainbow, carrying over the the parts list from the OSH (open source hardware) rainbow design. I'd try and reduce the footprint and move around the pin-out to better work with my design. A year ago I didn't feel confident enough in my EAGLE skills to pull the trigger.

    Another problem that I've been pushing into the back of my head: I may not have made the helmet big enough. I always thought "I'll just make it fit" but I can only defy so many laws of physics cap'n.

    So. Yah. Best way to describe what happens next is with copy/paste of my project to do list:

    Test Mega(baud) Serial - DONE
    I've been messing around with megabaud speed serial. I've been using 400KHz I2C so far for 'talking to' the display, for those playing at home. I've gone as high as 5.25Mbaud, or a little over 13 times faster. This, coupled with RS485 (a more fault preventative version of common RS232 TTL serial, or what I'm using) could be the best option moving forward.

    Test Fast-Serial-2-Display - DONE
    To apply the megabaud stuff, I wrote some proof of concept code for a Teensy 3.0 to convert the display data to I2C, so that the diagram looks like:
    DUE -> serial -> teensy -> i2c -> Display
    It works, but not flawlessly. That leads to the next item.

    Research data integrity improvements/checksums/etc
    So far the fast serial stuff is more error prone than I2C, probably in no small part due to the higher speeds I'm focusing on using. I'm aware of some methods of detecting errors (checksums, packet size, etc) but would love to figure out a method of resisting those errors in the first place. The obvious starting point is cranking down the buad rate, but I'd rather fix everything as much as possible first and then step down the speed as a backup improvement to be assured of the data stability.

    Prototype RS485, PARTS - MONEY
    Tied into the data integrity is actually finding out where the breakdown is happening. If I can breadboard an RS485 circuit in there and it works better, I'm pretty sure that PCB stuff in the future won't be a big problem and will only make the integrity better (since PCB's typically have shorter 'wires' than the breadboard prototype and you can do things like impedance matching easier). But new parts cost money, a commodity I'm short on currently while I continue to search for a new career.

    Prototype WS2811/WS2812 LEDS - MONEY
    I mentioned that I'm looking at these. Basically, these are the driver chip (WS2811) and integrated package (WS2812, 5050 LED sized) variants commonly used in LED strips/strands. This is currently my favorite for replacing the rainbowduino in the next generation of display LEDs. Many, many advantages include:
    >reduced weight (less complex sub-visor, fewer wires, lighter LEDs, no rainbow boards, etc).
    >'simple' wiring (power, ground, and 'daisy chain' of data in/out)
    >greater brightness control (calibration correction, more colors, etc)
    >'better' brightness/power efficiency (I'll need to know true brightness to really compare, but basic test math says better so far)
    Challenges are:
    >'dead bug' soldering (not all that different from what I had to do for last display)
    >'biblical' power consumption at full brightness (0.06A per led, 5V power, 384 LEDs, 23+ amps, ~120W, I might software limit the max brightness to 1/4 or less)
    >finicky control (other people are making libraries for high speed, 32bit controllers like the Teensy 3 and Arduino Due)
    I need to buy some to play around with, and to quantify some of the other peripheral changes (higher view angles, brightness consistency, etc) before going whole hog. And even the test hardware will cost money as above.

    Try out 123D Catch for 3D head scan
    Autodesk is trying very hard to covet the making community, but that doesn't imply a bad thing. Something I became peripherally aware of (again) is 123D Catch, which does images-to-point-cloud conversions. Basically, take lots of pictures at different angles, and software combines the pictures to give you a 3D object by using comparison of points in each image. I've coveted a 3D model of my head since I first started out. I tried a packing tape and cyran wrap concoction a long time ago that gave me a rough copy of my head to take some very rough measurements that I used for scaling. With an actual 3D scan, I can get (hopefully) fantastic fit checks. This has me rather excited.

    Re-scale Helmet
    Based on findings from the head scan, I may re-scale or otherwise alter the helmet for a better fit.

    Sub-visor Redo
    Based on head scan and if I go with the WS2811/2, I'd redo the sub visor. One thing I'm contemplating is changing the LED orientation. In the current design, all the LEDs face a parallel vector, ie they point straight ahead. This made sense with highly directional LEDs, and it was 'easier' to implement in CAD. With a WS2812 5050 sized led, the view angle is about 120deg, so I could instead have the LED face normal (perpendicular to the tangents of the curve) to the sub-visor surface. This may or may not be a more 'natural' appearance the display, especially when you look at it off center. Something else to test with the WS2812s I buy.

    VU Eyes Animation
    I did just have an idea for a new animation while watching Interstella 5555 while running this evening (try it some time). I'm thinking digitally rendered VU meter 'eyes' that have 'needles' 'hinged' at the outside edge of the display. Still laying this out in my head and I need to figure out how best to sample the audio (probably just using the EQ chips to help protect from the music voltage levels). Once this is up and going that will probably be the next video.

    Long winded update. No pictures, no videos. Sorry about that.
  5. Member Since
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    Feb 21, 2013, 12:18 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #80

    That stinks that it might not fit! (that's all i can really understand lol.

    ... Soo, what ya gonna do with the helmet that doesnt fit after you (hopefully) make a new one? Haha
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    Feb 21, 2013, 6:42 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #81

    Time to get Beetlejuice round with all his head shrinking powers!

    Beetlejuice
    Beetlejuice
    Beetlejuice!
  7. ThreeFN's Avatar
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    Feb 21, 2013, 10:07 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #82

    Jackscoby said: View Post
    That stinks that it might not fit! (that's all i can really understand lol.

    ... Soo, what ya gonna do with the helmet that doesnt fit after you (hopefully) make a new one? Haha
    Haven't decided yet. There are the obvious solutions: hang it on the wall, sell on ebay/etc, retask for some other project, so on and so forth.

    freedomoffunk said: View Post
    Time to get Beetlejuice round with all his head shrinking powers!

    Beetlejuice
    Beetlejuice
    Beetlejuice!
    That would depend...

    Assuming density is constant during the shrinking:
    A) your skull would become so brittle it would crush under it's own weight
    B) your brain would have so few cells in it you would cease to function

    I much prefer the Farscape pocket quantum universe whereby density does not need to be constant
  8. Member Since
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    Feb 26, 2013, 4:03 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #83

    "Prototype WS2811/WS2812 LEDS - MONEY
    I mentioned that I'm looking at these. Basically, these are the driver chip (WS2811) and integrated package (WS2812, 5050 LED sized) variants commonly used in LED strips/strands. This is currently my favorite for replacing the rainbowduino in the next generation of display LEDs. Many, many advantages include:
    >reduced weight (less complex sub-visor, fewer wires, lighter LEDs, no rainbow boards, etc).
    >'simple' wiring (power, ground, and 'daisy chain' of data in/out)
    >greater brightness control (calibration correction, more colors, etc)
    >'better' brightness/power efficiency (I'll need to know true brightness to really compare, but basic test math says better so far)
    Challenges are:
    >'dead bug' soldering (not all that different from what I had to do for last display)
    >'biblical' power consumption at full brightness (0.06A per led, 5V power, 384 LEDs, 23+ amps, ~120W, I might software limit the max brightness to 1/4 or less)
    >finicky control (other people are making libraries for high speed, 32bit controllers like the Teensy 3 and Arduino Due)
    I need to buy some to play around with, and to quantify some of the other peripheral changes (higher view angles, brightness consistency, etc) before going whole hog. And even the test hardware will cost money as above."

    I too will experiment with this route for my client's project. Sounds fascinating, and lots of support out there for existing Arduinos. Bought myself a Mega 2560 and a short strip of these RGB LED modules.

    Going to try this guy's code, he seems happy and lots of google searching proves it should work:
    http://funkboxing.com/wordpress/?p=1366

    As for your helmet, wow sorry it won't fit. You could sell it as is with the working LEDs for an astronomical sum on ebay, since I doubt you want to undolder all that crazy stuff you did before.

    Thanks for keeping ahead of the technology. And congrats on your magical smoke adventure, no good hobbyist should be without one under his/her belt (I fried a diode this weekend, that was exciting).

    As for your troubles with baud rate on your I2C: well, I2C is pretty sucky as an interface, its a 2 wire serial that is very prone to noise. And is pretty slow by design. 400K is pretty zippy for I2C, so it makes sense to me 100K worked better for you. For my experiments, I'm going SPI, it can at least run in the MHZ range without much trouble.
  9. ThreeFN's Avatar
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    Feb 26, 2013, 4:56 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #84

    colonelmasako said: View Post
    I too will experiment with this route for my client's project. Sounds fascinating, and lots of support out there for existing Arduinos. Bought myself a Mega 2560 and a short strip of these RGB LED modules.

    Going to try this guy's code, he seems happy and lots of google searching proves it should work:
    FastSPI LED Effects funkboxing

    As for your helmet, wow sorry it won't fit. You could sell it as is with the working LEDs for an astronomical sum on ebay, since I doubt you want to undolder all that crazy stuff you did before.

    Thanks for keeping ahead of the technology. And congrats on your magical smoke adventure, no good hobbyist should be without one under his/her belt (I fried a diode this weekend, that was exciting).

    As for your troubles with baud rate on your I2C: well, I2C is pretty sucky as an interface, its a 2 wire serial that is very prone to noise. And is pretty slow by design. 400K is pretty zippy for I2C, so it makes sense to me 100K worked better for you. For my experiments, I'm going SPI, it can at least run in the MHZ range without much trouble.
    I recommend You have a look at Paul's work here. It was featured on HackADay yesterday and that's the 'high speed library' I was referring to. He's using Direct Memory Access (DMA) for basically no processor load required to drive the display. I have yet to dig into it yet to see how I could mod it for my use.

    The I2C debugging problems seem to have been less about the signal noise than porting problems from 8bit to 32bit. I've since tested it with 'suitably long' wires to double check that problem and noise wasn't the issue (when everything was working). 100K was just too damn slow because you could actually see each rainbow getting its update in a sort of 'wipe' from top left to bottom right. It wasn't huge, but going 400K cleaned it up instantly.

    This is far from the most interesting 'smoke' adventure, and actually not the most expensive either (I use to work with 1-12KW motors for a living). But it was still an annoying mistake that I haven't made in the hundreds or thousands of times I power cycled the display before.

    I've got a head scan calculating now, will see the results soon.
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    Mar 19, 2013, 12:01 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #85

    How's it going?

    I was thinking, when you resize it, maybe you should square off the chin on the helmet to make it more accurate
  11. ThreeFN's Avatar
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    Mar 20, 2013, 2:23 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #86

    Jackscoby said: View Post
    How's it going?

    I was thinking, when you resize it, maybe you should square off the chin on the helmet to make it more accurate
    Specifically, the square chin is often attributed to the TRON Legacy rendition of the helmets. My CAD predates that so does not include it and hasn't been 'grossly modified' in probably 2 years. And now I will segue into something related.

    So this brings up a long standing 'thing' for me. I's not good or bad, it's just my opinion.

    Some might be aware of the RabidIrish group buy over at The Daft Club from... some long time ago. I did the CAD for the Thomas helmet that was going to be used for the master mold. It turned into bad timing for me and Rabid and the Volpin bucket buys I think canabalized the pre-reg list Rabid had worked up. I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed.

    So I posted pictures of my work as I went to the thread to show people what they were buying. And there was a never ending list of corrections and improvement requests that resulted. It wasn't much fun.

    One of the critical problems with the DP helmets is that there is an unknown number of versions and revisions to these helmets. I know there was a thread about it over at TDC. And everyone is different, sometimes in overt was and sometimes it's subtle, and sometimes it's just repairs that were made.

    Adam Savage once mentioned something about this (tangentially) in the 'purpose' of the RPF subculture. Even though we're effectively all here to copy someone else's work (namely movie special effects and the like), we still take tremendous pride and ownership in the work that we do and we make it our own.

    So in that regard my buckets are an amalgam of the various designs, what I can actually glean from reference photos, my person style and sensibility, and the realities of all the electronics I want to cram in there. They are my Blade Runner pistol and my Maltese Falcon (more Adam references). Honestly, no one will give a hoot about the accuracy once the LEDs fire up. I don't say that spitefully, I really don't, I say it factually, because the whole point of this project is the absolute epic-ness of the 10's of watts of RGB LEDS shoved in a wearable, portable marque on my face.

    I truely believe there is no difference between the TRON prom dress and the most accurately reproduced CLU outfit or the .Netduino TRON disk. All are ways in which people take ownership of a fantastic project based on ideas and visuals from the world. Painters do the same thing.

    So apologies for soap-boxing a bit, but given my slow progress due to money constraints right now, I like to provide something, and in this case it's an inside look at my brain and how it treats this project. In rescaling the helmet and working with new electronics I may very well take another look at the design and include some TRON elements or other such modifications, but that's as my preference decides. I have some TRON era reference images stashed (I only hoard digitally, the physical world takes up too much space) but haven't taken a critical eye to them.

    End tangent.

    An Aside: if you don't follow Tested.com, do it just for the weekly Adam podcast. It's fantastic, and at times I like to think I'm the magically created forgot son of Adam and Jamie. Don't ask for details.
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    Mar 20, 2013, 2:37 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #87

    Well, yes
    But every era has the square chin, not just the tron. Which im sure you know
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    May 30, 2013, 11:07 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #88

    Hey! Haven't checked in in a while. How's it going?
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    Jun 2, 2013, 2:41 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #89

    Jackscoby said: View Post
    Hey! Haven't checked in in a while. How's it going?
    Almost no progress unfortunately. I have to focus on 'me' right now, ie the new job mostly. I'm back in research mode, considering more and more that I'm going to move to embedded linux for the main processor. This implies a new language (or relearning C++ with a focus on object oriented coding).
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    Sep 27, 2015, 9:17 AM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #90

    This is a very Impressive Project. Kudos Sir!
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    Oct 31, 2015, 5:28 PM - Re: Daft Punk Guy-Manuel Helmet Build - Excessive LEDs and 3D Printing #91

    Narrator said: View Post
    This is a very Impressive Project. Kudos Sir!
    Thank you sir. It's not completely dead yet (cue Monty Python) but it's requiring some serious morphing in order to keep up with the times. I think I'm reaching an inflection point with hardware availability. Raspberry Pi 2, Intel Compute Stick, and the inventions that are being spawned from that concept. It was just announced that Processing (my language of choice at the moment) has been 'ported' to the Raspi 2 and I'm chomping at the bit to give it a shot.

    So hopefully this is a 'stay tuned' and not a 'Firefly's Cancelled' kind of moment.

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