Hi my name is Blake, I’m a rising junior at City Arts and Technology Highschool. For my starter project I did a brain machine because I wanted to work with sound and LEDs. For my main project I did a light show which was a really great experience because I got to work with color and also got the chance to combine my love of art with my interest in technology.. If you’d like to recreate my project, follow the instructions on this website http://www.instructables.com/id/Low-resolution-display-done-right/?ALLSTEPS  and see my code below.

 Code link: https://gist.github.com/Merzombieee


Having the opportunity to work at BlueStamp has been one of the best experiences ever. At first I wasn’t exactly sure that I even wanted to work in the engineering field. Working on projects around people who have made it far into this area and meeting people who have built new things and started their own business was very helpful for me. I have realized through this program what kind of occupation I want to have in the future. I hope to someday build something new or start a business with my own ideas and help expand the idea of technology in this world.

Milestone 2: Finished writing the code!

Working with code was hard at first, but then it became just tedious. I looked at a couple of codes on the internet, and when I eventually understood what did what, I altered them so that the outcome was what I wanted it to be. One of the codes I have controls each LED separately using hue, saturation, and value which was an important part of the code if I wanted to get the color white or anything close to it. Inside each light are 3 LEDs so there are 192 LEDs in total. Any color can be obtained by a different combination of the red, green and blue light. Being able to change the saturation will allow any color to become white. Connecting the rainbowduino to the led matrix was the easiest part because it fit perfectly, they both have the same number of pins on each side so they snap right together. I didn’t do a lot of building, my project was mostly coding so once I finished setting up the box I started working with the arduino and getting that to work with lights, familiarizing myself with a breadboard, reading about coding, and learning each sections function. I was successful! Check out my final product.

Milestone 1: Finished Mechanical Set-up!

For my main project, I completed a LED light show. It’s comprised of a wooden box with a rainbowduino board connected to an 8×8 LED matrix board inside. To make this mini light show, I first cut out a square from the top of the box. I should have drilled the holes to mount the rainbowduino first, but instead I went straight to painting the inside and outside of the box. The color of the inside of the box was actually important because it allows the color from the led to pop out more. In order for the leds to appear fused together, I added tracing paper to the opening of the box piece. I cut out and glued down to square pieces of wood to the inside and screwed the rainbowduino down on it. After I finished setting everything up, I started working with the rainbowduino and looking and altering codes.

Starter Project: Brain Machine

My starter project is the brain machine, a pair of glasses connected to LED lights and sound. The lights flash in the eyes while a tone is being played in the ears. A challenge I faced was stripping the wires. I always would accidentally squeeze too hard and some the wire strings within the wire would clip off and I would have to start over to avoid weakening the wire. Eventually practice made perfect and I got all the wires stripped without a problem. Another challenge I faced happened towards the end. I had finished putting everything together and was running the last test but one of the led lights would not work. I had to go through and check the wires and PCB but it ended up being the positioning of the LED wires in the front of the glasses. Turns out they were not bent correctly. Overall this was a fun project and I think this would be perfect for someone who is just starting out so that they can have a simple way of practicing soldering, and putting things in the correct place on the PCB. I learned a lot and the finished product is pretty interesting too. The brain machine can be used for meditation, relaxation, or just some trippy fun.

  • Brandon Barrette

    Blake! I am so proud of you! What awesome work you did this summer. How are you going to extend your project? What other “designs” could you write in code to make other LED shows?

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