Hi, I’m Siam S. and I am a rising freshman in Hillcrest High School. For my main project I did the Infinite LED Table based on this. I chose this project because optical illusions are really cool and it seems like a great thing to show off.
Joining BlueStamp was a great experience. It has taught me to be self-reliant and independent. The instructors were there more for guidance and leading students in the right way while we went on our own path. BlueStamp has also taught me about approaching a problem and all the versatile and various ways to solve said problem. Many times I faced an issue where I and the instructors didn’t know what to do and had to overcome that problem. It’s also taught me about patience, I thought i wouldn’t be able to finish my project but after taking my time and really going through things I got stuff done. I’m thankful for joining BlueStamp.
My final milestone is finishing the Infinity LED Mirror Stand. On my previous milestone I had the frame ready and the LEDs set up. I glued on the LEDs onto the frame and glued in the front mirror. Instead of gluing in the back mirror like the original project intended to, I made a hinge using flexible metal and a lock using balsa wood for the back mirror. In any case of something happening inside the mirror, instead of cutting up the hot glue and pulling the mirror out, which takes a lot of time , I could just pull up the lock and pull the mirror out. (Before the presentation, one side of the LEDs kept glitching out and beeping, I fixed that my pulling up the back mirror and giving it a good squeeze, the connection may have been shotty) I also wired in a switch which wasn’t too difficult since i only had to connect the ground wire, 5v wire, and connect to the Arduino.
My second milestone was making the code for the LED Strip and wiring the LED Strip together. Wiring the LED Strip together was more difficult than expected. The LED Strip burns really easily when soldering and the solderable area was very small and soldering something in the area was tricky. Because of this, a lot of single LEDs had to be cut off and I had to be extra careful while soldering. Aside from this I had to solder in a capacitor and wire it with the arduino too. My first strip was broken at the beginning so it had to be replaced with another. After replacing it and getting everything hooked up, I uploaded the Adafruit LED code and got it working.
My first milestone was making the frame for the project. The original project had the frame as a table however i decided to do a stand because if you have the frame horizontally and as a table, light is only passing through the top mirror and not the bottom so the infinite effect doesn’t look as nice as it could be. Although, if you have the frame vertical, light can pass through both sides and the effect inside looks great. A lot of mechanical work was done to make the frame. Cutting with the jigsaw and gluing on the legs was done. One difficulty I had while making this was sanding out cuts to make them straight and refined. Since the jigsaw isn’t as precise as I would want it to be, fining tools and sandpaper had to be used to straighten edges out. This took up a lot of time and effort to do but worked out in the end. For my future plan of actions, the 4 planks are going to be glued around the border of the frame and drill holes will be put in the back to feed wires through and be placed behind the back mirror.
For my starter project I built the Mintyboost portable charger. It has a variety of resistors, diodes, capacitors, a battery compartment, and other parts. The battery compartment is the power source to charge the phone, while the capacitors store electrical energy from it and the resistors control current flow. The diodes make sure the electrical energy only flows from the battery to the phone and not the other way around. The specific IC chip in this amplifies DC currents while the inductors in the Mintyboost convert low voltages to high voltages. Some issues I ran into while making this was desoldering the wires when I thought something was wrong with the soldering but instead the issue was dead batteries. Aside from that, the only other problem faced may have been having to check multiple times to make sure all the parts were in the right place in the right position.