@Rich: why not just dip the LED into acetone, which would soften the plastic, and press it against a cloth or something to roughen the exterior? It will diffuse the light quite nicely, I should imagine.
I'm using Adafruit's NeoPixel Strips -- the main reason for putting a 1cm diameter disk of tranclucent film in front of them is to make it look cool, even when it's turned off
@Max, You mean my freinds at SETI have identified a possible earth like planet. Not at Seti today ;( I was reading the article before this. 450 years away 10 percent larger. Probably another neptune super earth.
@Max, why not just dip the LED into acetone, which would soften the plastic, and press it against a cloth or something to roughen the exterior? It will diffuse the light quite nicely, I should imagine.
@Controlfreak: Max, when looking at your display panel, I somehow envision the LEDs having those jeweled lenses that were originally used on 1960's era panel lights. I think Dialight was the most prominent supplier. Have you considered using anything like that for the "vintage factor"?
If you check out my Inamorata Prognostication Engine project, you will see that there I have my LEDs behind mother-of-pearl "dots" -- these look really amazing, but they aren't cheap.
For the BADASS display, as I said before, I'm trying to get a similar look and feel using cheaper materials. My current plan is to cover eac hled with a piece of white translucent film -- and surround it with a brass washer (aged to look antique) -- I'm going to be creating a paper/card mock-up thsi weekend -- watch for Part 4 ...
@aero, I'd have to do the math, but it seems to me that with 2MHz sampling rate you would have two samples to work with to get your desired resolution, and would need to determine the difference between a 10 KhZ and a 15 KHz single with samples a half microsecond apart. I would think they would be indistinguishable without a whole lot of bits of resolution, and any noise would certainly defeat you.
@Duane: What about using different colors for harmonics or overlapping frequencies?
If you look at Parts 1 and 2 of the BADASS Display project, you will see videos showing all sorts of ways of displaying the info. One of them had the different colors changing horisontally -- each frequency having a different color.
I also like the "peak hold" type where the top-most dot on a frequency column hangs for a moment and then slowly falls.
The great thing is that -- once youve extracted the spectum info -- you can play with all sorts of ways of displaying it -- that's the part I'm really looking forward to -- I'm hoping to bring this to EE Live 2015! to show it off...
@duane; The late owner of the hall collected radios. The current owner has a hallway of cabnets like the one max used. He would really like to get rid of them... For some reason he liked phillips/magnavoxes or something like that.
@Adam-Taylor: Do you plan to use ypur GPU or just the CPU? I ran some tests in Win7 by using Nvidia CUDA and they worked out-of-the-box. AFAIK, Nvidia is suplying an SDK that includes OpenCL and OpenCV support.
I'm making the BADASS display look like a Victorian Steampunk item -- but unlike the Inamorata Prognostication Engine (which involves a 1929 wooden radio cabinet and real brass pannels), I'm making this out of things anyone can lay their hands on like pressed board made to look like brass
Max, when looking at your display panel, I somehow envision the LEDs having those jeweled lenses that were originally used on 1960's era panel lights. I think Dialight was the most prominent supplier. Have you considered using anything like that for the "vintage factor"?
Max "one possibility is to divide the columns into four colored bands, as illustrated in (a) below. Another option is to keep the same bands but make the entire column the highest-amplitude color, as shown in"
What about using different colors for harmonics or overlapping frequencies?
@aero, you're looking for rmicosecond resolution on a modulation scheme that uses 10 khz/15khz as the indicators? That seems like it should violate some kind of law of physics. How quickly are you sampling the signals?
@duane: check out the you-tube video of a guy who wanted some sheet music. Wrote a program to see the holes and convert it from the video. I suspect it works similar to my scanner. (which was and is a decade old open source hardware project.)
Once the carrier is stripped out, there are going to be two remaining frequencies 10kHz and 15kHz. One represents a binary high and the other the low. I need to monitor the time the signal is either high or low, and I am looking to have .000001s resolution (I may have missed a 0in there).
I am thinking about passing it through a low pass filter, then doing a 64 point FFT with an overlapping moving window. I will then have a threshold that I start a counter once a requency reaches a certain level.
@Rich: I have been out of the software development process for so long, I have trouble setting up and using the tools to start with. It's a learning curve I am frustrated with.
Ah ha! I knwo what you mean -- Duane is good at that stuff -- I like the Arduino IDE -- and I like "bare metal" programming without an operating system getting in the way -- "boys just want to light LEDs" as the old song should go...
@All, any of you have any experience doing demodulations? I cannot find much on demoding the PTM type signals. I think that I have a method that will work, but it may not be the most computationally efficient.
Adam - I took a hiatus from my FPGA studies after APP ended, but I jumped back in not long ago to get ready for my beginner FPGA talk at EELive. I've now remembered how much fun they are and I seem to have forgotten a few of the bad habits I had. (not all, but a few)
@sheepdoll: ...back when we did the ren fair a number of disney imagineers liked to play in the sandbox...
I woudl LOVE to spend a day with the Disney Imagineers questioning them about how they do things and achieve certain effects ... on the other hand, as I learn thsi stuff myself, it gives me topics to write about
@Rich: Max, what did you think of the process for getting onto kickstarter in the first place?
I thought it was really easy ... but then Duane did all of the work LOL ... he set up the project and took the photos -- I did the words ... also I linked up with my web guy to create our MDGalactic.com website ("Max & Duane Galactic Enterprises" -- we didn't want to restrict ourselves in the future LOL)
Max, back when we did the ren fair a number of disney imagineers liked to play in the sandbox. I had to design buildings with slate style roofs as thatch would burn to easy. The disney folk told me that they used the insulation from inside phone cables to simulate thatch. Could never find enough phone cable stuff. The mouse just gets it bulk from the distro.
Rich - It was a pretty interesting process. More complex than I was expecting though. I've got 20 years of experience running product financials, but it's been a few years so I'm a bit out of practice. Every time Max and I chatted about the project, one or the other of us would find some other factor we hadn't considered.
I think part of the Kickstarter problem was me. I quoted the project out and did all of the financial calculations. We weren't in it to make a bunch of money - just some beer or dinner money for the families - but we didn't want to lose money. That meant I had to err a bit on the side of higher costs. It would be pretty easy to have conditions change a bit and and up needing to shell out a few thousand dollars out of pocket. That would be bad.
The Northern California Pirate fesival last year was Kickstarter done right. Helps to have a 7+ year track record abd a subject people enjoy. You really have to have your ducks in a row and a practical business plan first.
One thing I'm going to be practicing is how to age brass so it look really old. I've heard salt works ... or vinegar ... or putting the brass in an ammonia atmosphere -- maybe baking in an oven -- maybe a mix of all of these.
Also i've heard that the Disney Imagineers use cow manure -- Brian LaGrave lives about 40 miles away in the country -- he's going to bring me a bag the next time he's passing...
Why is the Kickstarter project crashing and burning? There are only a few days to go and we don;t have enough interest. No worries -- it was just for a laugh anyway, but it woudl have been nice to have succeeded
The cost structure was such that that to make it affordable, the volumes had to be in the 300 - 500 range. That ended up making the goal too high. We've got $4,000 pleged, so that's something of an endorsement, but right not the numbers just don't add up right.
Yep dropbox is a simple approach. Difficult to share across a wide user base however. I'm hoping to find a good infrastructure for many people to share designs with each other and allow collabrative expansion...
So, my mini-robot that I showed in the Gadget smackdown will be a three board set: one for the sensors, one for the motor drive and one for the WiFi. I built the WiFi connector into the motor board, but I only have enough code space for one or the other.
I've discovered the limitations of the Arduino Leonard architecture. I like the Leonardo for my own boards because it doesn't require a second MCU for the USB interface, but it doesn't have enough left over FLASH.
Crusty - I'm dreading the day I have to move to Win8. Maybe by that time, they will have fixed it or moved on to Win9. I have to upgrade my daughter's PC and am going to buy Win7. I'd love to hear your thougts on 8 once you get used to it. My knowledge of it dates back to the pre-release candidates, so I'm out of date.
@Max I have found if you get the awful wrapper of windows 8 , it's just plain 7 under it, which is nice to use. just getting Sigasi downloaded to it but in demo mode only can not afford the monthly cost foe full use.
@Duane: Migrating my old progs and apps to the new Windows 8 portable what a pain, especially having to get new node locked licenses. All because I can no longer safely run XP connected to the net.
Still I have my Microduino and oled deiplay working now. Got the wrong I2C address at first which caused me some pain till I put a logic analyser on the I2C lines and read the slave address I was sending. Good kickstarter kit from Microduino but you need to be knowledgable to use it as the detailed info is difficult to dig from the Wiki web site.
Our next live online chat will commence on Friday 18 April 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time). You'll have to work out your local time from these clues (you can always use this handy-dandy Time Zone Converter).
Your host will be Max Maxfield, and the topic of conversation will be anything and everything to do with everyone's electronic hobby projects.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.