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tom-ii
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Re: ...And this is the crux of "Systems Engineering"
tom-ii   12/23/2014 9:53:37 AM
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Yeah, it's not "price is no object," but more like - I wanna do that, and if it nickels and dimes me to deth, that's okay, but there's no way in heck that I'm coughing up that much of my hard-earned dough all at once!

 

...

 

Besides, this is more fun.

 

...

 

But I'll usually still do a lot of up-front work before I start building hardware.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: ...And this is the crux of "Systems Engineering"
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:51:23 AM
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@Tom-II: Total cost of a system (including rework and repair) over its life is determined by the choices you make at the very beginning of the design.

Do you recall how this project started? It was when I was coming back from the EELive! Conference and Exhibition in Silicon Valley in April 2014. I was stooging around the airport waiting for my flight, when I saw a little 9" tall bluetooth speaker with a "Oooh, Shiny" graphic equalizer cabability.

At first I thought "That's Interesting." Then I discovered the price -- $200 -- and I thought "It's not that interesting." That's when I decided to make my own ... I'm scared to think how much I've spent on this -- but then I think of all I've learned (like "don't stick the  panels on with glue until you've checked the holes are in the right place" LOL) and the fun I've had building it -- and the real fun is yet to come when I start to program it.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: gotchas....
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:44:53 AM
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@Crusty: How to get the magic inducing agent in the box...

The power supply is a big consideration -- each LED can draw up to 20mA, so each NeoPixel with its red, green, and blue LEDs can draw 60mA if they are all full on -- so 256 of them comes to a tad over 15 amps -- which is why I'm using a 20A power supply.

Happily -- this cabinet has a lot of free space inside -- the main thing is using a sufficient gauge of wire to get the power to the LEDs.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: A million lights
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:40:55 AM
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@seaEE: I know that the first test song, the "Beta Song", will be Xanadu.  "A million lights [apropos] are dancing and there you are, a shooting star".  :)

Oooh -- I hadn't even thought about the first test song -- once I've wired everything up, I'll probably start out using my frequency generator -- but when it comes to the first song ... hmmm

I want something with a good base beat -- and something that ranges across the entire frequency spectrum -- this could lead to a whole new blog!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: A million lights
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:38:26 AM
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@seaEE: Looking forward to the completion of this project

Me too -- we're getting close now...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: That looks really cool
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:37:08 AM
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@mithrandir: Do you have any plans for the LED colours?

If you look at the first two parts of this series (links in the column above), I show videos of different graphic equalizers created by others.

Some folks use color to reflect frequency -- changing the colors from left-to-right -- like having red for the base frequencies on the left and then moving through orange, yellow, green, and blue with increasing frequencies as we move to the right.

Other folks use color to reflect amplitude -- changing the colors from bottom to top -- like having a band of green on the bottom, then blue, then yellow, then red on the top.

I'm using tri-colored NeoPixels, so the fun part is that I can try all sorts of different combinations -- that's why I added the small control panel at the bottom to allow me to switch between different schemes.

I'm really looking forward to playing with the programming part of all this. 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: That looks really cool
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:30:04 AM
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@mithrandir: I love the 'ye olde' cabinet look!


I'm a big fan of Steampunk -- I'm aiming at a "Thomas Edison Graphic Equalizer" look -- in the case of this project I wanted to use materials anyone could lay their hands on -- hence the fact that the main cabinet is all plywood stained to look old, while the display and control panels are just hardboard painted to look like brass.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Shakespearean efforts
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:27:06 AM
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@ChipChap42: But the end result looks spectacular and I can't wait to see the fruits of your labours after Christmas

Thanks Paul -- I must admit that I'm feeling rather proud -- I had worried that I'd spaced the LEDs too far apart -- but with the brass washers installed I think it's looking pretty darn good :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: King Midas
Max The Magnificent   12/23/2014 9:25:01 AM
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@Duane: What about getting the router out again and routing 1/16" of material such that each channel is surrounded by a 1/16" deep channel? Then you could use the threaded thingamabobs instead of glue.

I must admit that I have considered that -- but the thought of taking those 256 lense/washer assemblies off again is a bit daunting -- and to be honest I've had enough of the router for a while (plus I'm scared of messing up and going all the way through LOL).

antedeluvian
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Re: gotchas....
antedeluvian   12/23/2014 8:57:27 AM
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Crusty

 seem never to learn but I build the electronics to fit the box and test with a bench power supply and then find I have forgotten to allow any space to mount a power supply in the box

This seems to be just a special case of my problem. I appear to be incapable of envisaging how much space I am going to need when I am enclosing a project in a housing. As a result most of my test jigs today are simply mounted on a  piece of wood with a piece of plastic/card screwed to an edge to make front panel. Probably part of the problem of designing on the fly. It is all a bit strange since I normally don't have an issue in assessing how much I can get onto (or at least get my PCB designer to get on )a proscribed PCB.

It seems to be the ultimate peril for Crusty



My problem is remebering to allow for power dissipation. See "Power Dissipation: My Arch-Nemesis"

 

 

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