Return from LiB

Ok a lot’s happened. Leo, Joel and I worked furiously to get the vests built up and out. We made 7 for the Lightning in a Bottle festival. Huge success and can’t wait to work on the v2.

The current version of the iPhone interface is below. I’ll post pictures of the hardware installations in the next posting.

We had a great time walking around the festival in sync. People loved the vest but when they saw that it was controlled from a central controller, they freaked. It was really fun to see the reactions. We had almost no issues with the hardware or software. I sat on my system and broke one of the connections. Would have been an easy fix but one of our friends left so I just took his. Also, I tried to create a couple of other patterns but realized that I would have had to re-burn the Arduinos. Not something that I wanted to try to do out there (possible but not …).

The LiPo batteries worked great. We standardized on the 2200mAh size and recharged each night. I think these would work for a couple of nights but it would have been a risk. We worked for about 4 hours and I think it would be safe to stick with this 2200mAh size for Burningman because we’d probably be working on a longer time set. Also, the iPhone battery needs a backup. I was running out quite quickly and the Minty boost charger wasn’t working well. Need to debug that.

We loved having the project come to fruition. I’ll post more details but just wanted to put an update out.

Build out

Another while.

A lot of tying up loose ends lately. Mocking up and finalizing the software. The bigger items have been taken care of already. Leo is working on the pattern and construction of the vests themselves. We’ll be working on a full mock up this weekend so we’ll send some video out then.

The biggest issue I’ve been dealing with lately is with power. I got some sample Li-Po batteries and mocked up a power supply for the LED strands. Surprisingly I was seeing 2A coming through. The spec said 1A. I called CoolNeon and they admitted the error. I’m scrambling to find another power supply because 2A melts the plastic with a linear regulator. Wanted to use a switching power supply but it would be difficult with the time and effort. I found some interesting circuits built for RC systems and ordered a handful for testing. This weekend should be fun on that front. Boo to CoolNeon for the bad advertising.

We mocked up some of the fur that Leo got and it’s actually quite nice. I’m looking forward to the full mock up. Stay tuned.