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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:I just finished soldering up my 'Hyperlights'. Red, Green, and Blue Luxeon PIC Uber poi cool






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More images with the Luxeons running here


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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:that's pretty radical. how do they spin? they look heavy, but looks can be decieving.

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:They weigh ~115g. I've not yet spun it (only got one so far), but I'm making a fabric cone to go on the end so I should be able to spin it tonight - I'll take some more photos smile

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anonomatos
anonomatos

enthusiast
Location: Utrecht [NL]
Member Since: 19th Jan 2005
Total posts: 389
Posted:WOW... pretty colours, they're VERY bright!

"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"

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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:Luxeon poi. mmmmmm.... drool....

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pineapple pete
pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne
Member Since: 20th Sep 2004
Total posts: 5125
Posted:will they break, how much did the luxeons cost u

cheers, pete biggrin


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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PoiToi
member

Member Since: 28th Aug 2004
Total posts: 41
Posted:what exactly does luxeon refer to??

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:luxeon is the brand of LED

they make extremely bright LED's. like up to 3 watts [or 1W, at least - maybe i'm exaggerating inadvertently]

petzl make headlamps for cavers which use luxeon LED's . . .


ture na sig

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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Q : Will they break?



A : Probably - this is the very first prototype, to test out different patterns etc. Here's what the finished version should look like :




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Q : How much did the luxeons cost?



A : ~6 each, so there's 18 of LED in each unit



Luxeon is indeed the type of LED, they're made by Lumileds. The ones in there are running at ~1W each smile


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Havokist
Havokist


Location: Manchester
Member Since: 20th Dec 2004
Total posts: 2530
Posted:that looks like quite a secure design. if you had a cover over the actual LED's, but possibly not too close and with a few holes to let the LEDs breathe, as they've been known to get quite hott, then it may protect them against breaks



how do they spin?


We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams,
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World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams;
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PoiToi
member

Member Since: 28th Aug 2004
Total posts: 41
Posted:coool...

How many Candela do they put out??

Only problem i see with that design is that LEDs have very focused beams (less than 30 degrees usually) so it will be hard to see the poi unless you are straight on at them... you could angle each one facing outward 45 degrees or so so you can see them from all angles, or jsut squeeze an inch or however much of clear silicone sealant on the end, so they have something to shine into and reflect the light off of....

but i definately would like to see them in action!!
:-D


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Jo
Jo

member
Location: Sheffield, England
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 517
Posted:PoiToi, a lot of candellas!



and at 110 degrees or sometimes more I think?



Nice work FireGeek,



some things I would look at on the final design:



AAAs should power 1 lux at a time to max brightness or there abouts I think so could save a little weight there.



Also, PoiToi is right that to get the best out of the light maybe some diffusion material of some kind infront of the lights?



I think the heatsink will need some impact protection because it looks like it could get damaged if hit hard.



Look forward to video - should be bright! biggrin



Jo. smile

EDITED_BY: Jo (1112666639)


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:4 AA batteries?! YOW! I like heavy poi, but that's some serious weight to be spinning! I sure as heck wouldn't want to bean myself with those puppies! Have you considered Li-Ion cells? My current design uses a single CR123 rechargable Li-ion cell and I'm using a switcher to boost up to a regulated 5V. Eventually I want to replace the PWM control with individually switched variable current supplies since this is far more efficient. First of all, losses at the dropping resistor go away, and the blue and green LEDs are more efficient at lower currents (Red LEDs are still most efficient at their max current rating.) Eventually, once I get the design down I want to pour the whole thing into epoxy or acrylic resin. The slickest part is how I'll charge the battery and turn it on with no external connections. ;-)

-p.


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:@havokist: I'm not sure yet - I've been ill for the past day or two, and wasn't really up to finishing them off. I might have a chance to get one swingable somethime later this week (work's very busy atm).

@poitoi: If you pointed them at people unprotected, you'd probably damage their eyes! Here's my plan :


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The grey area would be a cone of fabric that replaces the chain you'd normally use, and acts as a diffuser for the LEDs ubbidea

@Jo: They are indeed quite heavy, but I'm used to spinning (at least) double headed firepoi, so I'm not too worried. I might try running them off AAA batteries and see if they cope. It should work, just won't last as long frown The diagram was more about functionality than protecting the components. I reckon the final version will hold the heatsink / LEDs more securely and safely.

@pj: Sounds like you're way ahead of me already smile I've considered other cells, but I'd like these puppies to be rechargeable. Also, aren't Li-Ion's the ones that aren't very impact resistant (i.e. they explode if bashed too hard)? ..or was that another type of cell? Interesting idea with regard to the current supplies. How easy would it be to control the brightness of the LEDs with those? I too want to cast the whole thing in some sort of resin - should be nice and robust that way smile I'd be interested in seeing how you plan to charge the batteries with no external connections? Some sort of magnetic system maybe? Turning on without external connections shouldn't be too tough smile

@all: Cheers for the compliments, I'll try and get them spinnable (and take a video of them) by the end of the week... depends how work goes wink


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Olive
Olive

enthusiast
Location: Paris 19e
Member Since: 9th Jun 2004
Total posts: 286
Posted:Dohhh ..
everyone's having the same idea ...
Firegeek> my current design is cone poi too, with some similar drawing


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:I *really* like that cone idea! I was wondering how you were going to diffuse the light from the design you posted. I've been spinning for a while, to the point where I remember the time before sock poi. I always thought that sock poi were ghetto-ass until I actually tried some. I'm now a total convert to practicing with sock poi.

I was still working towards the idea of ultimate glowstick. My idea was to just use one each of the lsdiodes THC LEDs and diffuse that through an 8 inch poured rod of poured acrylic. The reason I've been wanting to work towards lighter LED poi even though I like heavy fire poi is that you need to spin non-fire poi rather quickly to get a good trailer effect. The other is that even heavy fire poi don't really hurt all that much if you smack yourself, and unless you tangle it just results in some singed hair. Compare this with any of the many items like the HOP "beaming balls" and it's nothing -- the really ought to be called "beaning balls". I consider fire to be *far* safer than those beasties, and I've got a lot of respect for the people who spin them! Like the globalls, I'll be wanting to cover the plexi with some sort of silicone to cushion any blows.

Anyways, after groking your sock idea, I think I'm going to have to play with that now for a bit -- might change my focus entirely...

With regards to the electrics, I'm not aware of a shock problem with Li-ion batteries. I'll have to research that one. I'm a bit more concerned that the battery won't be properly vented. The charging mechanism will be a high-frequency air-core transformer, and it will have relatively limited current capability, so that should be enough of a safety mechanism.

An adjustable current source is actually the *preferred* way to control the brightness of an LED. They generally aren't used because of added component cost. But when you are already shelling out for Luxeon-class LEDs those costs become trivial. Heck, *all* of your other costs become trivial once you step up to Luxeons!

I've been keeping my eye on the Luxeon clones and some of them are looking rather appealing. I figure they'll be cost effective by the end of the year. One of the things that makes the Luxeons so nice is their beam pattern -- all the clones I've seen have inferior beam patterns, but for our uses that doesn't make any difference whatsoever.

-p.


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Written by: pj
I *really* like that cone idea! I was wondering how you were going to diffuse the light from the design you posted. I've been spinning for a while, to the point where I remember the time before sock poi. I always thought that sock poi were ghetto-ass until I actually tried some. I'm now a total convert to practicing with sock poi.


I'm rather proud of it too. I just wonder whether the light is going to diffuse far enough up the cone. Holding some material (white rip-stop nylon) over my little unit only light's up ~50% of the cone I made. I reckon that could be improved by adding a deflector below the luxeons, and maybe using two layers of nylon.

I had the same opinion of sock poi until I actually tried some - I never use my tennis ball poi anymore!

Written by:
I was still working towards the idea of ultimate glowstick. My idea was to just use one each of the lsdiodes THC LEDs and diffuse that through an 8 inch poured rod of poured acrylic. The reason I've been wanting to work towards lighter LED poi even though I like heavy fire poi is that you need to spin non-fire poi rather quickly to get a good trailer effect. The other is that even heavy fire poi don't really hurt all that much if you smack yourself, and unless you tangle it just results in some singed hair. Compare this with any of the many items like the HOP "beaming balls" and it's nothing -- the really ought to be called "beaning balls". I consider fire to be *far* safer than those beasties, and I've got a lot of respect for the people who spin them! Like the globalls, I'll be wanting to cover the plexi with some sort of silicone to cushion any blows.


Yeah, I must admit, these ones are quite heavy. I made some fairly sturdy (read probably fatal if you collide with one) poi of the stick design you're suggesting. They worked okay, but were heavy and dangerous.

My plan for these new ones was to stick a layer of foam around the unit to soften the blow. I'll have to try my units on AAA batteries though - that'd certainly drop the weight down!

Written by:
With regards to the electrics, I'm not aware of a shock problem with Li-ion batteries. I'll have to research that one. I'm a bit more concerned that the battery won't be properly vented. The charging mechanism will be a high-frequency air-core transformer, and it will have relatively limited current capability, so that should be enough of a safety mechanism.


I think I must've imagined that, or perhaps it was a different type of cell. ubbloco

Written by:
An adjustable current source is actually the *preferred* way to control the brightness of an LED. They generally aren't used because of added component cost. But when you are already shelling out for Luxeon-class LEDs those costs become trivial. Heck, *all* of your other costs become trivial once you step up to Luxeons!


I've been looking into this a little more, and it makes for very interesting reading!

Written by:
I've been keeping my eye on the Luxeon clones and some of them are looking rather appealing. I figure they'll be cost effective by the end of the year. One of the things that makes the Luxeons so nice is their beam pattern -- all the clones I've seen have inferior beam patterns, but for our uses that doesn't make any difference whatsoever.


I don't suppose you have any more information on them do you? I've not seen anything quite like Luxeons (unless you count super-bright LEDs, which IMHO are in a different league).

You got me thinking earlier about efficiencies, and I did some calculations earlier. Looks like I could drop my resistor values down a bit, use lower duty cycles and get more efficiency as a result. I'll have to play with that a little more though.


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:Here's an address for the Luxeon clone:

http://www.moreleds.com/starfishqna.htm
br>
-p.


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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:and clear polycarbonate tubing for the diffuser, rather than fabric, i'd suggest

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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Ah, but then you'd have a really long rigid structure which'd feel horrible to spin with. Either that, or you'd have a relatively short part that was actually flashing. If I was going that way, I could go back to using something along the lines of my previous design smile

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:how fast can the electronics switch between led colours?

if you can get it up to 5000hz, you can create just about any colour you care to choose!


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:What's the material there? Aluminium or steel? Either way that would be darn heavy. 5/8 in plastic rod really isn't all that heavy, and if you weight the end of it (with the battery) it doesn't have a bad feel to it at all. 5/8 in x 8 in. is substantially larger than a glow stick, and if you can match the initial intensity of the super-bright ones I'd say you'd have a pretty spiffy toy.

-p.


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:@cole: Each LED is strobing at ~30KHz IIRC ...but each one is set by a dedicated hardware channel, so you don't even have to switch between them - just set each one to whatever brightness biggrin

@pj: It's aluminium, and yeah, they're damn heavy. The end pieces aren't solid - they're hollow (as is the middle section which contains the batteries). I wasn't suggesting the big glowstick-esque ones don't look good - they look amazing in fact. I just reckon that having the area that's normally occupied by the chain lit up would look even better smile


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:That's some pretty impressive machining you've got there. Having played with quite a number of commercial poi, I know the number one problem is reliability and lot of the reliability problems come from having to deal with removable batteries. My thought had been to address all this in one shot by potting the whole thing in one piece of plastic, and then perhaps coating it with silicone to reduce impact problems. It's also a whole lot easier than fancy machining! Of course this means going with rechargable batteries, but Li-ion batteries are getting cheap, and it's actually easier to build an intelligent charger for Li-ion cells than forNiMHs. And the storage density is absolutely amazing. A single Li-ion CR123 cell will provide 700 mAH @ 3.6V, which is more than you'll get from three AAA NiMHs in series. A Li-ion in AA packaging will provide a whopping 2.25 AH!

-p.


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Jo
Jo

member
Location: Sheffield, England
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 517
Posted:http://www.tadiranbat.com/hipower.php
br>
hehe.

Jo. wink


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:That's certainly an interesting battery. While it can sustain some rather extreme discharge rates, it's total energy is just 550 mAh @ 50 mA.

Some googling led me to this PDF document:

http://www.rosebatteries.com/newsletters/E-newsletter11.pdf
br>
Which provided me with some important info -- Li-ion cells swell after recharging. This would not be a good thing if sealed in plastic! This means that I will have to wrap them in foam before casting them, and perhaps drill a small vent hole.

This place has some pretty good prices on Li-ion cells:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=739
br>
Unfortunately, I haven't found any good prices on Li-ion cells with solder tabs. frown

-p.


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Written by: pj
That's some pretty impressive machining you've got there. Having played with quite a number of commercial poi, I know the number one problem is reliability and lot of the reliability problems come from having to deal with removable batteries. My thought had been to address all this in one shot by potting the whole thing in one piece of plastic, and then perhaps coating it with silicone to reduce impact problems. It's also a whole lot easier than fancy machining! Of course this means going with rechargable batteries, but Li-ion batteries are getting cheap, and it's actually easier to build an intelligent charger for Li-ion cells than forNiMHs. And the storage density is absolutely amazing. A single Li-ion CR123 cell will provide 700 mAH @ 3.6V, which is more than you'll get from three AAA NiMHs in series. A Li-ion in AA packaging will provide a whopping 2.25 AH!


I'm fortunate enough to have a grandfather with a lathe and the time / patience to show me how to use it smile

I can see where you're coming from with the idea of rechargeable batteries which are permanently set. My feeling was that a lot of people have their own batteries and might want to swap between the things they own. Also, you could sell them without batteries this way and thus reduce costs smile

Good point about capacity though. How much do they weight? I think I may have to re-investigate the power source for my beasties!

WOW @ those uber batteries - I bet they cost the earth though!

Li-Ion Batteries with tags for 6.89

If you look at vs Ah, NiMh win hands down. As far as weight / volume go, your Li-Ion is king. I'm still not entirely sure which I'd rather have. Would I be right in thinking that 4xAAA batteries (rated at 800mAh) would give you 800mAh in series and 3200mAh in parallel? That makes sense to me.


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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:Historically, Li-ion batteries were wildly expensive, but the prices have dropped dramatically in the past six months and are continuing to do so.

Here are the number I've been working with: A CR123A (typically a camera battery) provides 700 mAh @ 3.6V for as little as us$3 (down from $5 - $10 just a few months back) By comparison, three AAA NiMHs provide only 550 mAh @ 3.6V (in series) and actually cost substantially more -- typically at least us$5. The little CR123A is also quite a bit smaller and lighter than three AAAs.

Now, it is true that AAA NiMHs are *much* more expensive than AA NiHMs in terms of power output (per cell, AAAs are more expensive and have only 1/3 the power) so this is a skewed comparison.

However, my experience is that spinning two AAs at the end of a string with nothing else is about the *maximum* weight I want to be playing with. And when you are deaing with NiMHs, you only get 2.4V which is difficult (efficiently, at least) to step up to the voltage required for green/blue LEDs.

Anyways, these numbers are biased towards my designs, and work very well foe whare I have been heading. WRT to AA NiMHs, four of them would provide about 9.6 Wh for about us$6, while two AA Li-ions would provide would provide 10.08 Wh for us$7.30 using this battery:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1335
br>
That's not a lot extra to spend for a dramatic weight reduction!

I've read a lot of negative reviews of commercial LED poi with built-in rechargable batteries, but since I'm not planning to bring anything to market (aside from custom orders) I don't really care. ;-)

And besides, there is a reason why people have such a low opinion of rechargable cells -- Historically, mfgrs. have used dumb chargers to save a few pennies. Dumb chargers are slow and kill your batteries in short order. The fact that a lot of rechargable appliances suck has nothing at all to do with rechargable battery technology! The other problem specific to NiMHs is that they have a very high self-discharge rate, and will drain completely in a few months. And once a NiMH battery has been drained completely, it must go through several full charge-discharge cycle to regain full capacity. Li-ion cells are much less succeptable to this effect given their much slower self-discharge rate.

I realize you might not be able to get such good deals on Li-ion batteries in the UK yet, but if so, it probably won't be too long before you are able to.

-p.


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Wow, lots of useful information there. I'm seriously re-considering my options now! Another factor that had been putting me off using Li-ion's was my choice of chip. Running a 16F7x7 means you need 4-5v which meant either some sort of boost circuit, or something to drop the voltage down. I've been looking at other chips since you got me thinking about Li-ion cells, and I maye have a solution. There are low-voltage versions of the chips. I've got a 16LF777 sitting here, which according to the docs will run at 4Mhz from 2v+! Give it 3v+ and it'll run at 10Mhz. Both of which would be fine for what I'm doing here.

You mentioned you were looking for Li-ion's with tabs? Maybe you overlooked it, but on the site you linked me to, they have a drop-down box which lets you specify whether you want solder tags or not!

Looking at capacity vs cost, it looks like that 1400 cell is the winner:

X / Y = Z
1400 / 03.65 = 383.56
2000 / 05.95 = 336.13
2200 / 07.90 = 278.48
2400 / 08.90 = 269.66
750 / 03.45 = 217.39
650 / 02.99 = 217.39
600 / 03.95 = 151.90

Where X is capacity, Y is cost and Z is cost/capacity. Postage to the UK's a little high - $18.40 to get 4 of the 1400 cells over here. ~17 for four effectively, which is less than I was expecting. I think I'll order some and give this a go!

One thing that's been puzzling me is why would you need to step up the voltage? From the luxeon documents, royal blue / green will drop ~3.42v at 350mA, and red will drop ~2.95v... unless you were planning on over-driving them and using lower PWM values to make them (even) more efficient? biggrin The documentation suggests the maximum (pulsed) current is 500mA for blue/green and 550mA for red. The specs of those batteries suggest they can cope with considerably more drain than the 1.5A the luxeons could pull (3.5A!!!). Interesting stuff... I think I need to think about this a little more as we're hitting the limits of my electronics knowledge here smile


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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Some updates on my progress - I've been busy:


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I took some (long exposure) pics of a couple of simple programs I wrote too..


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There's two things I really need to do to make those look better.

1) Smooth the fading effect - the numbers I'm changing linearly, but we don't see light like that - I need to make up a simple scale. With a bit of luck, that should spread out thr colours more evenly
2) Alter the way it fades so that when two colours are active, the overall intensity is reduced. That should fix the brighter patches where two colours overlap.

'tis definitely on it's way though smile


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Bird
Bird

now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall
Member Since: 25th Aug 2003
Total posts: 6086
Posted:eek

SWEET!!!!

How are they for weight?

I've fiddled about with making some LED poi, but never really got anything like this kinda level!


My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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