The lamp that WAS meant to be! (WS2812B LED Box)

A little while ago, I was experimenting with a WS2812B LED and toying with the idea of making a basic lamp. Things didn’t work out and the project was scrapped but I still had the internals of it ready on a breadboard so I gave it another go, while taking in some inspiration from the comments on that post which mentioned a product that’s more or less a small table-top spotlight.

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From my previous experiments, I already had a WS2812B LED soldered to some wires. For this project, I used only 22AWG stranded wire. For isolation and to hold things in place, I used hot glue.

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With the LED ready, I started by putting one of my Attiny85 breakout boards onto the perfboard.

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I then completed the soldering of the LED and potentiometers to the perfboard. The potentiometers are all connected to each other by Vcc and Ground. It seems like the connections in between one another weren’t very good as the LED would go wild at times, changing color or blinking for no reason. After some wiggling with the wires, I found which connections were weak and reflowed them.

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… But even reflowing the connections didn’t work. The only thing that did fix the problems was putting force on the connections in a certain way. Once I got it working, I quickly hot glued everything. I know that’s horrible, but, being such a no frills project, I’m not very concerned. After the circuit was completed, I trimmed down the perfboard since the rest of it wasn’t needed.

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The potentiometer and LEDs were all 5mm^2 so it wasn’t difficult cutting out appropriate sized holes for them. I first put in the LED and taped it to hold it in place before adding hot glue.

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After the LED was in place, I fed the power supply wires (female jumper wires) through a hole I cut near the bottom corner of the box. The potentiometers come with a washer and nut so I didn’t need any hot glue to keep those in place. This is my first time using these kind of potentiometers in a project and, even without fancy knobs, I think they look great. They certainly look better than tiny trimpots, which is what I would have used otherwise.

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And that’s it! The placement of the potentiometers was planned specifically to double as a way to lay the box down on an angle.

I hope you liked this simple project of mine. I recently ordered a set of these LEDs for an idea for the next Light Show.

PS. My main website, www.mwhprojects.com, was recently updated!

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Maker Festival Toronto 2015!

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Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto.

The Toronto Mini Maker Faire leveled up this year to the Maker Festival, a week long maker celebration with events around the city that wrapped up with exhibits and workshops at the Toronto Reference Library over the weekend. Here are a few pictures I took from the event:

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The giant cardboard Preying Mantis greets visitors near the Maker Festival entrance.
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“Monsters in the Lake” is a workshop where kids race their own hand-built boats in the Toronto Reference Library’s entrance water feature.
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R2D2 greets visitors at the entrance to the Maker Festival.
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The “Glowatorium”.
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Cool LED dresses in the Glowatorium.
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The Metro Marine Modellers of Toronto had some of their incredibly detailed models on display.
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Humber College makers showing off some of their creations, including what appears to be a giant Lite Brite (nostalgia!).
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There were plenty of robots on hand at the Maker Festival. They varied in size, from table-top Lego robots, to this metal mobile robot that could pick up tennis balls off the floor.

See you next year, Maker Festival!