Light Show 7 Journal Entry #6: Who needs metal when you’ve got cardboard?

As I mentioned in the previous entry, I needed to raise the backdrop so that it sits at the height of the basin for the fountains. I also talked about “sourcing materials” which was mostly about finding a cardboard box for the set of towers to sit on. I didn’t have one handy so I decided to just construct a frame out of cardboard.IMG_0410This is the platform I made. The little platform at the back is for the breadboard.IMG_0411I thought I may have needed some more feet but it holds up well as it is. I’m starting to run low on this cardboard material so I didn’t want to make more square tubes for bracing, but the diagonal bent pieces I put in the middle do help make it more rigid.
IMG_0412I’m actually surprised at how well it turned out. I do want to waterproof the feet in case the water from the fountains wets the floor. I can just wrap them in plastic wrap or something. The plan is to have this some distance away from the fountains so hopefully the water won’t get to it.

IMG_0414The little platform at the back is suspended out with no feet under it, but the tape and hot glue is holding it in place just fine. The Uno is there just for testing purposes.IMG_0419This last picture is somewhat of a teaser of what’s to come. I made these for the first fountain show but they never made it into the final build. These servos will be included in this new Light Show.

So what’s next? The fountains have been sitting in a heap, but everything is still connected to the Mega. I’ll spend some time sorting out the wiring, mounting the fountains to the basin again, and then do some testing. I took off the nozzles (the drinking straws…) so getting some new ones on there will probably take the most time like it did the last time. After that, we can start to bring everything together. My deadline to get this together is by the end of next week so I have a full week to program.

Light Show 7 Journal Entry #4: Ironing out details

I’m going to start titling the update posts on Light Show 7 as part of a numbered journal. If you go back, you will see that this is the fourth post about the progress on the new light show so we’re moving on from there.

Anyways, I’ve gotten some more brainstorming done when it comes to the backdrop. Each tower will have a pair of RGB LEDs because one RGB LED at the base is not bright enough to light up the length of the tower. In the last post, I was wondering if I should put something to top off each tower but I got my answer once I decided to add another LED to the top of each tower.

IMG_0374I kind of want to call them streetlights now… These little boxes fit the width of the tower but extend out so that the LEDs are positioned an inch away from the tower. The one assembled in this picture was the prototype.IMG_0376I wanted to focus on the build quality in this project so I outlined the main objectives of having clean surfaces and doing soldered connections pretty much everywhere. After assembling the LED in the photo above, I decided to ditch soldering and go back to using jumper wires and breadboards. It’s just so much easier and faster. I may have to pick up some more jumper wires but I have a good bunch to get going.
IMG_0379Once I was satisfied with the details, I made up six more boxes.
IMG_0380I used hot glue to fold them into this shape. The camera angle is going to be straight at the stage (unlike some previous shows where the camera is above) so I don’t plan on putting a cover on them.

The next step is to figure out how I want to put in the LEDs at the base of the towers. After that, I need to build a base to raise up the backdrop so that the bottom of the towers is at the lip of the fountain basin. Once this is all complete, the backdrop will be complete and I can move onto the fountains (and other secret, but somewhat minor, elements).