On December 17, 2017, the Toronto Transit Commission opened its new subway extension. With free rides on opening day, I had no excuse not to go check it out!
Along the way, they were handing out little goodies. One of the hot items many people were grabbing up were opening day subway map posters. For the longest time, I wanted to buy one of the subway maps they sell and fit it with LEDs but I never got around to it. Since a map was literally put into my hands, the motivation instantly came to get this project done.
1 x Subway map
2 x Sheets of black foam core board
75 x WS2812b LEDs
1 x Atmega328p Breakout Board (An old custom PCB of mine!)
1 x USBTinyISP MicroUSB module
1 x Toggle switch
1 x 5v 2A Power Supply Adapter
The process was straight-forward: Cut out the station holes, hot glue all of the WS2812B modules down, and then solder them all together. I did find that the module ends up getting hot enough to remelt the hot glue while soldering but it was still manageable even with small gooey messes along the way.
I initially put down Line 1, just to see how it would look before I did the rest of the system:
Despite the really unclean holes, it looked good enough to continue.
Lots of soldering and hot glue was involved…
I did run into issues on the first power on after soldering all of the LEDs. Reflowing some of the joints and replacing some of the wire fixed it.
The system uses an Atmega328p with a USBTinyISP microUSB module I picked up on eBay some time ago. It’s my first project using one of these. I’m definitely getting back on eBay to order more because they’re a dream to work with and it combines with my Atmega PCB perfectly.
I’m very happy with the way this project turned out. It feels great to kick off the new year this way!
I tweeted a video of it in action. It’s also up on YouTube.
I’m planning on getting some hooks to hang it on my wall. I’m not sure what it will display once it’s up but for now it’s just playing the Demo Reel example sketch from the FastLED library.