Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pan With a Real Handle

...which was a mildly clever pitch I heard some years ago from a pan-handler in The Haight, near the "pan handle" of Golden Gate Park.

Anyhow, I'm getting into a lighting design now. Nice little space, about twenty dimmers to play with (but some LED pars that should take up some of the slack).

And once again, I learn more about the goals for a circuit I'm designing when an actual application comes along. There's an old-style radio in the show and the dialog makes a point of that nice tube glow.

Seems like a good application for the Duck Light; dial up a good "glowing tube" red-amber, rig it to a button....wait. The current version is color-programmed off-line. There's no provision for real-time adjustment of the color.

Right. So I really do need to set up a software chain that, at the least, allows real-time dialing of a color selection and pushing that into permanent flash memory.

And in the nature of this play, I'd really want the effect to be both remotely controlled, and DMX controlled. I had envisioned running complex effects off a laptop, but for this show, it would be nice to have a modular, turn-key, DMX-512 solution instead.

So this is once again something the BlinkM already does, and one better; it has a primitive sequencer built in, and uploads fresh code via its own custom GUI-based IDE. It makes it nearly trivial for the end-user to select color and simple animations the will operate in free-running mode.

I'm still caught on how to offer programming flexibility without the overhead of FTDI or other USB toolchain -- since I'm not really up for adapting any of the open-source serial-over-USB code bases myself!

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