Thursday, October 25, 2012

Philips 6ft Cool White Cascading Icicle String Lights

Just came across this the other night, it's pretty cool. Basically a half dozen clear tubes with a dozen led's inside. At the top end of each of these is a collection of components. There are a couple of what appear to be IC's the first is a bridge rectifier, MB6S, the second appears to be an led driver, A6211. I haven't done much with them at the moment, just clipped one of the tubes off and pulled the insides out.

When i apply 5v to the positive of the rectifier and ground the entire thing lights up and does it's cascade. I can apply power direct to the IC at 3.3v and get a similar reaction.

Target Philips 6ct Cool White Cascadign Icicle String Lights

MB6S Bridge Rectifier

A6211 Constant Current 3 ampre PWM Dimmable Buck Regulator LED Driver

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hi again! I told you I have nothing better to do right now since I'm on my lunch break. My original title for this was, Arduino + ProtoShield = ATtiny45 Programmer, but when I was putting in the tags, ProtoProgammer just jumped out at me, so I've updated the title.

So, since September I've been toying on and off with building my own time-lapse camera rig for my car. The original inspiration came from an article on Hackaday. That particular project is almost to where it can be usable I think, so I'll most likely post about it tomorrow or the next day.

What I want to talk about is how I program the Attiny. Now there is a lovely video tutorial by Make, and they reference a great article over at MIT which I've linked in for you. But I've got to tell you I got rather tired of swapping out jumpers and wires between what I was working on, so I could reprogram the Attiny.

When I bought my Arduino, I also picked up a breadboard, and a proto-shield. In retrospect I should have gotten a much larger breadboard, but I figure I would have gotten annoyed in much the same way so it all works out in the end.

The proto-shield sat on my bench for months, I couldn't really think of anything interesting to do with it. That is until quite recently.

There is most likely a better way to pick where to place things, but I decided that placing the socket centrally on the board made the most sense. Here you can see the proto-shield, and an 8 pin socket that will hold the Attiny45.
I actually took quite a few pictures but decided that it wasn't terribly important to get across what I was doing here. I basically followed the diagram from the MIT site and ran wires from the Uno, to the corresponding pins on the Attiny.
Here you can see it's all done. When I first got my Attiny's in the mail I was very excited. Then I panicked because I didn't have the 10uf cap that the guide said you needed. Then I remembered I had sacrificed a VHS recorder and buried on the very expansive board was a single 10uf cap!

For the record, that is the first item I've salvaged from another device to use for something else. I was pretty excited.
Here is a nice top-down view of the board. You can see power going to pin 5, and ground going to pin 4. The programming lines running from pin 10-13 on the Arduino, pin 1, 6-8 on the Attiny. This actually worked quite well, I had run into a problem initially but it turns out that somehow the baud rate on my Uno was different from what was specified in the programmer.txt file. When I set those both to the same values I was able to connect this shield to my Uno, and then program my Attiny.

I don't know if any more detail is needed than this. Here are the materials I used, most of them I purchased at Radioshack.

Arduino Uno
Arduino ProtoShield
IC socket

Obligatory first post

Hi, my name is Jeff, and I work at the University of Kansas as a Systems Specialist. Most of what I blog about is is based off my experiences at work, and you can find those articles over on my other site. About Christmas time last year I decided I wanted to start playing around with hardware stuff. I had been following Hackaday for quite a while, and this past summer something inside clicked and I decided there was no reason I couldn't do cool stuff too!

Well, this is just an intro of me to you. I figure I'll post about various things I'm working on, and tag them with the name of the project so they are loosely tied to each other. I actually have a couple, but interestingly enough I think I'll post about the second one first, since it came out of a need from the first project.

Thanks for reading, the second post is coming up next, since I need to do something over my lunch break.