Weekly update

Problems or Issues: Since my last progress report I’ve lost significant time to illness*, which have made it not possible for me to pick up the carpet, so that’s #1 priority this week. I also started to work on soldering together the components of my persistence of vision (POV) kit, but after several frustrating hours of slow progress someone pointed out that the problem was my soldering iron needed a new tip (which has been ordered).


Accomplishments: I was able to do some research into how to control the tassels, LEDs, and EL wire on my rug. So far, it looks like I’ve got two options: I could use a microcontroller like an Arduino or a Lilypad to control the servos, relay, and LEDs, or I could use a 555 timer IC.

The 555 has been around since 1971, and is used in everything from cheap plastic tourist tkotchkes to implantable medical devices. It’s an incredibly cheap IC, and I could use several 555s in place of one expensive Arduino and have enough money left over to spend on the coffee I’ll need to finish this semester. 🙂

I could run one 555 in ‘monostable’ mode to control the servos on my tassels, and one 555 in oscillator mode to flash LEDs and control a relay on my EL wire. I could also attach them to switches in order to control different features on the carpet, such as turning lights or servos on and off. I’m excited to learn more about electronic componenets such as this, as I already feel comfortable with microcontrollers.

Week plan: Week plan: Tuesday finish the POV kit. Acquire carpet by Thursday so I can sew in the spring steel boning & EL wire.
*(A bad cold and norovirus ran rampant through my house – when I wasn’t sick I was taking care of someone who was. RIP spring break.)