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Turning a Mistake Into a Nightlight

A few weeks ago, I sent off the 1.3 version of my RGB LED Shield to get fabbed. It was waiting for me when I returned from the Mozilla All-Hands meeting in California, but when I'd put it all together, it didn't work. I started checking soldering joints and electrical connections and discovered the problem; two rows of pins were swapped in my board layout, so it wasn't connecting the right pins to the Arduino. Because of the way that the TLC5490 pins are connected to special timer outputs, I couldn't fix this in software. I tried to see if I could reroute the signals on the board, but it didn't seem possible, However, I was able to verify that if I connected the board up with wires to the right pins, it did work.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I'd gotten in a little board called the Stickduino. It's a small Arduino-compatible board that is about the size of a Flash drive. One end is a USB port, although it's not quite thick enough to make good contact in my laptop. I fix that with a couple of pieces of cardboard and a glue stick. I uploaded my arrows sketch to the board, then wired it up to the 1.3 RGB shield. The solid core wire was stiff enough to hold things in place, and it worked when I plugged it into my laptop.

To power this, I got out a $5 USB power supply I'd picked up on my California trip. It's not the most reliable gadget, but it's small, and if you aim the USB port to the ceiling, it will hold up the whole contraption. The picture is from it running in my bathroom. I've also got a YouTube video of it running it's very bright pattern below.

I'd probably not use this as a real nightlight, but as a quick light show at a party, I'm all over it. I also now have something to do with the rest of my v1.3 boards.

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Pure awesome! I would totally set these up in every electrical outlet and have me a disco-party!

Have you seen this article in Make (issue 18)?

Hello Ben

I found your livejournal from a link on openmobl

and i saw at your posts that you are now working at Mozilla

So i would ask you to make the possible (and try the impossible) to port or develop Fennec or Minimo for Palm OS.

Blazer is fine for simple sites and it has almost no use with bluetooth lan, its slow as hell, but sites made with new web technologies, scripts, flash... they are horrible on Blazer, and other browsers for Palm are now defunct, or very buggy, since i tried everything i found and had no good experiences, since webpro doesn´t load stuff very well, xiino is old, netfront is incompatible, universe is not out yet, and opera mini has no integration with other things on the OS.

So, pls make the possible and the whole Palm community is gonna thank you forever :)

[]s and nice house party with those lights, they are not for pro lighting use, but could make a good mood hosting a party at home :)

Re: Minimo and or Fennec

Yeah, it would be a nice project, but it would be VERY difficult. The engine used for the Firefox and Fennec browsers requires capabilities beyond what Palm OS provides. We're not working on 64MB RAM Windows Mobile devices very well, and I just don't see a way to get this in any sort of footprint that could work on a TX or Zodiac device. We're also not targeting devices that aren't being made anymore -- the only Palm OS devices still in product are the Centro and some specialty devices from Acceca.

I'm personally upgrading to a Pre this summer. From what I've seen, the Classic environment will work quite well for my needs, and I think it's got a much stronger future.

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