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Ring of Lights

Circuit sculpture using a Particle Photon and 3 BJTs to switch a ring of red LEDs

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I'd gotten inspired by @mohitbhoite and noticed that the hackaday circuit sculpture contest was going on. So this is the results of my first attempt!

Putting the ring together turned out better than I expected, despite not having a jig or something similar to ensure the LEDs were all aligned.

The trickiest part was figuring out how to attach the BJTs, given they've got three pins and needed to fit together a little bit.

The code simply turns on and off the transistors. The outermost ring is +5v, and the inner three act as switchable grounds, when the transistor is 'on', the LEDs have a path to ground and so they turn on. There are 12 LEDs total, 4 for each 'rail'. This creates a sort of marqee effect as we've seen in signs around old style theaters and so on.

Fun project!

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Discussions

Mike Szczys wrote 12/26/2018 at 17:00 point

Wow, that's really complex for your first try at it. Well done!

Looks like twelve LEDs on the perimeter of a circle... are you using this to display time?

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Viraj Sinha wrote 12/30/2018 at 20:02 point

That's a a great idea! Unfortunately with this design the LEDs are segmented into 3 groups, so 4 turn on at a time. I think with either individulaly addressable WS2812b LEDs or by using some matrix wiring I could address them individually in a future design

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Mike Szczys wrote 01/02/2019 at 19:26 point

Still a very cool build. I'm really impressed by how well you bent the rings. I feel like if I had been building this it would be very difficult to make such uniformed bends. Did you use any tricks for the rings?

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Viraj Sinha wrote 01/03/2019 at 00:49 point

(Looks like I can't reply to your second comment directly)

Bent it around the cylindrical bit of a cleaning supplies bottle. The main trick I think is to just use something way smaller than the circle you're going for, wrap the rod around it a couple times, and then when you let go the rod will spring out to a circle that's actually about the size you want

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