• Testing one the sections of the work table light

    Alvi Ahmed09/12/2019 at 20:47 0 comments

    After building the structure and having a close to completed circuit I thought it was time to figure out how the table light was going to work.

    Of course from my schematic I mentioned that there will be 3 "sections" to this light. However I had no idea how many pieces of the LED strips I needed, how many white LEDs I need in relation to RGB LEDs and how high off the table light needed to be from the working surface.

    This is why I made a rough version of one of the sections from cardboard, duct tape and rope just to get an idea of what I really needed.

    The pictures of them are below:

    The connector is for the RGB led strip and 12V for the white LED strip. The loose wire to the right is for GND.

    Attaching the cardboard to the underside of the top of the structure.

    Held the section to the underside roof by using rope and duct tape.
    Test to see if all the LED strips working as intended.

    The best way to check the effectiveness of this section of LED strips is to view it in the dark.

    Picture of white LEDs turned to max brightness with all other light sources turned off

    This was the previous color for Nightmode. As you can see having the red LEDs at such high brightness defeats the purpose of a nightvision light.
    It seems that the color strips are very bright to the point where it is almost uncomfortable, may need to add another interface to dim the color LEDs. 

    Here is the planned colour for the Nightmode, will need to dim the colour more, but I like the fact that the green light allows me differentiate between colours better that the red light.

    All in all it seems that the one section of LED strips has more than enough light output to lightup the whole working surface of the table. However in the daytime, the output may not be enough therefore I will still continue with 2 more sections.

    Power consumption of the other 2 sections is not a concern since I will put an option to turn them off (via switches). Therefore having the option for more light when I need it.

    Improvements to be made: 

    • Better cable management
      • Also easier access to ports of the LED strip (R,G,B,W)    
    • Better system to hold the LED panel sections
    • Dimming the colours in code 
      • Either hardcoding a dimmer version of all the colours are allowing the user to change the brightness of the colours
    • Adding something motorized
      • Planning on adding either a motorized shelf that can adjust level or have the sections adjust level or both.
    • Better user interface for the buttons and potentiometers
      • May put everything in a hobby box once everything is finished

  • Building the structure for the lights

    Alvi Ahmed09/12/2019 at 13:01 0 comments

    This structure sits on top of the table and 3 "sections" of LED strips will be placed underneath.

    This structure also doubles as a shelf  and also has various screws and nails to hang my tools. 

    Below are pictures of the process of building the structure (click on picture to view bigger version):

    Designing The Structure:

    Rough Sketches

    Rough Sketches

    Rough sketches and designs for the general form and shape of the structure

    Side View

    Side View

    Detailed design of the side of structure 

    Front / Top View 

    Building the Structure:

    Building the Sides

    Attaching the back cross bar

    Attaching the top of the structure

    The basic completed structure

    However I do not intend to leave this structure looking like this, since this is now part of work station/flow, adding motorized/level changing shelves, places for tools and off course the actual work table light is a must.

  • Putting Circuit on Perf Board

    Alvi Ahmed09/10/2019 at 17:42 0 comments

    After my last log I fixed most of the bugs like the majority of the flickering and the switching between modes.

    This is by no means is the final product, I put the components on a perfboard in order to accurately test the performance of the circuit since the breadboard was introducing a lot of noise.   

    Things to Improve / Fix for Perfboard:

    • Need to include potentiometers with knobs for easy turning
    • Need to include bigger buttons as well
    • A proper port for 12V should also be added

    Things to Improve / Fix for LED strip:

    • Add RGB to HSV conversion for colours 
      • This is will fix the blinking that occasionally occurs when scrolling through colours
    •  When the white LED strip is at full brightness, it does not turn off when night mode button pressed. 
      • Later found out that is was a floating terminal (gate) issue. Will need to review schematic to ensure there are no other floating terminals.
    • The red colour in night mode is too bright thus defeating its purpose. Need to lower brightness
      • Apparently the colour green is also used for night and allows for more colour differentiation compared to red, therefore may use a dimmer green for night mode. 

  • Testing the Functions When Put Together

    Alvi Ahmed02/23/2019 at 08:24 0 comments

    In this log, I put the functions all together in one file and see if they can work together without any bugs or complications.

    After these tests, I seems that the only bugs are flickering and the nightmode not properly working. This can due to a number issues from hardware to software.

    Further tweaking of the code will be necessary in order to mitigate the flickering.

    The next step will be to create the full the schematic, design the actual table light and where each strip should go. As well fixing the code.

  • First Steps

    Alvi Ahmed02/23/2019 at 07:53 0 comments

    Since I am planning on including different types of functions in this work table light, I decided to everything one by one and start off small.

    That is why before attempting to make the whole thing at once I coded each individual element of this table light and tested each function separately to ensure that everything will together once everything was put together.

    This can be seen in my github where I have many files that contain the separate codes for each of the functions.