Levitation Audio Visualizer Update

This past week was spent gathering the last of the loose ends before assembly. I purchased all the required fasteners, pipe clamps, fans, tubes, and the remaining electronic components. I was nervous about some components that were shipping from China, but luckily those arrived over the weekend. One of the items I was waiting on was the power supply needed to run the fans and LEDs. Since large current power supplies can be expensive, I was skeptical if the cheapo one that I purchased would be able to cut it.  After some initial load testing, it looks like it can produce a fairly constant and correct voltage, while not getting too hot over time. The cheap voltage regulators also seem to be performing surprisingly well, so I will definitely use them in future projects. I also successfully used the HC4051 multiplexer IC to successively read the 7 range finders.

My main challenge this week was with using the laser utter, which was completely unexpected. I had issues with the laser cutter not cutting through in some sections, and cutting through too much in other sections. It seems to be related to the levelness of the bed, which is a calibration issue. Since I do not have more acrylic, I will attempt to salvage the pieces that I have by carefully breaking them out, and filing the edges down. This is a total hassle that I didn’t expect, and I want to avoid the enclosure looking unprofessional as a result.

This week I plan to finish the laser cutting so I can glue up the enclosure and assemble all of the hardware. The circuits still need to be transferred and soldered onto a protoboard, so I can run the wiring. This will be a little time consuming, so I am hoping to get started on that before the weekend. I am continuing to work on the code. I am slowly getting a better understanding of the PID implementation, but this will definitely need a large amount of attention between now and the design expo.

 

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Thomas Brunsgaard
    David Holliman
    May 4, 2016 12:32 pm

    At expo, the acrylic pieces looked sleek. I think the white acrylic on clear tube material choice was perfect for contrasting the neon light display. It might also be interesting to consider installing a background for the piece that either further contrasts the dynamic motion or adds another electronic or lighting element to the piece. Good work!

    Reply
  • Thomas Brunsgaard
    Jason Mcgrath
    April 17, 2016 8:34 pm

    What a bummer that the laser cutter is acting up. Is there perhaps a way to scale down everything just a smidgen so that the parts can be re-cut once the table is leveled? I have big sheets of both black and white acrylic at home that you are welcome to use. (if the parts don’t need to be clear).

    Maybe you can post some pictures so we can help brainstorm a work around.

    The project otherwise sounds like it is coming along according to plan… (A very ambitious plan!) I’m relieved to hear that the Chinese parts came through in time. Actually I usually have good luck dealing with China, but part quality can be questionable and it’s far enough away that shipping can at times press the schedule.

    Reply
  • Thomas Brunsgaard
    Samantha Maierhofer
    April 14, 2016 4:27 pm

    Sounds like this is simultaneously coming together and has a lot of work to go but you can do it! I had a similar issue with the acrylic in my project and ended up taking a dremel (thin flat attachment) to the edge and was able to get a clean, straight line. I don’t know how extensive your issues are, but that might be an option? Otherwise there is always the band saw!

    Reply

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