I have wanted to work with LED’s for a long time so for my project I will be making an LED rotating ball. It’ll be a challenge for me as I have very little circuit and coding experience, but I am motivated to do well on this project. When I first saw an LED ball I was entranced and thought it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. My goal is that my project will have similar reactions.
The LED ball will consist of 3 LED’s and 3 motors all controlled by an Arduino. The three motors will provide three axis of rotation and the LED’s will be used to create different effects. I will also be using buttons to control the flashing speeds of the LED’s, a potentiometer to control the brightness of the LED’s, and buttons to turn on and off each motor. If I have the time and capability I would like to use RGB LED’s and have controls to change the color scheme.
My inspiration is basically the LED aesthetic, and more specifically a video showing an LED ball.
There are a few changes and additions I would like to make to my own LED ball. First I will be using an Arduino to control the LED’s and motors, and have a cleaner control panel. I am also hoping to use RGB LED’s so that the user is able to control the color scheme of the ball. If I have the time I would like to make the LED’s sound responsive so that they pulse with music. This guy also used wood and soldered metal for the frame and supports and I’m thinking of 3D printing some of the frame.
This project will be a challenge for me as I have very little coding or electronics experience, but there are many resources online and at CU. I have already checked out an Arduino kit from Dan to get a head start on tinkering with the code and have found tutorials on Lynda.com and elsewhere for RGB and DC motor control. I have found the code is not too difficult for this application, but the challenge for me will be the actual building of the device. I will be seeking help from Dan and Tim in the ITLL.
I was envisioning this project to be in three stages. First stage will be prototyping the smaller frame and use one motor to spin the LED’s to create a light disk. From there I will just keep adding one motor at a time, working my way up to three motors.
It is very difficult to create a timeline for this project as Senior Design is taking up a lot of my time.
- Order materials this weekend (Arduino starter kit, additional LED’s, small DC motors, potentiometers, additional push buttons) Estimated cost of $150
- Design smaller support structure, draw up circuit
- Circuit testing
- Prototype with first motor and test
- Prototype with second motor after first motor works and test
- Prototype with third motor and test
- Design and assemble control panel, most likely with engraved acrylic