I am still on a good schedule to complete my project on time. I have all the materials that I need to complete the build. I have prototyped assembly, LEDs and arduino coding. I put together a small prototype that looks good and is functional. I used a small amount of pillow stuffing to create a small scale version of the cloud that I will build. I created ” lightning bolts” out of LEDs. Each lighting bolt is two to three LEDs wired together in parallel. I put these in different places inside the pillow stuffing. The lighting bolts are plugged into an arduino uno that is powered by a 9V battery. This allows the hardware to be completely hidden in the cloud. I did a simple arduino code to make the LEDs flash randomly like lightning. My initial code for the prototype is below:



I will modify this code to include more lightning bolts and randomize the order that they flash in. But for now this produced pretty good results.

I have begun building my final cloud, and have plans to spend much of my weekend getting as much done as possible. My main concern is the structural support of a larger cloud. I want to be able to hang the cloud from hooks on a ceiling. With all the wires and LEDs and hardware contained within the cloud the weight does add up. I have begun building an internal structural support, so hopefully what I have planned works out, but any ideas are welcome!

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Andre Szlendak
    May 2, 2016 6:36 pm

    Looks like most of your stuff has relatively short lead times. This probably gives you some flexibility with scheduling but I’m glad you’re on track and on schedule to get everything done. How did you get the arduino code?

  • I like the cloud project idea – with the flexibility of an Arduino you could program the lightning bolts to behave in interesting ways – for exsample if you power the LEDs from a PWM pin you could have the bolt’s flash on and slowly fade away. A stretch goal would be to add a humidity sensor and have the bolts activate during rain storms (high humidity). See you at the expo!

  • Sounds like the project is going to turn out really well. Is you design 2D or 3D? if it is 3D it might be a good idea to build a structure out of cardboard to support the cloud. You could add some slits and make kind of a criss-cross pattern. This would allow for you to support the electronics and give it some additional volume. It might even help with hanging the project.

  • Chad Alvarez
    April 10, 2016 7:47 pm

    How big is the cloud looking and what material is it? You should look into using some balsa wood for the internal structure that you can get cheap at McGukins. It’s extremely light and pretty easy to make some cross beams and maybe even a small truss that can support everything. Easy to connect with hot glue too and holds well for how light it is.


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