Programmers' Pain
9Sep/133

No, I haven’t burned my 512 RGB LED coffee table (yet)..

The assembled coffee table doing it's main job in my living room: being a table :)

The assembled coffee table doing it's main job in my living room: being a table 🙂

No, I'm still alive and no, haven't turned my coffee table into a big camp fire (yet) 🙂 I was just busy with renovating my flat and some other projects that I'll show you in some future blog posts as well. Therefore I didn't had too much spare time left that I could invest into my 512 RGB LED coffee table project lately. Still I want to give you a brief update what has happened in the meanwhile: I closed my last blog post with basically having the table hardware-complete but still not finally assembled to be able to fix any hardware related bugs that might show up while continue testing it. For some weeks I've left the table in that state, did test various things and fixed some bugs before I put it together and moved it over to my living room where it just does it's job as a good looking coffee table. Since I can't use my notebook to connect to the Rainbowduino V3 controllers any more I had to spend some time on getting my Java software easily deployable to the tables PC and to add a hook into the Linux installation so that it starts up while the PC is booting. Feel free continue reading if you're interested in the details on how I did that and to get some additional insight in the current state of the tables Java software.

24Nov/122

There has been some progress…

A snapshot taken of the main technical compartment somewhere in the midle of getting some wiring work done

A snapshot taken of the main technical compartment somewhere in the midle of getting some wiring work done

Eight months.. wow! Quite some time has passed since I've decided to switch my more or less working 512 RGB LED coffee table to the newer Rainbowduino V3 controllers to drive those LEDs. At this point I couldn't really anticipate that getting a working firmware for my needs up and running would be that time consuming. Luckily I was able to solve this problem nearly two month ago so that it was time again to focus on the table and get the remaining hardware tasks sorted out. If you want to find out what has happened the last two months concerning my coffee table project than feel free to continue reading this blog post 🙂

19Sep/1214

Finally! A working streaming firmware for my Rainbowduino V3 controllers

Two Rainbowduino V3 controllers running the 'rainbowduino-v3-streaming-firmware'

Two Rainbowduino V3 controllers running the 'rainbowduino-v3-streaming-firmware'

It took a while but I've finally managed to get the firmware of my new Rainbowduino V3 controllers to a state that I can use them as part of my 512 RGB LED coffee table project. I've learnt a lot of new things about interrupt handling of AVR micro controllers that I didn't want to learn at all and I went trough quite some frustrating weeks where I was very close to just throw those controllers into the trash. But luckily I've managed to get the firmware flying at the end. If you want to find out what obstacles I had to fight with, how it all works at the end and where you can find the Rainbowduino V3 firmware including the matching Java API than feel free to continue reading this blog post 🙂

27Feb/122

A closer look at the RGB LED coffee table internals

8x8 RGB LED arrays closeup

8x8 RGB LED arrays closeup

Since my last post about the audio system installation of my 512 RGB LED Coffee Table project I've spent my time finalizing the table internals needed to operate the eight LED arrays inside the coffee table. This includes the power supply, the micro controllers used to operate the basic table functions, the Mini-ITX PC that generates and distributes the to be shown images to the eight LED arrays as well as the needed wiring between the individual components and the front panels used to operate the table.

8Nov/110

Things you shouldn’t do #3: Cut 19-inch amplifiers and subwoofer crossovers in half

The coffee tables sound system in the original and installed state

The coffee tables sound system in the original and installed state

Quite some time has passed by since my last blog post about my 512 RGB LED Coffee Table project so that it's about time to give you a brief update what has happened the last ~8 weeks. Mid of September my carpenter was done with constructing the coffee table so that I could finally start to integrate all the electronic components and the needed wiring into it. Thanks again to especially Gunnar Schwinn from http://www.massivholz-moebel-schreinerei.de/ which did a great job in bringing my ideas to life and giving valuable feedback. As soon as the coffee table arrived at my place I focused on the sound system since the installation of it is rather a standalone task beside the installation of the RGB LEDs.

7Sep/113

Soldering 512 RGB Leds: Pure fun… Not!

Eight 8x8 RGB LED arrays each driven by a Rainbowduino Controller

Eight 8x8 RGB LED arrays each driven by a Rainbowduino Controller

Finally! After hours spend with fitting LEDs into reflectors, preparing cables, cutting shrink tubing pieces and soldering everything together to 8x8 LED arrays: It is done! And I'll never ever do it again this way. 🙂 As I already stated in my first blog post about my 512 RGB LED Coffee Table project I was a bit too optimistic in the planing phase regarding the wiring effort needed to get all LEDs working.

17Aug/111

Howto waste your spare time: Build a 512 RGB LED coffee table

512 RGB LED Coffee Table

512 RGB LED Coffee Table

"Wait.. What?! Are you serious?" "Yes, I am!" "Why do you want to do that?!" That's actually a very interesting question - and it's the usual response I do get if I explain what it's about those weird pictures I post on Facebook about prototyping loudspeakers or drilling 2,560 holes into plywood boards. Also people don't quite understand why I've spent hours and hours with constructing a 3D model of a coffee table. This is a first attempt trying to explain myself why I'm spending my free time for this project since more than 6 months now.