Apr 092014
 

NYCR floor painting: BeforeNYCR floor painting: before
Did you ever notice how beat-up the floors were at NYC Resistor? Four years of rolling chairs had done horrible things to the paint, so we did something about it last night.

NYCR floor paintingNYCR floor painting
Everybody pitched in with a massive effort. While the painting only took from 22.8 to 73.3 .beats, the spring cleaning, organization and preparation took all weekend.

NYCR floor paintingNYCR floor painting
Zach was the last Resistor painting and escaped by taking the elevator. We turned off the lights and let the first coat dry overnight. The second coat will be dry in time for Craft Night. So come hack with us on a freshly painted floors!

 Posted by at 10:46 pm
Apr 022014
 

Nick and Sayaka Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward have been working hard for the past couple weeks on an exciting project with the Brooklyn Ballet. We are transforming the dancers’ costumes into interactive performance pieces. Our contribution consists of six LED snowfall tutus for the ballerinas, one Pexel shirt for Mike “Supreme” Fields and six sparkling LED hair accessories for the young ballerinas. The dancers will be performing the snow scene from the Nutcracker in the Brooklyn Ballet‘s Vectors, Marys, and Snow performance from April 3rd to April 13th. Please support the project through our Kickstarter! There you can also watch an interview with Nick and Lynn Parkerson, founding artistic director and choreographer of Brooklyn Ballet. We’d really appreciate your donation to further our work! All our hardware designs and code are open source, and we hope to see more creative works mixing technology and dance.

A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled."

Snowfall Tutus: To accomplish the snowfall/glitter efffect we’ve added LED lights, motion sensors, and custom coded/fabricated microcontrollers to the tutus. The sensor we used is called an accelerometer and its placed at the waist of the corset. It reacts with with movement of the dancer by increasing the amount and brightness of the LEDs with more vigorous movement from the dancer. Nick found a remarkably strong ultra flex 36 gauge silicone wire thats perfect for the supple construction of the tutus and its become a standard material at NYC Resistor for wearables. The wire connects 24 neopixels that are broken down into 6 strands of 4 pixels in each tutu. Special thanks to Max Henstell and Adam Mayer for helping in production. Take a look at this amazing video of our twinkling Tutu!

A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled."

Pexel Shirt: Pexel Shirt is custom made for the dancer Mike “Supreme” Fields and is designed to interact with his pecks and arms. Mike is a popping artist and his dancing incorporates the flexing of muscle groups to create surface movement on his body. The shirt is activated by individual accelerometer sensors placed over his muscles that illuminate the LEDs through a Flora microcontroller. There are four sensors total, one on each peck and each wrist. When he flexes an individual peck it lights up. The lights on his arms are controlled by moving his wrists up/down or right/left. The entire piece is hand sewn including stitches in between individual pixel on the arm strands for optimum elasticity while still being secure. Watch the Mike in action here: Mike “Supreme” Fields

A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled."

Sparkle Hair Clips: To accent the young ballerina’s costume we designed an LED accent on a hair clip. The clip uses a Gemma microcontroller and a strand of neopixels. The clear acrylic beads on the clip filter the LEDs and sparkle.

Please come out and see the show at the Brooklyn Ballet April 3rd – 13th and support our Kickstarter to fund the project!

Ballet Hacks A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled." A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled." Rat's Nest

A Photo by William W. Ward, "Untitled."

Mar 032014
 

Are you interested in programming and software but have never known where to begin? Some of our most popular classes have been our

Python!

introductory programming ones, and I’ll be teaching one this Saturday. The idea is to give students a gentle  introduction to software concepts using Python, a very widely-used but accessible language, and practical examples.

I don’t assume any prior programming experience: I’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started. Come and join us!

Feb 252014
 

The Spikenzie Labs Solder:Time Desk Clock is a fun through-hole kit to solder together. It includes a snap-together lasercut acrylic case with a really nice red tinted screen that increases the contrast on the 20×7 red LED matrix. Plus it is totally hackable with quite a few unused pins available for expansion (like Holly’s sunrise alarm clock).

The kit is available from Adafruit and I’ve written more information on information on programming custom firmware for the Arduino-compatible ATmega328P that is the brains of the clock.

Feb 092014
 

Voronoi shadows

Given a set of points, the Voronoi tessellation creates a set of convex polygons that each contain one point. They can also be used to randomly generate unique art pieces that cast shifting, lace-like shadows. This one was really quite beautiful until the candle burned through…

Read on for some scripts to make your own and tips for laser cutting them.
Continue reading »

Fragments

 Uncategorized  1 Response »
Feb 042014
 

Once there was a box. Inside the box was a board, and inside the board was a chip. Inside the chip was a carrier, and on that carrier was a die. And when the die came off the carrier it broke, and the pieces looked like this:

2014-02-03-214452

More pretty pictures below.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:38 am
Feb 022014
 

Firefox on a Mac SEMac SE video driver

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that an engineer in possession of an antique computer must be in want of hacking it. Last year I reverse engineered the Easter Egg photographs from a Mac SE that I found on the side of the road and that machine has been sitting idle since then, so I took inspiration from NYCR founder Dave Clausen’s six year old 24th anniversary Mac project and turned my old SE into a “30th anniversary Macintosh” with a new ARM motherboard running Linux. Unlike Dave, I was able to interface with the original 9″ CRT thanks to the programmable hardware in the Beaglebone Black.

Mac SE video pulses
The CRT was still in good shape and the m68k motherboard would startup (although we have no media or OS for it) so it was fairly easy to reverse engineer the pinout and waveforms for the combination power-supply and video connector. The all-in-one Macs shared a common power-supply for the monitor, analog board, motherboard and drives, so the same cable carries video, hsync, vsync, +5, -5, +12 and -12 Volts.

Mac SE video driver
With these timing measurements I was able to write a software video card that runs inside the BeagleBone Black’s PRU to display a user-space framebuffer, and then used Xvfb to render X11 into a shared memory buffer that could be exported to the PRU’s memory. Working with a bare CRT like this can be scary — the monitor is not even remotely multisync and vsync a few percent off from its desired 60.1 Hz refresh rate generates very bad buzzing sounds.

[flickr video=12200336913 show_info=no w=640 h=380]
You can enjoy the dithered 1-bit cat videos above and relive the era with monochrome visuals for xeyes and other classic applications. If you want to build your own and see the specifics of the design, there are more details on my website, trmm.net/Mac-SE_video.

Mac SE with a BeagleBone Black motherboard
UPDATE 2014-02-09: Original ADB Keyboard and mouse support is now working. adb2usb source code for a Teensy 2.0.

Jan 242014
 

If you’ve ever been running at night in New York City, you know that it can be dangerous, especially if other people can’t see you. This jacket was my attempt to not get flattened by a bicycle at night. Of course, I could have just bought some plain running lights, but what fun is that? Not only does this jacket have seven awesome flashy modes, but each mode responds to my heart rate!

 led_image_2 01

Since my Garmin heart rate monitor uses the ANT protocol, I could easily intercept the heart rate information for my jacket. I used a Teensy and an ANT transceiver to control two LED strips based on the current mode selection and the current heart rate. The jacket is powered by rechargeable battery packs.

My first run with the jacket was the 2013 New Year’s Eve midnight run in Central Park. Since then, I’ve worn it to a few races and even to a tech talk. The full build out details can be found here.

 

Jan 072014
 

DSC_2963

This weekend at NYC Resistor we are teaching a class on the BlinkyTape. If you’ve been wanting to make a project that incorporates LEDs and custom lighting, then this might just be the class for you!  BlinkyTape is one of the easiest ways to make interactive lighting installations, so this is a great class for makers of every level.

Bring your laptop and we’ll teach you how to create your own animations and patterns using your BlinkyTape. A BlinkyTape, usb cable, and power supply will be included in the class fee.  Which is amazing!

There are a few seats left so sign up now for this exclusive executive tour of this luxury LED lighting solution!

OMG first post for 2014!

 

 

Dec 272013
 

Porter

NYC Resistor has been known to occasionally homebrew a beer or two. We have members interested in the topic, and friends in the wider brewing community of NYC. However, since I’ve returned from California, I’ve found myself more and more interested in beer brewing at Resistor. Luckily Travis, a fellow member is also deeply into the homebrew hobby. Together we’ve been spinning up a few different projects over here. There will be some great follow up posts on those other projects I am sure. Read on for more about brewing at NYC Resistor!

Continue reading »