Come see Tech Cat 2.0 at the Raining Cats and Dogs auction on Friday May 23rd, 2014.
Tech cat was sponsored by Hosting CT, PC Development, and Invisible Gold. It follows "Tech Dog" which I created for "Paws for a Cause" in 2009 which had 100 feet of computer controlled EL wire that are like thin flexible neon lights in different color strands.
This new project has 100 individually controlled LED "pixels". Each pixel can display 16+ million different colors and are individually controlled by an Arduino processor. If all LEDs are at full brightness white, it emits about 30 watts of LED light. This is comparable to three 60 watt regular light bulbs.
Positioning the holes was challenging and required a few iterations. The first attempt used a pair of laser pointers and a calibrated rotating table. The results weren't ideal because the points were very far apart near the wide bottom and close near the top.
The second iteration used equilateral triangles for even coverage. The length of the sides was based on a rough estimate of the surface area. Unfortunately, it was impossible to wire. The points were too far apart for the wires and the 3D shape complicated the wire path. The final iteration used the actual wires as a guide.
Arduino based projects are a popular and inexpensive way to get started programming and working with electronic circuits. Tech Cat 2.0 includes the source code so you can try modifying the color patterns.
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