Thursday 11 August 2011

Thursday Firefly Prep Work

We spend most of Thursday getting organized.  This included a visit to the Firefly Adventure Club site and a visit to do some monkey work at Solarbotics (programming chips, cutting wire etc - which was actually super fun!)
The site we've scoped out is right next to Elbow River, and has some really beautiful natural pools.  
There are paths throughout the site, and they are actually quite inviting in the daytime.  But at night, I probably wouldn't venture in there on my own...  We're hoping the LED lights will encourage folks to enter into this space while exploring the LED firefly landscape.  
After talking to a couple of the organizers for the Choose Yer Own Festival we decided it would be great if we installed LED fireflies in one of the two under bridge areas.  This way we have one bridge arch for building and another bridge arch for a secret surprise, that will now be filled with LED fireflies (more details later).  
This is the staircase folks will have to come down to find the site.  Luckily, it's not too muddy down there.  
With our Digi-Key order of resistors and chips arriving, we headed down to Solarbotics.  Jeremie had completed the programming for the chips, and Vlad and I were going to help assemble the kits ourselves (to lower costs).   

Check out the PCBs!  So great!  And as we mentioned earlier, it even has the name of our three part project: Illuminated Landscapes.  We learned a lot about PCBs after working on this project.  
 Here are the components that went in each kit that we developed.  Three LED lights, in either green or amber.  A PCB board, a chip, a dip carrier (this way we can remove the chip and reprogram it for future projects), a resistor, and two pieces of copper wire.  We were so excited to see the final results, and we were even more excited to know that we had 50 kits that folks could solder together on site on Friday.

Vlad and I putting the kits together.  Surrounded by boxes.  We finished putting all the kits together and we went down to the site to test some of the LED lights in dark.  
 So this photo was taken with an iPhone, so nothing too impressive, but the site looks great with LED lights all over.  We found the easiest and most plant friendly installation method is using floral wire to wrap around branches and twigs.  We still have a lot more to organize, and we can't wait to watch this space come alive on Friday.   We really want people to feel at easy and to create a space for hanging out and making electronics...a true Do-It-Yourself -Under-A-Bridge community.  

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