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200 unit array of Game of Life
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200 unit array of Game of Life

by bbbad on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:09 pm

In a previous post, I asked about the limits of a game of life array. Well now I have it funded, but it's even larger than I had originally thought. We're going to make and alumni wall (this is my high schools first senior class) so I'm looking at 200 units THIS YEAR! With a little luck it will double each year. The scope of this is making me nervous enough that I would like to double check. Any decent 5 volt supply should power it. Agreed? I see a bunch of 5v 5a regulated supplies on ebay for under $20 which should get me up and running this year. How many units do you thing it will run? Should I add a power supply with each graduating class?

One more question, I'd like to put each students name on the board, and maybe the year. Any suggestions? A paper label will eventually fall off, but what else? Is there a safe place on the board we could scribe it on?
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Re: 200 unit array of Game of Life

by adafruit on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:40 am

hmm 200 is -a lot-
BUT the original GoL kit designers intended it to get that big
first off, the regeneration time may be a bit quick for 200. it will respawn very fast because we tweaked the value to accommodate 3x3 arrays
however, it may be OK and even then you can change that one thing in the code and reprogram 'em. bit of a hassle but you can do it 'in circuit' using a usbtinyISP or similar
as for power, each array will take about 16 x 10mA = ~0.160 A
200 & 0.16 is 32 Amps (which is a super-high estimate, since not all will be on at once)
so you could try to get a 30Amp 5V supply, which you can very cheaply! they're called ATX PC computer supplies :) Its a bit of a hack but really thats probably your best bet.
as for scribing, you can carve onto any small area without traces, its a pretty big PCB so if they're careful its pretty much anywhere
to make it look really good/protect it, we suggest covering it with a sheet of plastic. a tinted acrylic will look fab.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.