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Stranger Things Lights Project
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Stranger Things Lights Project

by ProfKillbot on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:39 am

Firstly, if this is in the wrong section please let me know and I'll move it. My wife is throwing a viewing party for the up coming season 2 of Stranger Things. I mentioned to a co-worker that it would be sweet to make a string of Christmas lights that spelled things like in the show for the party. He immediately said, "I know exactly how you can do that" and guided me to neopixels. To add a nice layer of complication, I think it would be amazing to have a terminal open at the party that would accept a string input by a user and then spell that string out in the lights. It seems relatively straight forward to program an arduino to light up the neopixels to spell something out, but I'm not sure where to start to hook it up to a keyboard and monitor and have it accept live input. Any suggestions or links to tutorials for a similar project would be really helpful.

http://www.cockeyed.com/stranger/index. ... unax%20lbh
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Re: Stranger Things Lights Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:48 am

That could be done with individual Neopixels: https://www.adafruit.com/category/275
Or - to save yourself a lot of soldering - you could use one of the pre-wired pixel strands: https://www.adafruit.com/?q=pixels
For either option you would need an Arduino or similar microcontroller to drive the pixels.

Wiring instructions for the pixel strands are here: https://learn.adafruit.com/12mm-led-pixels/overview
You could use the USB/Serial interface on the Arduino to send text strings from your computer keyboard.

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Re: Stranger Things Lights Project

by ProfKillbot on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:14 am

Thanks! That is awesome, I saw the individuals but didn't know about the pre-wired strands. Do you have any advice on what Adruino would be appropriate for this project (I'll buy everything available through adafruit, obviously)? I'm what you might refer to as a super beginner. Also, do you know of any projects where someone has used a keyboard to change a variable in an existing program and execute it? I found this which seems to be someone solving the issue, only it is very high level. http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=12830.0

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Re: Stranger Things Lights Project

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:52 am

Most any Arduino or compatible would do. If you are new to programming microcontrollers, the Arduino UNO is a good place to start. We also make the Metro 328 which is based on the same Atmega 328 processor and works pretty much the same as the UNO:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/50
https://www.adafruit.com/product/2488

For keyboard input, the simplest way would be to use your computer keyboard and forward the keyboard input to the Arduino. You can use "Processing" on your computer to read the keyboard input:
https://processing.org/examples/keyboard.html
And send it over the USB/Serial connection to the Arduino:
https://processing.org/reference/librar ... rite_.html

On the Arduino side, you would read in the string from the serial port: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Serial/ReadString
Then write some code to light up the characters in sequence.

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Re: Stranger Things Lights Project

by ProfKillbot on Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:47 pm

Awesome! Thanks so much, I just bought I think most of what I'll need. Now it waits to be seen if I can actually make it work...

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