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Suggestions welcome for a wild project
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Suggestions welcome for a wild project

by iwantzen on Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:53 pm

(This might be a very specific project...and one probably unique to Hawaii...Don't know if other places celebrate/embarrass graduates...)

For my daughter's high school graduation, I want to build a rotating 3 sided sign to put on top of my car. It would need to be portable (disassemble to be put into a car trunk, reassembled at the graduation location, and placed on top of my car to display...and also the reverse process once the festivities are done..) and also include lighting so that you can see the pictures. (Graduation ceremony will be in the evening.). Because the setup is big already, I was trying to limit the size of the individual signs (16-18" x 16x18" minimum...24" x 24" maximum), due to the weight and how big all the pieces might be. Signs possibly printed/affixed to foam core board (as of right now...but other suggestions are greatly appreciated!). See attached mock-up...pink lines on the mock-up from the top view are supposed to be braces. to hold everything together.

I also wanted to utilize existing hardware that I have (Adafruit CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express, Circuit Playground Bluefruit - Bluetooth Low Energy, DC Gearbox Motor - "TT Motor" - 200RPM - 3 to 6VDC), but I also realize that I will need to buy additional hardware.

In terms of my experience of "adafruit"-ness...I used the CRICKIT and Circuit Playground Express + motors + Orange and Clear TT Motor Wheel for TT DC Gearbox Motor to build a very simple robot...I believe I used Circuit Python to get the bot to move.

I am seeking suggestions/advice for this project:
    - Is it possible to do this with the hardware that I currently have? Or is there better hardware that would do the job more efficiently/easily/etc?
    - Related to this - what lighting system would be best - a Neopixel strip? Neopixel stick? individual Neopixel..? Or something better?
    - What type of motor would you suggest to drive the rotating sign?
    - Suggestions for what the signs could be printed on? Or what I could use to create the frame of this monstrosity?

Mahalo nui loa!
Attachments
Mock up1.png
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iwantzen
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:00 pm

Re: Suggestions welcome for a wild project

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:01 pm

First, am I correct in assuming that this is simply for display in the parking lot. You are not planning on driving around with it are you?

Most any processor should be able to handle it. So you can probably go with what you have.

But something of that size is probably too much for a TT motor. You will want a larger motor. And to keep things simple, you probably want a higher gear-ratio. www.pololu.com has a wide range of gearmotors. https://www.pololu.com/category/51/polo ... gearmotors
This one has a 499:1 ratio and turns at 11 RPM at 6v with no load: https://www.pololu.com/product/1591
It will run a little slower at 5v from the Crickit and under load.

Are you planning on animating the pixels? If so, Neopixel strips are probably a good choice. If not, we have some analog LED strips also.

adafruit_support_bill
 
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Re: Suggestions welcome for a wild project

by iwantzen on Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:44 pm

Thanks so much for your reply @adafruit_support_bill!

Yes, I am not driving around with this contraption on the top of my car. Car will be parked in the parking lot (where I'm guessing the graduates will eventually meet up with family/friends...I won't know specifics until 1 month prior to graduation).

Thank you for your suggestion of the pololu motor! I will check them out. I am guessing that when I get it connected to the CRICKIT, the commands to control this motor is similar to any other motor..? All that particular motor port would need is instructions as to how much power, which direction to turn the motor, etc..?

And in regards to the Neopixels, I haven't gotten further than just being able to light up the pictures...but I am now definitely thinking to do some sort of light sequence.

Mahalo!

iwantzen
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:00 pm

Re: Suggestions welcome for a wild project

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:01 pm

Control for the Pololu motor will be the same as for any other DC motor via the Crickit.

And your Circuit Playground Express can handle the Neopixels too. Pixel strips can get a bit power-hungry, so you will want to give some thought to powering this as well. There are lots of 12v->5v DC to DC converters designed for automotive use. That might be a more economical solution than a dedicated battery pack.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.