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Need recommendation for art project
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:28 am

I'm am working on a fine art project, and I want to add a very small pulsing light either purple or green to a mixed media canvas. I don't want the light to be frenetically flashing, I want it to pulse like a beating heart. I can easily hide a thin battery pack behind the work, and poke wire through the canvas. My biggest goal is to have the light pulse, say 1 pulse per second, and hope to keep it simple.

What product(s) do you recommend for this application?
Thanks in advance for your learned input.

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:18 pm

A small microprocessor plus a neopixel and a battery would do the job. How much flexibility do you have in mounting the light?

The Gemma M0 is a tiny processor with a neopixel built-in. If you can work that into your design, then that would be the simplest solution: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3501

If not, you could use the same gemma, with a separate neopixel. These come in several forms that may work for you:

https://www.adafruit.com/product/1938
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1612
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1734

https://www.adafruit.com/category/275

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:14 pm

Thanks so much. This would work, as I could sew it on, but am a bit perplexed by all the techno language, though programming it sounds pretty easy based on the description.
Now, if it comes programmed like the one that slowly changes color in the product description, that's very close to what I'm aiming for. Not sure if I have the time or nerdiness to learn pytho to do the simple modifications, and being completely new to the whole idea, am wondering just what I'd need to do to get the effect I'm looking for.
I watched the video, and now I'm a little more confused, as I will be using only the little light on the chip itself.
What kind of battery situation would you recommend? I've got 1/2 to 3/4 inch depth behind the canvas.
Is the programming thing fairly WYSIWIG or do I need to learn python?

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by caitlinsdad on Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:23 pm

@heidimayo If you are a beginner in electronics but not ready to get into microcontroller programming and soldering, there is the simple "LED throwie" If the art piece just needs a blinking light you may be able to use a candle flicker type LED connected to a battery like in this tutorial https://learn.adafruit.com/candle-flick ... w/overview or https://www.instructables.com/id/Custom ... ie-Badges/ You can get the slow or fast fade flashing LEDs/coin cell battery holder at Adafruit or find those flickering electronic tea candles as a pre-built unit to repurpose. You can diffuse the LED on the canvas by covering it with colored cellophane, marker, more paint, fabric or glue. Good luck.

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:02 pm

As caitlinsdad suggests, a flickering candle-led is simpler. But if it is not the effect you are looking for, then the Gemma will be a better choice. There are lots of examples of 'breathing LED' code & we can help you fine tune it to get the rhythm & color you are looking for.

The Gemma is actually a pretty powerful little processor and you will only be using a fraction of what it can do. I suggested it mostly because it has the LED on-board, so you don't need to do any soldering.

For a battery, most of the LiPo cells are 'flat' so they can tuck in behind your canvas easily. You can choose a size based on how long a run-time you need. A 500mAh cell would probably last you 25 hours between charges. A mini-charger like this would be a good match.

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:06 pm

Big thanks, @caitlinsdad for a simple solution. I could get all obsessive and have to have it pulse a certain way, but I think the candle flicker LED will do the trick for the effect I'm hoping for. Who knows what this might lead to... Thx

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:10 pm

@adafruit_support_bill, I think I may try it both ways and learn some new skills at the same time. Thanks so much.

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:25 pm

I got the Gemma, loaded Mu and made the little code.py file and played with the blink. Now, is there a list of coding examples for changing color and stuff like that? I opened the main.py in Mu, copied some code to my first program, but it doesn't seem to save to the Gemma. I'm sure there's something very simple protocol I overlooked. Total newbie here needs some handholding.
Is there a tutorial or list of examples that goes a little further than the first one?
What I hope to do is play around with changing color on a slow pulse - like a heartbeat - loop.
Thanks in advance for any help.

heidimayo
 
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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by caitlinsdad on Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:35 pm

I am guessing you got the new Gemma M0 which there is the tutorial here https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-gemma-m0?view=all
Circuit Python programming is actually in ongoing development so look through the Adafruit Learn for updated guides and more projects.
It doesn't hurt to look through any project that may be for Arduino, the source code can be adapted for Circuit Python. Many different light effects/animations are in the Strandtest demo code used for testing out a string of attached neopixels or dotstar LEDs. There is also the neopixel uberguide https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neo ... -neopixels to read through.

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Re: Need recommendation for art project

by heidimayo on Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:10 am

Thanks!

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