Brainings, Free Range Technology, Idiotic or Inspired?

3-Bit Video Abstraction Project

My employer makes a nifty little 12-volt LED light that contains separate RGB (red/green/blue) diodes. It’s  3/4-inch in diameter and intended for rugged, outdoor environments — specifically decorative use on carnival rides. The cool thing is that it can change color on command. It has four separate wires — one power plus three separate ground leads — so that the three colors are independently controllable. The result is that the unit can display the eight colors of the 3-Bit RGB palette by powering the diodes alone and in combination.

I began thinking about taking the technology for driving LED matrices and scaling it up to use this light. I thought an LED monitor of sorts made from the company’s products might be an intersting promotional tool, such as at trade shows. The larger lens size and greater viewing angle would make it more akin to an incandescent scoreboard than a desktop circuit board. That would be fairly well suited to scoreboard-style scrolling text and simple animations, but what if you want to display video?

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User Input: Dream Works

I encountered a very interesting fellow last night; his father had run a very specialized, and very successful, automotive brokerage, dealing with rare or slightly exotic vehicles. Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and other European exotics. When his father retired, he took over the family business, and changed its focus. Drawing on his own […]

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User Input: Project Preparation

As spring is reluctantly shuffling its way towards us here in the frozen north, my thoughts have begun to dwell on the various wrenching projects I’ve been prevented from undertaking in the last few years, due mostly to an absence of space. As I now have a nice big garage to allow me […]

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User Input: Hands On

I would love to find a use for one of these babies.

Techie’s post from this morning about the Nixie Clock sent me down the rabbit hole of finding kits, projects and DIY walkthroughs for various awesome little projects to build clocks, displays, and various gadgetry. In so doing, I was quickly reminded […]

Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Priority Project

We have a special treat for you all with today’s Quixotic Quantum Quandary! Our very own  has plumbed the depths of his secret project files to dig up some interesting stuff for us to ponder over. DoE, Dod, Libyan terrorists, there is really no telling who this project was for, or when it was built, and The Professor is restricted by non-disclosure agreements with strict penalties just doesn’t remember. He did mention that unlike some parts from his more, um, ‘eccentric’ projects, this particular component could never be used as a night light, since the lack of radioactivity disappointingly keep it from glowing in the dark. Like most special projects, it was of course well documented with photos, so hit the jump and see if you know the real truth!

Continue reading Q³: Priority Project

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User Input: Unfinished Symphony

Not mine, but I can sympathize.

We talked yesterday about a project on which I had no idea where to even begin; your responses proved to be some of my favourite comments we’ve had, and they got me thinking about the bigger picture.

The main reason I will likely not start on any […]

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User Input: Show And Tell

I realized this morning we’ve never actually done a proper show-and-tell post here. I’ve been looking for a Mac Plus to do a little hack-and-slash project to stuff my old Mac Mini inside it, but we’ve talked about that project before here on ‘Toasters, and everyone had some pretty good ideas for little […]

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