glance

GLANCE

A CONFIGURABLE KINETIC INFORMATION DISPLAY, AT A GLANCE

With the mass adoption of smartphones, wearables, and apps that collect personal data, so much is being tracked. GLANCE makes information more available, more relevant, and more beautiful by placing simple, kinetic displays in meaningful places.

 Using basic geometric shapes, the display is read quickly at a glance. As personal data becomes as commonplace as the smartphone, look to Glance for a relevant display of knowledge, understanding and inspiration.

A time-lapse of Glance throughout the day:

Glance is in process of development, view progress here.

The Wonders of Sleep (Pin)

I learned a huge lesson about power: When a stepper motor is powered up but not moving… it draws MORE power than when it’s moving! So, I had a circuit that could run for 4 hours on 4 AA batteries.

Then I discovered THE SLP (or sleep) PIN!

I could turn the SLP pin high just before I move my motor in my code and low just after it’s done moving. The result? my 4 AA batteries are only 15% depleted after the same 4 hrs! Hooray!

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It’s working! It’s not working!

I kept running into this problem with the stepper motor. One second it works — I fixed it! Then a minute later it stops — I broke it! It seems that the lesson I learned is that when you have this happen, It’s usually a power issue.

Eric Rosenthal to the rescue.

Ok, so my circuit wasn’t supplying enough power. So, I with Eric’s suggestion, I switched to a Sparkfun EasyDriver and used this “Boost Converter” circuit to feed into it. That way, the Battery that supplies 6V can “Boost” up to 12V, then the EasyDriver can supply 5V to the YUN.

Voila! More power to my motor!

 

**** When I switched from the Adafruit Motor Shield to the SparkFun Easy Stepper, I realized that the motor would not go backwards. It’s because the two boards expect the motor’s wires to be in a different order. If this happens to you, double check your wires!

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Motors require exactness & mechanics

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After I had a moving motor and arm, I now needed to use something to allow the dot to travel on the outside of the wood. I thought that a simple paper fastener would do the trick. It turns out: almost.

The paper fastener worked, but the dot needed more freedom. I ended up having to pinch the fastener to a round shape so that while it was being pushed around, the square sharp edges wouldn’t get caught. It was like working with clay – you push this way and that way but each time you can over-tweek and ruin it! After much tinkering, it finally worked. :)

In Goes the Circuit! Stepper Motor Woes….

 

It was all measured and set to go! My perfectly cut acrylic fit the motor’s holes. I was now ready to add one additional but crucial element: two switches to auto-calibrate the motor’s location. I placed the switches and marked the acrylic for drilling. After placing screwing them in I noticed my fatal flaw… the body of the switch was positioned in the way of the motor’s arm – making it impossible for the switch to be pressed!

Ok, so quick thinking… if I angle the switches a bit differently, I can keep one of the drilled holes and only drill one more. Alas! My angles were correct! Only one more big problem: The motor wasn’t powerful enough to push the switches anyway.

The good news is, the stepper is accurate enough to hold manual calibration for awhile, so I can hand calibrate it before my presentation. I will need to find a solution for this if I want to really use it!