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mediaBIN3.0 Weighted Companion Cube Build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by zAAm, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Thanks a lot MKmods! Good to see you're interested since I love your mods :D Now if only this turns out as I want it... I will hold out on your offer for now and get the store on the line and see if I can't hurry them up a bit when I complain to the boss. ;) As for the switch, I think I'm going to try a discrete solution first after all (pressing the hearts or something similar), and then if I can't get that to work I'll use the stainless steel switch. Also, shipping from US will probably take ages and I want to start as soon as possible :rockout:

    And thanks, I really like 3D modeling in Solidworks. It's really fast and much much better than Google Sketchup, although it takes a while to get used to. And since I had to wait for the holidays and the parts and everything anyway, I thought I'd model everything to make it easier later by just measuring everything since it's all 1:1 scale.
  2. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Update (if you can call it that):

    Seems the store are having problems with their suppliers. I've ordered quite a few stuff from them and contacted the owner. He said he is really pushing them for the parts, but they're giving him a hard time. I mean, how hard can it be just to say: "Hey, we don't have stock yet" or "Hey, we have stock". It's not like they throw all the parts they have into one big pile and have to dig through everything to see if they have the Little Falls... *sigh*

    Anyway, today I'm going to see if I can get some electronic parts... Will get some LED's, switches, push buttons and connectors for the project. Maybe I'll also check if I can find a plexiglass store near here for some translucent pink and clear Perspex.
  3. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    sounds promising, progress is really crawling here ;)
  4. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Okay, finally some progress! ;)

    My parts are on their way! Will go pick them up tomorrow!

    Today I also got some perspex and some UV LED's. I decided I was going to make the whole cube out of perspex instead of masonite because it will leave a smoother finish. Thus I got some gray 3mm perspex cut for the cube and some frosted perspex that I'll use with the UV LED's to shed some light on the project. Unfortunately I couldn't get cut pieces of pink translucent perspex since they only sell them by the sheet (guess because only a handful of people every buy them :laugh:). So I'm going to see what I can work with. Maybe I'll combine red and UV LED's to give a more pinkish tint.

    Also, I got the 5mm standoffs (at a ridiculously expensive price I might add), and I think I'm going to use tactile switches for the power and reset buttons. Will see how I'm going to wire them up.

    I don't have a camera with me atm so I'll take some pictures of everything later. Definitely as soon as I receive the parts! :p

    At least the project is going somewhere again now! :laugh:
  5. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    looking forward to the updates.
  6. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    wow mate good progress in 3-4 hours :toast: well done! :rockout:
  7. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Yeah, guess it helps to pressure everyone so they feel inclined to pressure the suppliers :p

    I'm only now getting an idea on how tiny the cube is going to be... Those corners are really going to be a challenge :laugh: But I don't mind a challenge, and I don't think I'll be satisfied until they're perfect because I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

    So, the only thing remaining for today is the 50km drive and 50km back in the worst possible traffic to collect my components. Probably about 3hours in traffic if I'm lucky. Nothing TOO serious :laugh: But since I'm always excited at the thought of getting some new hardware, the drive will be *almost* pleasurable I believe! :D
  8. zAAm

    zAAm

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    So, I got some super bright 1800mcd red LED's as well today. I'm going to try and MAKE pink light by combining purple and red LED's which SHOULD (if everything goes well) make a sort of pink light. Then I'll play around with the intensities by adding series and parallel resistors (or variable resistors) till I get something that's at least sort of believable :rolleyes:.

    If you don't follow me, look at this chart:
    [​IMG]

    Combine red and purple and you get a sort of pinkish magenta hopefully. Since purple is already a mix of red and blue, more red should shift it towards the red spectrum and thus make it more pink... :D

    Now the big question is how will I combine the light so it doesn't look like discrete spots but rather a swash of the right colour? Guess I'll have to experiment and see what I can get? :confused:
    MKmods says thanks.
  9. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    colour will be really hit and miss, maybe use a red and white led?
  10. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Red and white will not produce the colour I want. It will produce a pastel sort of light red since white light will also add green colour to the mix. You have to combine red and blue for magenta and then magenta and red for the pink crimson colour I'm looking for.

    Update (albeit without photos)

    I've got all the hardware components except the picoPSU with me (I'll get the pico a bit later ;)). Will take photos of everything the moment I get home on Sunday. Of course it took me 3.5 hours in traffic to get it, but it's definitely worth it. I think everything will work together nicely. Looking forward to see everything together and to check the fit. :D
  11. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    I am looking forward to seeing how your idea with the LEDs turn out.

    I have never spent a lot of time doing lighting so I am a bit of a noob with it.
  12. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    Ah i see, but im still not sure how well they will mix, all the same wish you luck mate :)
  13. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    dr emulator (madmax) says thanks.
  14. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Okay! :D

    So I've got a new phone (Nokia E71) that takes decent(ish) 3.2MP photos. What does this mean? It's photo time!!

    Is it my birthday?
    [​IMG]

    All the parts I received
    [​IMG]

    The pieces of perspex I got cut to size. The whole package is 200x200mm. It's pretty tiny pieces!
    [​IMG]

    LED's anyone? The 48 LED's and various standoffs I got yesterday... The package also includes the connectors I'm going to use to connect the HDD and Power LED's as well as the power and reset buttons...
    [​IMG]
  15. zAAm

    zAAm

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    So I guess the E71's photos aren't really a match for another camera I found - a Sony Cybershot 6MP DSC-H2. This will be my camera of choice from now on :D

    The LED's (Red on the left and UV on the right), connectors and 5mm standoffs.
    [​IMG]

    Perspex unwrapped. Gray opaque perspex cube pieces on the left, 5mm clear middle piece on the right and the top pieces are frosted 3mm perspex I'm going to use for the pink lines. The frosted/sandblasted look will blend the LED's at the back better.
    [​IMG]

    Wow, this is my first experience with mini-ITX and these motherboards are TINY! I made a mockup of one beforehand but seeing the real thing is much more exciting! :D
    [​IMG]
  16. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Yeah, after I bought the LED's I saw the RGB LED's with which you can basically make any colour but they are pretty expensive and not readily available. I would have to order them. I think I'll see if I can get my current LED's working okay and if not I'll see if I can make another plan. ;)
  17. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Construction Day 1

    First, I cut and shaped a number of wooden blocks to reinforce the perspex cube. I originally thought I'll screw the perspex into the wood, but since the corners will cover these screws anyway, I think I'll just glue the perspex on to the blocks. The blocks were made by cutting hardwood (Emboya I believe) into rough blocks and sanding them down to the right size with a bench drum sander. The emboya wood is VERY hard and will actually produce sparks if you go near it with a grinder :laugh: You could probably thread holes into it as well.
    On the left we have the starting rough block and on the right a few of the sanded ones.
    [​IMG]

    Next I started to measure and drill the center holes into all the perspex panels.

    What do they say? Measure twice, then measure again to check and then once more to make sure before you cut... :p
    [​IMG]

    Using pilot holes of course (you can see them in the picture), I used a 64mm hole saw to make the center ventilation holes.
    [​IMG]

    Mid-way through the drilling:
    [​IMG]

    All six sheets cut
    [​IMG]

    Next up, laminating some MDF! :toast:
    I wanted 6mm MDF so I laminated two small sheets of 3mm MDF together and clamped them together. I only did 4 of the 8 required today. Will do the rest tomorrow. The edge corners will be cut and shaped from these laminated MDF sheets.
    [​IMG]

    Afterwards, I started cutting the 16mm MDF pieces I needed for the corners. The measurements were made easy since I quickly made a Solidworks drawing of the corner and added the required dimensions. The jigsaw made the job easier than the standing bandsaw because I didn't have to lug the HEAVY piece of MDF around to cut it.
    [​IMG]

    All 8 of the first parts of the corners done and cleaned up quickly:
    [​IMG]

    Finally, a shot of everything I did today :D. Not as much as I had hoped, but at least some progress is still progress. The heap of MDF squares in the middle are the second part of the corners cut.
    [​IMG]

    I might have overdone the photos a bit :eek:, will see if I do the same tomorrow...
  18. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

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    I can just see this being awesome.

    Please make sure this gets finished and the post this entire work log to the Portal makers.
  19. MRCL

    MRCL

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    Oooh, me like!
  20. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    awsome man looking good!

    :toast::toast::toast::toast:
  21. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Thanks guys! :toast:

    I just hope this comes out looking like I want it to look! Otherwise I'm going to put in some serious hours so that it DOES... :laugh:
  22. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    that might be the best idea actually, will increase the quality while increasing costs tough trade off :rockout:
  23. zAAm

    zAAm

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    Okay, I had to test the LED's. They seem to confirm my theory, although diffusing the light might be the biggest problem... Will probably need to use indirect light.

    Here's just one red and one UV LED on a breadboard to test. Colours are very discrete.
    [​IMG]

    Now, just by adding a white surface for the light to reflect (and diffuse) from, in this case the handy ol' cheapo ruler, the light is mixed and the result is a pinkish tint very close to what I want :D
    [​IMG]

    So I think there is definitely some fact behind my theory. Now, how to make this test into a prototype? :wtf:
  24. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    looks good certainly caught me out :rockout:
  25. zAAm

    zAAm

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    I quickly built a circuit that allows me to control both the red and UV LED intensities between 0-100%. Interestingly, it seems that with both at 100% they produce the best matching colour. :rolleyes:

    The simple transistor circuit I quickly conjured up :rolleyes: The left potentiometer adjusts the red while the right potentiometer (with leads) adjusts the UV LED intensity.
    [​IMG]

    The result in low light :rockout:
    [​IMG]

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