Art, Arduino, Sound Sensors, LEDs, and Star Wars!

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Regular drawing and painting just didn’t seem to fit the bill of a creative outlet for me, so I decided to design my own mix of art, Arduino, LEDs, sound sensors and star wars all sprinkled with a little computer code.  The end product is a MASSIVE (4’x5′) Star Wars art piece with lights that wirelessly dance to the beat of the music.  I hope this inspires you to build your own.

The list of supplies:

For the tech side:

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I got all the tech working by compiling an uploading the following code to the Arduino:


#define REDPIN 5
#define GREENPIN 6
#define BLUEPIN 3

int redNow;
int blueNow;
int greenNow;
int redNew;
int blueNew;
int greenNew;

void setup()
{
pinMode(7,INPUT); //SIG of the Parallax Sound Impact Sensor connected to Digital Pin 7
pinMode(REDPIN, OUTPUT);
pinMode(GREENPIN, OUTPUT);
pinMode(BLUEPIN, OUTPUT);
redNow = random(255);
blueNow = random(255);
greenNow = random(255);
redNew = redNow;
blueNew = blueNow;
greenNew = greenNow;

}

#define fade(x,y) if (x>y) x–; else if (x<y) x++;

void loop()
{
boolean soundstate = digitalRead(7);
if (soundstate == 1) {
analogWrite(BLUEPIN, blueNow);
analogWrite(REDPIN, redNow);
analogWrite(GREENPIN, greenNow);
redNew = random(255);
blueNew = random(255);
greenNew = random(255);
// fade to new colors
while ((redNow != redNew) ||
(blueNow != blueNew) ||
(greenNow != greenNew))
{
fade(redNow,redNew)
fade(blueNow,blueNew)
fade(greenNow,greenNew)
analogWrite(BLUEPIN, blueNow);
analogWrite(REDPIN, redNow);
analogWrite(GREENPIN, greenNow);
delay(1);
}
}
else{
digitalWrite(REDPIN,0);
digitalWrite(GREENPIN,0);
digitalWrite(BLUEPIN,0);
}
}

Then I put all the wiring together using this schematic.

Darth

I started by tracing out Darth Vadar using a projector onto the floor under layment board.

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Cut out everything that was white.

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Glue and fixed everything I broke.

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and because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, weeks and weeks of sanding, filling, sanding, cutting (again), more sanding, and fine tooth filing with a jewelers file

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Then more cutting… this time it’s the backing plate (the MDF sheet):

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This holds the LEDs, hides the wires, and provides structural support for the artistic front which we glue to next.

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Now paint the back side with the chrome paint to reflect light.

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LEDs were double sided taped around the outside of where I cut it out (see pic above). Paint the front with the flat black paint (I seem to have forgotten to take a pic.)  The wiring comes next following this schematic and the Arduino, sound sensor, and one of the bread boards glued to the front.  You can see I hid the wires by using a small router on the backing plate .

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Then all that left is attaching the picture hangers and cleaning up.

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