Mar 14, 2022

Week Notes - Solidarity in Neopixels

A month since my last “weeknotes”, so quite a lot to write about. Firstly Mike G replaced the original power cables we’d used for the Plastic Flowers with white ones. We covered these with netting tube known as “millinery crin” which we’d first seen when makers from DoES Liverpool were involved in this project for Batala Mersey drummers with Uma and Mandy from Brouhaha International.

Here’s a link for millinery crin, in case it’s useful to anyone who wants to tidy up some cables, and here’s another picture of the Plastic Flowers, now with new power cable (any excuse):

I was pretty convinced at the time of my last weeknotes that the issues we were having with McGraw, the DoES Liverpool pen plotter, were finally resolved, but this turned out not to be the case, and quite a lot of time has been spent on this in the last few weeks (and not just by me).

Firstly Pablo 3d printed an attachment to keep the penholder more steady (McGraw used to be a laser engraving machine, so wasn’t designed to cope with the friction between pen and paper):

I then took the plotter to bits, replaced the upper belts, and cleaned the bearings and track with IPA:

After putting it back together, the limit switches didn’t work, so thanks to Ed Saul for noticing that the Nano controller wasn’t seated properly…

So now the plotter is working fine, and we can get on with using it.

Back to LEDs then - the “disco breast plates” I helped create for Peloton Liverpool had been displaying the same pattern since they were delivered in November. Danny got in touch to say he’d like them to show the colours of the Ukrainian flag:

You can’t stop a war with LEDs, unfortunately, but it did spark conversation about the subject at Friday night’s Joy Ride cycling group, and passers-by were interested.

Finally, last week, I used a Pico with Pimoroni Pico Unicorn Pack that I already had to make this Pomodoro timer I saw featured in MagPi magazine. A quick and simple project and a potentially useful output - the Pomodoro method aims to improve productivity by breaking up your work time into 25 minute tranches with 5 minute breaks. I’ve attached it to my work computer and will report on any positive changes.

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