I built the first prototype buss over the weekend. While this is a prototype, I’m quite likely to stick with this design as it is easy to construct and relatively inexpensive. This is a “leg buss,” which is to say, it holds the LEDs that will run up one of my legs from ankle to hip.
I like the program that I wrote for the buss demonstration. I went through a few variations on it, but I found that using the “fade-to color” command in the MinMs made for more pleasant, less seizure-inducing animations. I’ve already written two Arduino libraries that help in writing the little animation programs. One is a tiny RGB class to represent colors as a single object, and the other is a BlinkM class that makes it a little easier to talk to the LEDs. I’ll probably be adding to those on a daily basis as my animations get more ambitious.
I’m starting to think harder about how I’m going to attach the busses to my body. I’ll try to get some elastic material tomorrow and see how well simple straps might work.
I’m also starting to think more about how I’m going to get all these busses plugged into the microcontroller. I think I’ll need to build some kind of buss-distributor that I wear at belt-level, and I’ll plug the 8-pin IDC connectors at the end of each buss into the distributor. That way I can put the busses on one at time, or easily replace one should it get damaged in the field.
It’s also time to spend the serious cash and buy the whole lot of 50 LEDs. That’s going to set me back about $425 USD, but once I get all those bussed up (and powered!) it’ll be pretty glorious.