Applications and Implications



I'm in the process of doing everything at once, bit by bit. So I'm going to list thoughts and actions and try to organize/order them as I go along - there's just a lot going on...

I'm considering programming the boards to interact with each other so that as the sun sets, the lights will come on dimly initially, then brighten to a certain spectrum upon nightfall.

At the proposed site location, the LED strips will be directed in an optimal spot to provide beauty and security lighting along the concrete path, which is set between an ongoing development and a parking lot.

The LEDs will be connected to a solar-powered motion sensor so that people moving in and out of the space will experience the space under a different perspective, hopefully under an elevated sense of safety and positive awe.

My friend James McMullen (scroll down until you see his name/pic) turned me on to the open source philosophy so I want to make files, techniques, processes available at no cost to anyone wanting to build this device for their community/family.

If folks still want the device and are willing to buy it, I'd consider creating a commercialized product for bulk purchase.

In developing the following circuit boards:

  • hard-wired signals
  • light sensor
  • motion sensor, maybe this one:
  • solar cell(s): amorphous, to be connected to...
  • ... LED Strip lighting (from the Fab Academy inventory listing): researching colors and how they affect moods of people
  • using a GCC complier for programming
  • possible radio remote control (rather than bluetooth as wifi/hotspots damages the growth of plants) to control the device on/off during the winter
  • LED Strip lighting.
  • dismantling a Dual light from Home Depot and the Gear Best's Solar-powered, motion sensor, spotlight to see the functionality of the components/system/construction.
  • considering that they may share 1 interface, not sure yet
  • the boards are to be powered via a rechargeable battery (maybe), I was told that if my boards require more than 5 volts, I'll need an alternative power source (a 5 volt regulator or a regulator board)
  • I must gather datasheets for the components of this proposed device and create a schematic that will allow them to interface under low power at the lowest possible total cost
  • I might also want to figure the light direction of the sun on my location over the course of a day/year to know how my my device will have to be installed to obtain sunlight
  • I was also told to go measure the trees at the site to know how many LED strips I may need as well as how long the wiring for my powered device(s) may need to be not sure of the sunlight in the area, so I may need to mount the solar cell onto a pole to make sure the device can work on overcast days or if a building is built that may block the current light stream as the southern-most direction is where I'd mount the device(s)
  • there is small wildlife in the area (squirrels, birds, plantlife and insects) so I need to be mindful of how and where the device(s) will be placed as well as how they'll be wired and how their signals will be transmitted
  • regarding the actual construction of the device(s): will the case house all the circuit boards together or via separate cases? consider the extension wiring from the home device to the LED strips
  • there must be a plan for the the pins on the micro-controllers, so drawing up a well-defined schematic and board layout for everything to connect will be essential
  • Questions and Answers:

    What will it do?

  • The device is to be mounted in small, public spaces (think alley-ways, bus shelters, pedestrian bridges, etc.) in urban/rural areas for beauty and safety
  • without surveillance.
  • The solar-powered, motion sensor, connected to LED strips main function:
  • as people pass through the motion sensor's field of range (mounted in a hidden area, at ground level), the LEDs will be programmed to change color and/or flash for a few seconds each time motion is detected.

    Who's done what beforehand?

  • Walker-Miller Energy Services' Lighting Products
  • Ryter Cooperative Industries L3C
  • generic solar-powered Christmas Lights
  • Motion Sensing Glow Skull
  • Very close to what I'm making but on a smaller scale and for indoor use only: Battery Powered LED Motion Sensor Light Strip
  • What materials and components will be required?

    • Circuit(s) and Components
    • 4 pads on the PCB board for an RGB LED strip
    • motion sensor
    • MOSFET (transistor)
    • 4 pin header
    • 6 pin header
    • MCCU: tiny45
    • 3 capacitors
    • voltage regulator
    • photo transistor
    • 3 resistors: 49.9, (2) 10
    • Power Jack
    • motion sensor
    • 12 volt 55AH battery
    • (6) 5meter, RGB LED strips
    • 70volt solar panel(s)
    • Encapsulation
    • In addition to creating an environmentally safe housing for all of my circuits and wiring, Neil suggested that I also encapsulate the boards themselves, as 2012 Fab Academy student, Bas Withagen did.
    • wires will be encased in heat shrink tubing
    • holes can be sealed with silicone caulking
    • solar panels will be mounted onto stainless steel or PVC tubing, about 30feet in height.
    • Future Iterations could Include:
    • design solar panels as motorized kinetic sculptures, programmed to always face the optimum source of lighting in all seasons
    • exclude the battery
    • develop an app to change the lighting program of the LEDs
    • Where will they come from?

      • online purchases
      • The Detroit Fab Lab inventory
      • possible donations

      How much will it cost?

    • A current estimate of total materials is less than $500 for the device including 6, 5meter, LED Strips for a single, 25-30foot tree installation.
    • A single site installation will vary based on the parameters of the outdoor landscape.
    • What parts and systems will be made?

    • All parts and systems will be made, except for the battery, stainless steel/PVC tubing, solar panels (for now) and LED strips.
    • What processes will be used?

    • from 3d Print/Scan: more encapsulation prototypes for the ground wires and circuitry
    • from Input/Output Devices: Motion sensor and LED Array, combined programming
    • from Embedded Networking and Communication: asynchronous serial bus system circuitry, LED/motion sensor programming in response to motion sensor detection
    • from Electronic Design: beautiful PCBs
    • from Embedded Programming: editing Neil's C and Make file codes for my devices
    • What tasks need to be completed?

    • Performing the processes, tests and experiments in my spiral development list.
    • What questions need to be answered?

    • Regarding the housing and encapsulation, what will be the total weight, with and without the wiring/circuitry?
    • How will it be mounted atop the battery housing?
    • How many LEDs can be controlled/powered via my circuit boards?
    • Will the combined components be able to handle the power from the solar panels?
    • How will all the components be connected?
    • How will I program these components to work together?
    • Will I use a Tiny45 or Tiny44 as my MCCU?
    • What is the schedule?

    • The goal is to create 3 prototypes before the end of 2016, July that will include: a motion sensor, solar panels, 6, 5meter LED strips and the battery.
    • How will it be evaluated?

    • Having already given a presentation to a Director of Energy for The State of Michigan, using rapid prototyping in the spiral development process to develop a functional device before the end of 2016, July, for a private demonstration - his feedback will be essential.
    • As a few sites have been selected, I'd like to install a few prototypes for a yearlong study on weather durability, here in Southeastern Michigan.
    • One of the sites is already partnered with a university for quantitative research, so it's possible my device could also be apart of their evaluation, with the interacting community's response to be included.
    • I just want it to work for an entire year with little to no problems at a site that has regular pedestrian traffic.