Basement Accent Lighting

When I built out my basement man-cave, I wanted to do something unique with accent lighting. I designed and built three light boxes that I attached to the ceiling. On the bottom are dimmable warm-white LEDs, randomly dispersed to mimic stars. This creates a great ambiance for watching movies. Around the edges of the top…

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Office Lights: Revisited

My office lights were a problematic project from the very beginning. I struggled to get the TLC5940 LED drivers to correctly light the LED strips and when I finally got that working I shoved it all in the wall and sealed it up before anything could go wrong. The problem was: the TLC5940 chips were…

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Xbox 360: Repurposed

I’ve never had a shortage of RROD Xbox 360s so when I needed to raise my monitor up a few inches, I had the perfect thing. Since my desk shares a wall with the utility room, I decided to move the tower in there and ran some extra long USB/Video/Speaker/etc. cables through the wall. This…

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Word Clock: Switching Lights

Progress is coming slowly on the word clocks. I’ve assembled the LED driver boards. These boards host a series of standard serial-in parallel-out 595 shift registers that pump into ULN2003A NPN darlington transistor arrays. The schematic is pretty straightforward. The arduino tells the shift registers which pins to turn on/off. When a pin goes high…

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Silencing a Phone

As someone who spends more of the work day on the phone than not, I appreciate my headset. So when the jack on my phone started acting up, I was quick to get it working again. Recently, my phone started emitting a high pitch tone whenever a headset was attached. I tried multiple headsets to…

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Word Clock: Building the Frame

I’ve started building a word clock. For the most part, I’m copying this one, but I’m hoping to include an improvement or two. Since the electronics piece is pretty straightforward, I began by building the frame the lights for each word from bleeding into the next. With the frame fully assembled, it was time to…

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Laser Switch Completed

I have finished my laser switch project (all related posts here). The system works as follows: I have a laser pointer hacked into a duck hunt gun. When I pull the trigger on the gun, the laser points out from the barrel of the gun. On the wall, I have four picture frames, each with…

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Office Lights Installed

Last year I was finishing part of my basement to build a new office for myself. A friend recommended I utilize some of the wasted space behind one of the walls by adding some built-in shelves. I grew up working in my father’s cabinet shop, I couldn’t just build simple flat shelves. Instead I came up…

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Spectrum Analyzer

I’ve started work on a spectrum analyzer built around the MSGEQ7. A spectrum analyzer measures the magnitude of an input signal versus frequency. – Wikipedia In this case the MSGEQ7 will be measuring an audio signal, cutting it up into 7 frequency bands (lows/mids/highs/etc.). The data will be read by an arduino and displayed on a series…

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