20
Jan
12

RGB Propeller Clock – Final Day

What can 2 ECE’s, a MechE and a CS major do in only 5 days of hacking? This is a project done for CMU’s hack-a-thon session called Build18. The LED boards were previously designed by me but all other work was done in the week-long session.

96 RGB LED’s driven by 12x TLC5947 LED drivers. 12-bit PWM resolution per color channel per LED.
Diameter: 1.5 feet
Full brightness: 6 amps of LED current
Didn’t have time to figure out how to transfer through motor, so it is battery powered by 2x 4AA NIMH cells which have the perfect discharge curve for what the LED drivers need.

Don’t forget the obligatory Jimmy Wales face:

Flickering is due to interaction between camera frame rate and update rate of the propeller clock and is not that bad in real life. Thanks to all my group members who have done the majority of the work!

Costas Akrivoulis – Junior ECE, Coding, mounting, lots of stuff

Jitu Das – Junior CS, algorithms for display and pre-processing of images

John Howland – Senior MechE, designed the mount and all mechanical parts — the hardest part for us ECE majors

Allan Wang – Senior ECE, Designed LED boards, hardware

Much more technical details will be posted shortly after the dust settles from demo day.


5 Responses to “RGB Propeller Clock – Final Day”


  1. 1 mauricio merchan Feb 15th, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    el problema de la fuente lo soluciona con un transformador retatorio, basicamente es una fuente electronica…. ya los probe y funcionan

  2. 2 Polytech Apr 1st, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Wow, 6A just for the LEDs! They make slip rings for transferring considerable current to rotating platforms like this but the only reasonably priced source I know of is eBay and then wait three weeks for it to arrive from China. They are pretty common but not at all cheap hence eBay.

    So, I’m guessing you’ll have to stop the motor in order to re-program the next picture, right?

    Anyway, still a pretty cool build, congrats on finishing it so quickly!

  3. 3 Liam Hanmore Aug 24th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Allan, I am a student at Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland and I am going into my final year of Electronic Engineering. I am thinking about doing something similar to your RGB propeller clock.
    I have a question for about it if you don’t mind. How did you do the animations on the RGB stick, did you use a Cartesian to Polar software or have you done your own software. I have tried finding information on how to do this on the net for the past while with little success.
    I did come across one person that built a C# program that opened a .jpeg file, converted it to a circular RGB image, read the RGB values and placed them into a 2D array which was stored in EEPROM so the MCU could access them as needed.
    If you could give any information or guidance on how I could do the animations it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you Liam

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