Saturday, November 24, 2012

WIP(it), Work in Progress (real good)

I bought a set of GE35 LED Holiday lights. They are nifty color shifting bulbs, individually addressable and relatively cheep and available. The stock controller has some okay programs that impressively blinkey. I of course was interested in making my own controller and making a light display synched to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Wizards In Winter. (Take a minute to look this up on YouTube if you haven't seen these masterpieces of lighting)

I read up on the line protocol Deep Darc reverse engineered. I servered the controller and was able to make some lights turn on and change colors with some clumsy arduino code. Then I set out to make a library. It was on the order of 100 times too slow to work correctly. Then I did something unusual for me. I found someone's CC library, installed it and read the readme.txt and ran the hello world program. It worked. It worked really well and did a better job than I could do in a year of playing with it.

I downloaded a MIDI library and looked at the schematic and ran some sample code and that worked too. I put the two libraries together and made some mistakes, re-factored and that worked too.

Now I have lights that I can control from a DAW, synched to music. I took the prototype of aligator clips and twisted wires and soldered it down. There was a day of learning the digital tool of Rosegarden DAW and setting up the environment. Now all that is left to do is art.

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