I/O Device – Potentiometer-Dial-Light-Ringy-Thingy

By nuff
July 27, 2023
2 min read

For this session, our mission is to come up with a simple application using digital and/or analog input and output to a microcontroller and make a device that allows a person to control light, sound, or movement using the components you’ve learned about (e.g. LEDs, speakers, servomotors).

A Bit About Timefeel

If you've known me for a while, you may recognise what's to come as part of my yet-to-be-completed Timefeel project. I managed to blow up an Arduino at ITP Camp 2022 working on this. For that reason, I'll be switching to my Arduino Nano Every (I have more of those) instead of the 33 IOT.

(If you really want to see the journey this project has been on since late 2021, most of my notes are on Coda.)

Turning a dial to adjust LED

I still don't know how to draw circuit schematics but it's a fairly simple idea. Use the potentiometer's position to control the "flow" of light around an LED ring.

The issue I'm having is I can't solder the ring quadrants together cleanly enough to avoid the ground, 5v power and digital in/out pins touching each other and shorting the circuit. After 2 hours of soldering and unsoldering, I decided to give up for now.

LED Ring #1, not working

New plan: attach alligator clips to a single quadrant and use that to test the Neopixel library. Surely that'll work!

Except it didn't.

I can't get either the hardware or the software to work at the moment. The lights don't seem to be recognising the presence of any charge. I thought it might be because the alligator clips are too loose, so I found a way to plug the light straight into the breadboard. The results are the same.

Using Adafruit's Neopixel library has so far proved unfruitful—I'm unable to get any change out of it.

It's now 03:10 AM so I'll call it a night. I'll be back here in 6 hours to sort it all out.


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