A small update. As you can see the stairs are almost done. The banisters still need to be painted and some minor ‘errors‘ need to be resolved, but the major part of the things I’m not good at are done!
Now I can finally spend some more time to spend on the fun part: the LED strips, the light barriers and creating some nice light effects with it all. Can’t wait to see it in action 😉
The light barriers have been on a desk in my lab for quite some time and are working very well. The only thing left to be done is conditioning the signal so I can feed it to a I/O pin.
I’ve also had a piece of LED strip connected to a RPi-controlled Dimmer Plug on that same desk for more than a week or so; not because I like having a LED strip next to me which is constantly changing in brightness, but because I wanted to be sure that the non real-time way of controlling the Dimmer Plug wouldn’t result in visible effects like pausing or flickering LED strips. It’s about lighting, so even the smallest hick-up will be seen.
And guess what, in a period of say 20 hours I noticed that the LED strips were indeed flickering, about 3 times – they were not doing what I instructed! I could only think of 1 reason for this: the Operating System of the RPi decided that something else had a higher priority than my LED strip program. OK, I know this is not much of a scientific approach, there are other possible causes (Node.JS and its garbage collection?), but I didn’t like what I saw so I decided to buy a Arduino Ethernet, just for the sake of convenience. The Arduino should be able to control the DimmerPlug & LED strips much more real-time and hence more smoothly all the time.
Last week the 4 x 5m. LED strip arrived, including 12 x 1m. aluminum profile with opal cover. And about 16 x IRLZ34N, terminal blocks, perfboard, etcetera. With what I have laying around, this should be enough to create a box with 16 screw terminal for 16 LED strips. I don’t need all 16 of ’em for this staircase project, but I’ve already got some things in mind for the remaining 4.
The last thing I did (last evening) was that I successfully soldered a screw terminal, MOSFET and a resistor on a piece of perfboard occupying a surface small enough so that I could solder another 15 copies of it on a piece of perfboard that would still fit in the enclosure that I want to use. And of course, I also did a live test with the Dimmer Plug, a 12V adapter and 5m. LED strip: beautiful!