And a Mitochondrion video from Circillumina

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The Mitochondrion M4.2.2, as spun by Ben. Apparently, ironically hip people have noticed that psytrance* is neither ironic or hip – A Big Night Out at… a Psytrance Rave! It is, however, fun way to have a night out dancing. That article describes it as “total aesthetic non-conformity” but that implies that the psytrance community …

And a video from Circulation

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Mitochondrion mark 4 – First public spin

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So I quietly set myself a deadline of having the the Mitochondrion mark 4 ready for this weekend’s dance party (after having missed the deadlines for Kiwiburn and the Juggling Festival, and having taken the mark 3 apart more than two years ago). As of last Monday, it finally all came together, so here’s the …

Mitochondrion Mark 4.2 Build Log: The inevitable stage where nothing works

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The Mitochondrion Mark 4.2 build is getting to the fun part, the bit where pretty much none of the parts work. However, there are at least parts that don’t work, as opposed to no parts. This counts as progress. So:

And the version number ticks ever upwards…

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The Mitochondrion, Mark 4.1, reached the spinnable stage, but had some irritating flaws. Hence I’m taking that learning into the Mark 4.2, using almost the same hardware and design as the 4.1, but with a new main board. Here I’m testing out the design. You’re looking at an Arduino Nano, 128 kB external memory chip, …

Mitochondrion Mark 4.1 Build Log: Post Kiwiburn

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Yup, the replacement power conversion chip arrived, I soldered it in and the whole lot now works: From Mitocondrion Mark 4.1 You’ll note that it isn’t plugged in to a computer, that the batteries are powering both the LEDs and the microcontroller, and that it is electrically complete and ready to be mounted in the …

Mitochondrion Mark 4.1 Build Log – It’s Aliv… oh bollocks

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The Mitochondrion currently looks like this:

Mitocondrion Mark 4.1 Build: Main PCB

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I’m working away on the next version of the Mitocondrion. In an effort not to do everything myself, the next version uses assorted bits and bobs from others but everything comes together and gets wired up by the one main board. This holds the Arduino, the big DC-DC converter that powers the LED strips, the …

Perlin noise, simplex noise, and interpolation

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Most programming these days seems to consist of banging other people’s code together until it all behaves. This wasn’t much different. I’ve been playing around with some algorithms for the Mitochondrion, Mark 4.1. For one mode, I want smoothly flowing and random patterns. There’s a kind of noise that suits called Perlin noise, invented by …

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (8 of 8)

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Doing better next time: In the year or two since I finished the Mark 3.5, I’ve had time to give it a good workout and to have a think about what worked, what didn’t, and how to do it better.

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (7 of 8)

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Debugging: You wire it all up. You plug it in. You turn it on… and nothing happens.

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (6 of 8)

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Tips for making circuit boards – (tiny, dense, double-sided boards in your kitchen): Like a fool, I tried to pack far too much into far too small a space. Hence the PCBs had to be equally dense and tiny. But then again, fitting electronics into a 25 mm tube is never going to be easy.

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (5 of 8)

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Sensors: Pic by Marla at Kiwiburn 2009 I don’t like dumb objects. I don’t like noticeable user interfaces. I want shiny things that just do what I want, without me telling them what I want. And anyway, given that any physical connections to the outside world will have to come out through the tiny, busy …

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (4 of 8)

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Power and output: Photo by Loki Gash for Filament Magazine LEDs For the purposes of shiny toys, LEDs come in two kinds: bright ones and painfully bright ones. The painful ones draw 350 mAmps or more, need fancy constant-current power supplies for each LED and will melt without proper heatsinking. I went for the bright …

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (3 of 8)

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Picaxe Microcontroller: Photo by Loki Gash for Filament Magazine Knowing nothing about microcontrollers, I chose something easy to start, the Picaxe family. The learning curve is easy, it’s designed for schools. Of course, something this simple is going to have limitations and by the end of two years of development, I’ve bumped up against most …

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (2 of 8)

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Physical structure and layout: Photo by Loki Gash for Filament Magazine

The Mitochondrion 3.5 – An Excessive Glowstaff (1 of 8)

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Vidcap by Craig Bellhouse Firespinning is fun, but I thought to myself: 1) It’s been done 2) This is the Twenty-First Century and we have semiconductors 3) This is the Twenty-First Century and burning fossil fuels for gratuitous reasons is just so Twentieth So a plan formed in my head to make a glow staff. …

And some vids, to summarise what I’ve been up to for a while

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I’ve been working away at some prototypes. The glow fans are motion responsive, with a 3-axis accelerometer controlling the colour and brightness based off how they are moved. 10 LEDs, so decently bright too. I’m working away at making these good enough to be sellable. Right now, the cost for each would be silly and …

Mitochondrion blathering – v3.6 or v4.0?

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Listing my projects on tatjna’s blog reminded me that I have a Project 0 – keeping the Mitochondrion working. Currently, the reset port needs replacing. It’s a two quid part, but an hour job to tear down the end and replace the old one. This is forcing me into choosing between fixing the latest problem …

Lots of pics of house and projects

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Big news is that one roof beam has been raised. That’s it hiding away behind all the scaff. There’ll be four, holding that part of the roof in a curved vault. There is lots of scaff. This is the base of the trapeze space: The house now has insides! Sort of. The upper storey floor …