The meetup of hackers and makers at the first Mod Lab of September had a few people working on testing Infrared LED’s and others talking about the upcoming Electric Fields festival and projects that will be featured there. Guy, an electrical engineer that makes robots in his spare time and member of the Ottawa Robotics Enthusiasts, gave Henri and myself a lesson on determining the tolerance of any given resistor (an electrical component that produces a voltage across it’s terminals when energy flows into it that allows one to fine tune how much energy is flowing into your circuit) based on the pattern of coloured bands that each have.
Henri is in the process of finishing his senior project at Algonquin College and needs Infrared LED’s to complete the motion detecting part of it. Guy brought in some of his for Henri to try out and I had brought my Arduino board in to play with and see if I could get a Processing sketch onto it before the next open O’Reilly class (Processing and Arduino in Tandem– Creating Your Own Digital Art Tools. We’ve been meeting at the lab every Tuesday while this is on- please come join us!) Once we determined the right amount of resistors we needed to control the voltage coming from the Arduino (my board was registering an output of 4.81 volts) I loaded a simple Blink sketch onto it and we turned the board to face the camera on my computer as infrared light is not visible to the human eye but is through a camera lens:
Success! Now Henri will have to string enough resistors together to have a long row of Infrared LED’s illuminating motion- good luck with that Henri. Our next meetup will be on September 22nd- hope to see you there!