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In which I engage in self-congratulatoryness - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 25th, 2013

10:06 am - In which I engage in self-congratulatoryness

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I am feeling inordinately pleased with myself, because of being productive.

I mean, OK so I spent most of Saturday saving the galaxy (and wondering why everyone in the squad suddenly felt the need to hit on my Shepard all at once, don't they know she's obsessed with mandibles?) *cough* and doing not a lot at all. However yesterday, I sat down with my soldering iron and made some solid and tangible progress on the Brainfart project. Things I learned: Don't pick up little bits of solder that fell off the iron and are burning your tabletop - they will burn your fingers instead. Doh. But, I got it running - at least, I got the strip hooked up to the Arduino and the power supply and ran a test pattern and nothing blew up and thus I am inordinately pleased with myself.



Click to embiggen and critique my soldering. Go on Happy, you know you want to.


tieke, you'll be pleased to see that I managed to keep the four pools of molten metal a long way away from the car park and shopping centre. But I think the square white thing with the circle in it might be a basketball court and I'm concerned about how close it got to the giant hot metal pointy thing at one stage..

Following the guidance of the tutorial, I connected the ground pin to the ground pin on the Arduino, then to the power supply, hooked up the 5v one to the thigh bone, and plugged in the two extra ones to random (not really) output pins. Then I downloaded the test library of pre-programmed goodies, adjusted it for the number of pixels this strip has (64), and uploaded it to the Arduino. Nothing happened. Cue me going "Ah crap I am useless wah wah wah" for about 3 seconds till I realised I hadn't switched the power on. I turned it on, and lo and behold!



Pretty! I mean, I didn't program this, I just basically glued it together in the right order, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to pull that code apart and use it to make other things happen. The next step is using code to get this one strip acting like 5 separate strips of 12 and running patterns on those, and while I work that out, figuring how to physically separate them and wire it all up so they work in the format I want them to. And when that works.. well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Which might take a while, but look! PRETTYSHINY!

Here is a short video (19 seconds) made by someone who isn't me, that perfectly illustrates how I feel about this.



Nailed it.


Also yesterday, our building had a 'meet the neighbours' evening, where we met our neighbours. Oddly enough, Loudly Singing 90s Angry-boy Rock Girl was not in evidence, even though she was home. I suspect maybe she's irritated more than just us, and knows it.. but anyway, there were neat people, we got tours of some of the other apartments, and also climbed up on the roof. The view up there is pretty awesome, but I'm not sure how I feel about people going up there for drinks. Not keen on seeing them descending past our kitchen window at high speed, eh?

Still, nice to meet some of the other people. There was also a guy there who collects and repairs vintage (and not-so-vintage) pinball machines. I told him he should give a talk at Nerdnite.

But look! PrettyShiny and I made it! *squee*

Comments:

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From:goffburd
Date:March 24th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Ooer, impressive! Well done that woman!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 24th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
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My sense of achievement is out of proportion to what's actually been achieved, but I think that's because I've always been a bit leery of electronics due to my remarkable ability to break stuff. It's not broken, therefore yay me! ;-)
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From:goffburd
Date:March 24th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Hey, it's more than most people can do! Anyway, it's impressing me :-)
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From:grist
Date:March 24th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Nice! :)
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From:downwardlashes
Date:March 24th, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
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At first I read it as "I sat down ON my soldering iron" and I winced. Eek!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 24th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Well I do keep it on a chair when I'm using it... O.o
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 24th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
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Ouch. That was worse than I expected.

So, while I can see that GND and DI look different, I can't tell from the difference what wetting means, or what good wetting is supposed to look like. More info plz.

Also, it's telling that the ones with too much solder are the ones where I felt I'd ballsed it up and tried again using a bit more. :-/ And finally, I suspect poor heat transfer is the culprit. It seems to take ages doing nothing, then suddenly, BLOB! Argh!

I guess I'll be better at it aftr another 20 sets..


(me from my phone)
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2013 12:12 am (UTC)
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I suspect there's a knack to knowing when you've got just the right amount of solder on the iron, and that's the bit that I need to get the hang of.

However, given that I'm going to be doing this particular set of joints over and over and over again, along with numerous other kinds, I'm not too worried at this point - I know I'll get better at it with practice.
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From:danjite
Date:March 25th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
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Pinball machines? Was it my mate Simon or are there TWO guys in Wellington who do that?
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
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Yes, it was Simon. There are two guys in Wellington who do that (according to Simon), but I randomly encountered your one, it seems. ;-)
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From:meathiel
Date:March 25th, 2013 06:28 am (UTC)
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Ouch, ouch, ouch ...

Good to hear you got to meet the neighbours - but I wouldn't like them to have a party on the roof either ...
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC)
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Hehe yeah, trust me to go "Oh look, hot thing, I'd better get it off my nice table!" Doh.
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:March 25th, 2013 11:32 am (UTC)
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Oh, nifty! And shiny, sparkling *gets distracted* What will you use it for?
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
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Eventually, it'll be wearable art. But in order to achieve that, I have to go from Pretty Shiny Strip running someone else's code, to a whole bunch of strips running my own code. It might take a while.
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From:pundigrion
Date:March 26th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
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Ooooh shiny lights!
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