Audio-Reactive Stage Lighting – RGB LED Satellite Brackets

The Audio-Reactive Stage Lighting project (original blog post) uses 16 MaceTech RGB LED satellite modules. One of my goals for this system is to have flexibility in mounting the LEDs. Since they won’t be permanently mounted, I wanted some brackets that would allow me to bolt or velcro-strap the modules to some pole, bar, stand, etc.

I got out my Make sketch book, and this was the plan:

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Initial sketch with annotations

As I moved to Inkscape, I realized that I needed to leave more space between the two sides of the bracket – and that the double set of strap holes was overkill and would leave the acrylic prone to breaking.

The final SVG (now on thingiverse!):

I went to FamiLAB today to use the laser cutter – I grabbed some scrap acrylic that we’d been given by the Orlando office of Laird Plastics – it was frosted which made for some really nice looking brackets.

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Took a while to get the first one right, then we just kept cutting...

Bill was nice enough to hang out with me for the day, and he kept the Google+ crowd updated on our antics.

Here’s my glamor shot for the day…

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I'm a laser bandito!

While cutting today (and watching me make lots of laser newbie mistakes), Bill started a new page on the (newly resurrected) FamiLAB wiki – “Laser for Newbies”

After some lunch, a quick trip to Lowes, and lots of assembly later, we had 16 satellites mounted on their brackets.

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Bill decided to arrange them all artsy, so I got out the prime lens and played around with some perspective shots :)

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Lots of satellites...

When mounted, they look like this…

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Square tube mounting test - PASSED!

The spacing for the bracket holes is such that the satellite can be mounted behind the bracket if needed. The frosted acrylic provided _some_ diffusion, but not enough for me to mount them that way.

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Rear mounting the satellite...

We mounted the satellites to some scrap PVC to demo at Tuesday’s FamiLAB Open House – we started with the velcro cable ties, but they couldn’t hold the satellites in place, so we switched to some stronger plain strips of velcro cut to length (Velcro One Wrap 90340 – 12′ x 3/4″). The velcro also helped with cable management. Once mounted on the PVC, we hung them over the lockers for now…

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<sarcasm>Fancy PVC Locker mount...</sarcasm>

I’ll be using photo backdrop stands to normally hold the modules, but for the Open House, this allowed us to keep the modules out of the way – and get a good reflection off the whiteboard wall.

We did some dark testing…

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The pictures just don't capture the brightness - they are blinding...this is only one side...

and we started playing around with the Arduino sketch, with the intent of using a button to change the current color set – but dinner time was upon us and I packed up…

A HUGE thanks to Bill for helping out today!

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