In 2016 I visited a con for the very first time, when I went to the second Dutch Comic Con. It was really great to see all the people who had taken the time to build great costumes. It inspired me to start work on my own cosplay and I knew right away it would be a Tron Legacy cosplay. I have always loved the original Tron movie but I like the style of Tron Legacy more.
Afterwards I started looking up information and seeing all kinds of great projects. In the end I decided I would start work on the Identity Disc first as this concerns electronics which is closer to my main interest. I saw many different implementations to improving the Deluxe Identity Disc toy but I felt that just adding more LED’s didn’t do it justice. I don’t mind that other people do that, to each their own of course, but I really wanted to get a result close to the movie. Then I found Erv Plecter’s version of the Identity Disc on YouTube and after that on The RPF and I knew what I wanted! 🙂
Below is Erv’s video that got me hooked on doing the mod like he did.
About a month ago I finally started working on modifying the Deluxe Identity Disc toy.
I would like to give a very big shout-out to Erv Plecter. He has been a great inspiration and a really big help for sorting out the details and helping me out by supplying his Arduino sketch!
And also to Soulinertia for making the disc upgrade kits available to the masses! Definitely check out his website.
Here’s a link to my thread on The RPF for this project.
Finally, two clips from the movie:
Enough introduction, let’s get to it.
tl;dr, there is a playlist on YouTube 😉
Modifiying the disc
First of I started work on removing the electronics that came with the disc and removing the blue C-ring. I carefully removed the C-ring by starting to pry it loose in the places where you can see it from the inside of the disc as I wanted to keep it intact. Once you get the first bit to pop out you can carefully pry the rest loose.
I waited with removing the ends of the C-ring until I had the middle loose to get more leverage. At the end I noticed that it is glued to the disc on the underside of the c-ring in a few places which is why it doesn’t easily come out.
Then I got to figuring out the best way to start removing all the plastic sections that I didn’t need. This was a bit nerve-racking moment because I was finally starting on this poject that I waited for, for so long, and I really didn’t want to mess it up, so I took my sweet time.
Please wear protective glasses! The plastic like to fly around and Dremel-discs tend to break. I do a lot of DIY and in a lot of cases eye-protection is a must 😉
In the pictures below you can see the disc before I started, followed by closing up the battery compartment. I made a little mess with the epoxy (glad I used gloves) but this is easily fixed with an exacto knife after it hardens. and removing both the short white lines on the edges so light can shine through there. Sanding down the battery compartment with my dremel took some time as it’s raised quite a bit but I got it in de end.
I used ‘Aves Apoxy Clay’ to seal up the remaining openings around the battery compartment and the original activation button. This stuff becomes rock hard and worked perfectly! I had to remove the excess with my dremel and advise that you don’t use the dremel to remove everything because otherwise you will be sanding a lot (like me) to get rid of all the marks that the dremel makes. Just remove like 80 to 90% and use fine grit sandpaper for the rest.
Now that I had the battery compartment sealed up I moved on to removing the “fake”C-ring on the underside of the disc. I also finished cleaning up the inside of the disc where the battery compartment used to be.
I now started test fitting Soulintertia’s upgrade kit and found that I had to fine-tune the bottem c-ring removal and the replacement-ring to fit. Exacto knife and Dremel to the rescue! It was so cool to finally see the first real result after that! 🙂
Then I finally got to painting the disc, the end result turned out great. Well, my paintjob looked good for my first ever time using spray-paint. However it turned out that I underestimated how much all the sanding would show through the paint. Even after multiple layers…
I took the following pictures in daylight. (in real life the color is a real nice matte-black which is not conveyed well in the pictures).
And another tip, use an appropriate mask. These are not fumes that you want to inhale too much of!
After consulting Erv and my brother in law it turned out I simply didn’t prep the disc well enough. My brother in law came to my house 2 days later with plastic putty and 2000-grit sandpaper to get the disc nice and smooth 🙂
Now I can finally start painting again. Before I only used clear plastic primer and matt-black paint from Motip but I now also bought grey Motip primer to use after the plastic primer so that I get a good colored base coat. This helps to get a good end result with covering up minor imperfections and getting a nice result with the color when applying the actual paint.
As soon as I finish painting I’ll post another update. It’s a hassle and I have been learning all the way but the end result is getting there and that is such a great feeling! I will be glad when I can start working on the inside of the disc.
Update March 1st 2017:
I started work on the electronics (testing the LED-strips) yesterday while is was waiting for the second coat of primer to dry. Man those strips are bright, it hurt my eyes 😛
I got the RGBW version of the Neopixel strips to give me more headroom with colours, the price difference was minimal so I just went for it.
Since I’ll be running the project on two 3,7V Li-ion battery’s (in parallel) I set the voltage on the PSU to 3,6V (bit lower to simulate lower battery voltages) and still everything looked more then bright enough. I’ll probably limit the brightness in the Arduino sketch to conserve battery power.
Some more progress pics:
My schedule is a bit busy at the moment but I hope to get the paintwork done during the upcoming weekend.
Update March 6th 2017:
After a lot of sanding and painting I finally got a good result last weekend. The difference in color and look is really noticeable. After using putty and the grey primer and making sure I sanded the different layers to get rid of lingering imperfections the end result is now way better! I now have a much better understanding of using spray paint which dramatically improved the result this time. I am really glad I finally have a good look!
I installed Soulintertia’s disc upgrade kit yesterday and the result is profound. The disc looks great and also feels better now that it has more weight to it and isn’t flimsy anymore because the c-rings are back. The only thing that remains on the outside is filling up the slots I cut on the side so that light can shine through there. I’ll probably use some silicone sealant for that.
Now I can finally start work on the internals 🙂
Update March 27th 2017:
I’m finally getting to posting another update. After I finished work on the externals I still had to wait on 1 part (the Music Maker FeatherWing) before I could continue working on the electronics. I have been working on the disc on and off whenever I had time.
Last year I already started work on a wiring diagram but I recently refined it by using images for most of the circuit boards as I thought it would look better. Like the Adafruit learning guides. It’s not completely final yet, parts like the switches for external triggers / control are still a work in progress and will be addressed further as I work on the Arduino sketch.
Edit May 5th 2017; a newer version of the wiring diagram has been added.
As soon as I got the Maker Maker I started to hook everything up, I used the disc itself as a reference for the different cable lenghts. One I had the furthers wires hooked up I could uses those as a length reference for the rest. I was really glad to have ‘helping hand’ to hold the board and wires whilst I soldered everything in place.
Now that I have the primary electronics hooked up I started on getting the NeoPixel strips in the disc by measuring the amount of NeoPixels I would need. I ended up needing 88 for the outside ring and 2 strips of 59 NeoPixels for the c-ring on the inside. So a grand total of 206 NeoPixels!
After every cut I re-tested the strip to make sure everything was still okay. After cutting the outside strip tot the correct length I had to make it a bit slimmer so that it would fit in the disc and get the wires hooked up to it.
Next up I covered the inside of the NeoPixel strip for the outer ring with clear packing tape after which I covered it with aluminum foil (matt side). A sharp exacto knife is a real friend here. A few dabs of hot glue completed the installation.
Moving on to the c-ring. For this part I cut two strips of NeoPixels.
Before I cut the second strip fort the c-ring I removed the first 13 NeoPixels because there was a connection point which would have cause unwanted additional spacing.
After testing the strips I installed the bottom one with a gluegun, the top one hasn’t been put in place yet. Now I could also get a glimpse of the lighting with the strips actually installed in the disc. There is clearly room for limiting the brightness of the NeoPixels in the Arduino sketch therefore also limiting power consumption.
So, now I also have more numbers concerning power consumption. The power consumption might seem high but keep in mind that this test-sketch is effectively a worst case scenario as the brightness is way higher then I require. I’ll get more relevant numbers as I work on the sketch.
- Everything active (including the Feather, FeatherWing and music playing and the NeoPixels trips set to “50” in the test sketch) on I got to a max of 1527mA;
- All electronics and Neopixels connected, but not active: 143mA;
- Only Neopixels connected but not active: 114mA.
While I was waiting to get all the hardware I started working on the sketch to control the whole thing. As I only have basic scripting skills at the moment I started out by playing around with the different (test) sketches from Adafruit for the NeoPixel LED-strips and as soon as I also had the Music Maker FeatherWing I played around with that as well.
From there I moved on to setting up a test sketch of my own in which I used the test sketches from Adafruit to set up a working sketch to test both the NeoPixels and the Music Maker at the same time. I hit some road blocks as I’m still new to programming but in the end I figured it out and got it running. Most important thing is that I am learning 🙂
I now have a better understanding of what the different parts of the sketch do and also what I can and cannot do at the same time.
Aside from the Arduino sketch the only things left at the moment is finishing up the internals of the disc. For this I need to hook up the batteries, charging circuit, buttons, the usb connector for charging and a usb stick for storage. I have found that the Feather and the FeatherWing require more space so I will have to install those at an angle and make some aluminum foil covers to prevent unwanted shadowing. I’ll figure out all that as I go.
The sketch is still going to require some work but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel 🙂
Update April 5th 2017:
Quick update concerning the hardware.
I’ve been working on the disc and found out that the Bluefruit version of the Adafruit M0 Feather is not an option because of the Music Maker FeatherWing.
Because the Music Maker requires pins that are also used by the BLE module, connecting via bluetooth does not work.
I asked about this on the Adruit forum beforehand and was told it did not concern the Bluefruit board even though the learning guide mentions it. So I ordered the Bluefruit version to see for myself. Because I have a future project planned where I could use the Bluefruit version because that project does not involve other boards I was safe either way.
I have ordered the ‘Adafruit M0 Basic Proto board‘ without the BLE module now.This only means that remote control via an app is definitley not an option anymore. I don’t really mind that.
So, should anyone want to replicate this project with the same hardware, order the Basic Proto version of the Feather M0 😉
Update May 5th 2017:
I’ve continued working on the disc off and on and the hardware stuff is finally starting to come to an end. First off I started on modifying/hacking the Adafruit Li-ion charger so it would fit inside the disc. Before I bought it I looked into the PCB file on Adafruit’s website and found that I could chop off the top and bottom section of the board. The USB and the JST connectors would be lost but the board provides connection points for the battery and the load so the JST connectors are not required. Getting power to the board would only require some scraping. In the end it turned out I could leave part of the pads for the USB connector and by scraping away part of the silkscreen over the big trace below I was able to created a decent place to solder the positive wire. The bottom is a big ground plane so I removed a section of silkscreen below the USB connectors pads to connect my negative wire there. This worked like a charm and got the board to a disc-friendly size 🙂
Now I could get onto wiring up all the switches and the USB breakout board, after that I hooked everything up to the charging board. The amount of wiring became more and more apparent at this point.
While testing if I could close the disc correctly I found I needed to trim some plastic on the side of the c-ring on the inside of the disc. I also trimmed the top of the LED-strip.
Before installing the switches I modified the 3-mm LED-holders I bought because they were too long and installed them using epoxy glue. One that dried I could install the switches. At first I thought using epoxy there would be a good idea but I ended up ruining one of my switches so I resorted to using hot glue for the rest which worked way easier and better.
Because I originally planned on 2 momentary switches and 1 latching switch I had no more spare switch. As soon as I get another one later this week I will install that one too.
I decided on ditching the latching switch as I couldn’t get it modified to fit through the LED-holder correctly. To still be able to switch the load off behind the charger I will be ordering a Power Switch Breakout from Adafruit which uses a P-channel MOSFET to switch the power. It’s not very expensive and makes my life easier.
When I got to installing the charger and USB breakout boards in the disc I found it would be easier to mount them closer together so I rewired the USB breakout closer tot the charging board. More hot snot to the rescue for installation. I was worried about mechanical forces on the USB breakout so I used a good amount of glue there.
I continued on with installing the speaker and the amplifier board so I could finish up the cable management for now and get things looking neater. I disconnected the amplifier from the music maker, connected longer wiring for power and glued it and the speaker into place using more hot glue.
After this I routed the wires into the direction I wanted. Since everything that goes tot he Feather M0 is already in place I glued those wires down near the amplifier board to keep them in place, when I get the correct Feather M0 I can hook those up. I continued finishing up the wiring for power and ground. The will be hooked up as soon as I get the correct batteries and the Adafruit Power Switch Breakout.
It turned out the 18650 batteries I had are simply to big so I’m getting smaller batteries which will unfortunately mean that battery life will definitely not be “the best ever”. Getting a good replica of the disc is however more important to me.
I also received word today that the Feather M0 Basic Proto has finally been shipped! It took a while before it came available again, then I ordered it two weeks ago but it got backordered… Getting closer and closer to having everything installed though 🙂
I still have to continue working on the Arduino sketch so it’s not as if getting the correct Feather is the last thing I need to finish everything up.
I updated the Wiring Diagram as well to include the changed Feather M0, the Power Switch Breakout and also the Charging status LED’s that I forgot to include in de previous version.
Update May 6th 2017:
After getting a request from Erv via the thread on The RPF I decided to publish two videos I made earlier during the build but of which I wasn’t sure yet if I wanted to publish them. In the end I thought what the heck, why not share those.
Update May 10th 2017:
Glad to report that all the hardware has been installed. The only thing missing for now is the Power Switch breakout board which is on order but it’s a non-critical part for now.
I finally got to install the correct Feather M0 since I wasn’t able to use the Bluefruit version because that required pins needed by the Music Maker FeatherWing, which is of course more important.
Since space is at a premium I removed the capacitor for the right channel on the Music Maker and also removed the headphone jack since I could maybe use that on another project someday. On the Feather M0 I removed the JST connector since it’s charging circuit will not be used. It could charge at my desired 1A by changing a resitor but the power controller on the M0 has a 500mA limit for the entire board.
Having the charging circuit completely separate made it easier for me to use a switch to disconnect the load from the charger/batteries whenever I charge the disc or just want to turn it off.
With that done I went on to getting the boards in the disc and hooking up power to both boards, the amplifier to the Music Maker and the function switches and NeoPixel data pins to the Feather M0.
Almost forgot the resistors on the datalines for the NeoPixels but that was quickly corrected and heatshrinked. Hot glue got everything installed.
I have not yet glued in the Feather M0 since I require some wiggle room to access it’s USB port until I get the final sketch done. I’m thinking about looking into some kind of USB hub thing so I can access both the disk’s storage and the Feather M0 with the disk sealed up. Not important for now but it’s on my mind.
I continuously test everything to see if the hardware works correctly. Should I make a mistake I can easily retrace my steps instead of taking the disc apart. I’m still using Adafruit’s test sketches so the NeoPixel still look nice and colorful.
Since I now have the correct-size batteries I moved on to installing those. I wrapped them in a piece of aluminum foil (matt side out) to prevent there greenish color from interfering with the LED-strips. Then proceed with hooking those up in parallel since I want to increase the total capacity but keep the voltage at 3,7V.
Next up was installing the USB-stick. Like Erv said when he created his Identity Disc; “It’s a freankin’ storage disc or WHAT?”. Exactly Erv, Exactly! 😉
I took a 32GB Sandisk stick apart with a screwdriver, a quick twist and it was open. Not much to see inside but it will do just fine.
I now hooked the chargers status LED’s on a breadboard with two 470Ω resitors. The yellow LED indicates “charging”, the green on lights up when it’s done charging. I plan on replacing the yellow LED with an orange LED but didn’t have one lying around. The LED’s final location will probably end up being on the battery side of the speaker.
I plugged it into my Antec charging hub with my USB power meter and saw it drawing just over 1A when charging which is perfect (load disconnected). Since I want to connect it to my PC I bought a Y-splitter cable so I can plug one end into a PC and the other into a charger. With this cable the black plug is meant for the PC. Once I plugged the red plug in as well the draw on the black plug went down to ~400mA which is well inside the official maximum of ~500mA that most USB ports on a computer can supply. Nice! 😀
Right now the disc looks like this. As soon as the Adafruit Power Switch Breakout arrives I can install that final piece. But for now a breadboard will do to light it up 🙂
While I worked on the disc I noticed I forgot to add the resitors for the charger’s status LED’s on my wiring diagram and also screwed up the orientation of the LED. I had in my mind that the charger had the positive side but it turned out to be ground, good thing I always double check. Oops 😉
So, a new version of the diagram:
The batteries were already charged so I tested the disc out right away without it umbilical cord (a.k.a. the connection to my LAB power supply. Really great to hold it in my hand and move it around without having the cable restricting my movement!
[ A new video showing the Identity Disc in its currrent form is in the works! 🙂 ]
Update May 12th 2017:
Wednesday night I finally connected the disc to my computer for the first time. I proceeded with copying al the files related to the project to the disc ^^
I also made a before and after comparison using my second disc which is still original. I must say I like the darker black on my modded version better 😉
I also made another video showing of the disc’s current state, how looks when lit up and I hook it up to my laptop. It’s not spinning yet but that will come soon.
Update 18th of June 2017:
Unfortunately the last few weeks have again been busy so I didn’t get much work done on the disc.I did finally get all the hardware finished now.
The Adafruit Push-button Power Switch Breakout has been installed and I added the 1000µF 10V capacitor to the output. In the NeoPixel Überguide Adafruit specifies you should add a capacitor to the power input of the NeoPixel strips to prevent power spikes from damaging the NeoPixels. I opted to add the capacitor to the main power input which also works and saved me from more complex wiring.
I also installed the status LED’s for the charger so I could see the charging status on the C-ring on the back of the disc.
After calculation the correct resistor values I glued the LED’s together so I could solder the anodes of the LED’s together. After that I hooked up the wiring and heatshrinked everything.
I calculated the required resistors by checking the forward voltage on my LAB power supply which turned out to be 2.5V for both LED’s. The maximum current draw turned out to be 2mA for the green LED and 50mA for the orange LED. With those numbers I calculated the required resistor values using this site (link= http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz).
The disc now also has it’s charging status LED’s installed. The pictures turned out a bit grainy but it still shows the result with which I’m very happy.
I do plan on hooking up a voltage divider to the Feather M0 so that can measure the battery voltage and have a red LED come on when the batteries are running low.
When I was putting everything together I did realize I made a mistake, not a big one but next time I will definitely not repeat this. What I did was hook up the LED’s power to the output of the charger in my design instead of to the input of the charger. This means my LED’s are powered by the voltage the charger put’s out and this varies during charging. So I decided to calculate the resistors using 4,1V of input voltage which is the maximum output voltage of the charger. Since I glued the charging board in place already it’s too much hassle to correct it. For the purpose of giving me status indication it still works fine. So it’s not an issue but it does warrant a new version of the schematic and I will not be repeating this in the next disc I modify 😉
The resistor values on there are calculated with a 5V power source as a reference. Always keep in mind to calculate your own resistor values as those might be different depending on the LED’s that are used.
To concluded for now, a side by side of the original and my modified disc.
I did notice I forgot to add the LED bezels in the top half of the disc so there is some more to come hardware wise. Those also will be getting white LED’s so they’re lit up.
Update 13th of September 2017:
The sketch (code):
Update 29th of August 2017:
Hello Everyone finally shot and uploaded the long awaited update.
I’ll be working on a few follow up videos that will explain the different steps I took whilst I was writing the sketch.
Had to learn a few new things. All in all it was very educational but it did take up “some” time.
But the disc is now finally spinning and it’s a great feeling!
Freshly uploaded video:
I have created a GitHub account where you can find the repository that contains all the sketches I have been working on so far.
The animation code is completely thanks to Erv Plecter. He made all this possible. So again, a big thanks you to Erv!
Playlist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyythBBSchB6DWGi_5Xz2ogSqaS3vKtYN
It isn’t perfect yet. The Music Maker doesn’t always work well, I’ve been having issues with the disc animation/sound failing upon boot.
From what I read in the Adafruit Music Maker guide (link: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-music-maker-featherwing?view=all) I may be able to fix this by resetting the Music Maker upon boot before the rest of the code/sketch is executed.
I’m also thinking about adding the Feather M0 Bluefruit again and have that control the NeoPixels. During testing I have found that the animation runs faster without audio. As soon as I included the audio the animation seems to be slowed down, this is especially apparent with the bladespin animation.
Adding the Bluefruit version of the M0 as an extra board should resolve this issue. I will then have the two M0’s communicate with each other via serial communication.
That setup would also make it possible to remote control the disc via an app on my phone using the bluetooth connection. I do not need that for the disc’s primary functions but having bluetooth back in the game would give me more control when it comes to using the disc to play the Tron Legacy movie soundtrack. Since I only have 1 spare button in the current setup I would only be able to start/pause playing and I would like to also be able to skip to a song, stuff like that.
Also I do have a little bit of hardware remaing, namely the “holographic emitters” on the top of the disc.
I will be installing 3mm LED-holders and and some white LED’s there.
Also, on The RPF thread I was reminded by propmaster2000 that I should keep an eye on the batteries. That I should’t discharge them too much because then they might not charge again. I replied as follows;
Good question about the discharge voltage. I’m aware of that and on of the things I want to add is a voltage devider. That voltage devider will be connected to my M0 Basic Proto which will then have a red LED come on as soon as the voltage of the batteries reaches a certain point.
It’s in my planning but it wasn’t actively on my mind so thank you for the reminder 🙂
When it comes to cutting of the batteries I have the following in mind;
Getting the Adafruit Push-button Power Switch Breakout (https://www.adafruit.com/product/1400) has yeilded a great bonus, namely that it has a “kill-pin” which turns of the FET when 1 or more volts is applied to it.
I’m thinking about adding a delay in the sketch between the red LED lighting up and the “kill-pin being triggerd”. So first the M0 will turn on the red LED informing the user that the batteries are running low and after a minut or so (or maybe longer) the disc is turned off if that wasn’t done yet.
Aside from that, as discussed later in the thread, the batteries have protection circuit built in that prevents overcurrent en overdischarging 😉
So aside from (maybe) adding the M0 Bleufruit back into the design the first things I will be doing is getting the LED’s installed for the “holographic emitters” and getting the battery voltage detection / cutoff circuit going.
But of course I will be doing video’s on the sketches (code) first.
Update 13th of September 2017:
It’s all coming along a lot quicker this time.
Over a week ago I finished the first 3 video’s on the Arduino sketch and today I finished and uploaded the last video. As I progress I will of course create more video’s on the sketch.
I also created a video about ripping audio from a video file using VLC and editing the audio using Audacity.
After uploading I did remember I forgot to mention how to cut a specific section of audio from a file. Please check the Youtube link in the video description as that will explain the process.
The videos on the sketch and the audio ripping/editing have been added to the playlist I created for this project on my YouTube channel.
Link to the playlist.
Please check out my channel on YouTube and subscribe if you want to follow allong as I might post videos later that won’t always be mentioned in threads on The RPF.
Also created a account on Twitter and Instagram: RiCor_Net
Both will be getting more content in the future. It’s easier for me to just upload a single picture there with a short status update. My website and The RPF will then get the bigger updates with more details but at a longer interval.
Also made some more hardware progress. The LED’s have been installed in the top section of the disc to represent the holographic emiters seen in the movie.
I’m continuing to work on hooking up those LED’s to the Feather M0 board and incorporating them in the sketch so I can trigger them with one of the buttons or together with something else. A soon as they’re hooked up to the M0 it’ll all be software controlled a.k.a. flexible
Some pictures of the new LED’s being installed:
I used hot glue to affix the LED’s to the plastic holders by using using some inside the plastic holger before pushing the LED all the way down.
Adter inserting them in the metal holders I used hot glue again to fix it all in place.
After this I solder everything together in series with the 270ohm resistor between the LED and the positive wire. Heat shrink made everything neat.
I calculated the resistors based on 3,7V but the M0 actually outputs a regulated 3,3V. This turned out to be a good thing because I feel the resistor brightness is better now 🙂
Check out video “#6 – How to determine LED Forward Voltage / Forward Current” on my YouTube channel for more information.
Update 16th of oktober 2017:
Been working on a battery monitoring sketch. It’s actually a voltage meter that turns on a red LED when the voltage drops to a set voltage. Unfortunately it’s not yet working correctly when it’s not hooked up to my computer.
My guess is that when it’s connected to my computer the power from the USB connection messes with the reference voltage. When it’s only hooked up to my bench power supply and I simulate the low battery voltage the red LED does not turn on when I get below the 3.2V I set as the “low voltage” point.
For now I am going to leave the battery monitoring part for later as I want to get the rest of the animation and sensor stuff working. I will return to it later as I would like to have a low battery indicator.
As this is one of the things that I started messing around with for the first time in the world Arduino sketches it is one of the things I need to learn a bit more about.
All the sketches have been uploaded to my GitHub account.
Should anyone have ideas or see an error I made I would be very glad to hear it!
The video update about this can be found here:
And also a update concerning my plans for the disc;
I have come to the realization that I will be adding my Adafruit Feather M0 Bluefruit back into the disc as a second board.
The reason for this is that I noticed that the disc animation (especially the blade animation) runs considerably slower when the Music Maker is active vs. when I just run the animation without sound.
I am going to work on getting a serial link going between the two Feathers. After this I will move the Neopixel strips and the “Holographic” LED’s over to the Bluefruit feather. Then the Feather M0 Basic Proto will only handle the buttons, sensors and the Music Maker FeatherWing.
The Feather M0 Basic Proto will then control the visual animations by triggering the Feather M0 Bluefruit via serial commands. When that is working I will continue on with getting stuff like the clash animation going. I recently ordered vibration sensor switches from AliExpress (medium and slow) since a wrecked the ones I bought from Adafruit. Once those arrive I will be able to try again getting that incorporated.
The great thing about integrating the Bluefruit M0 is that I will also regain the remote control I was hoping to get when I originally ordered the Bluefruit version to be the main (and only at the time) Arduino in this project.
Also this will give me more control options. This is important for me because I want to have the ability to also play music on the disc, specifically the Tron Legacy OST.
However this raises the issue of having to few buttons on the disc to control both the animations and provide “play/pause”, “next/previous song” and “stop playing”.
Of course If you just want basic functionality (animation + accompanying sound) the lack of buttons is not present since the 3 available buttons in my design should suffice. Then you can also use a “Adafruit VS1053 Codec+MicroSD Breakout” instead of the Music Maker FeatherWing.
I have ordered one today to do some testing to see if this could replace the Music Maker FeatherWing in future iterations of the disc. In the past Adafruit only had the “Adafruit Audio FX Sound Boards” which (for me) have to little storage which lead me to the Music Maker Featherwing at the time.
But now an SD-card version of a similar design is available. The great thing about this version is that it makes it easier to implement looping sounds and triggering short sound effects. You would need to wire up a few wires depending on the amount of sound effect employed. For a basic version this could however be perfect. Then 1 Arduino would suffice and it would only have to deal with a few buttons, sensors and the animation. You could still choose to use something like the Feather M0 Bluefruit LE so that remote control is an option.
Later this week I plan on posting a video on the Serial communication and also post and update concerning all the tools and parts used. That will probably also be accompanied by a video since I would like to discuss some rationale when it comes to the parts I chose and why I did so.