From API to LED: Digital Details

Lets call it CRYPT0MANIA – the connected crystal.

This post is about the crystals digital details – because it works – it really works!

Note: For a summary of the sculpture overall, read more here. For details on how the physical enclosure was made, read more here

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From API to LED: Prototype Enclosure & Decoration

This week I converted a concept into a partial reality.

The target for the first prototype of the enclosure was to create one half of the enclosure, in order to test different LEDs in am environment that resembles its final form.

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From API to LED: Physical Specifications

As the technical feasibility of the API to LED project comes together, it is time to consider the physical specifications, including design, construction, and materials. Here is the current conceptual design:

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From API to LED: Our friend WeMos

Meet our new friend, WeMos D1, aka WeMo, aka WeBro

WeMos D1, aka WeMo, aka WeBro

WeMos is going to use its wifi chip to gather information from the web, and eventually – hopefully – interpret that information and do something about it; namely lighting up some LEDs!

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From API to LED: Duplex Communication

Friday night! The perfect time for expanding on the API-to-LED work from last week. The improvement now offers a more diverse set of information and utilizes duplex serial communication.

The result is that now we can now use a toggle-switch to see the 1-hour price change of either Bitcoin or Ethereum in the form of LED lights. The position of the attached toggle switch determines which currency is being shown.

The programming also features a p5 sketch that reflects the information being sent through the serial.

For example, in the video below Ethereum has had a modest positive 1 hour price change (0.06%), so it lights up the green LEDs a teeny bit. At the same time, Bitcoin has had a larger, negative price change (-1.16%), so it lights up the red LEDs quite a bit.

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From API to LED: First Connection

The simple joy of making one single LED light turn on returns this week with the first step towards linking the IRL, moving, ever-changing internet to an Arduino.

Using serial communication and an API call, the green and red lights indicate if the price of Ethereum – a popular cryptocurrency – has gone up or down in the past hour, as per Coin Markets Cap.

What is more, this light shines with different intensity depending on the degree to which the price has changed (i.e. bigger increase = brighter green light).

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Push to cross: power and access [Part 1 of 2]

You likely have seen the push-to-cross buttons scattered across various crosswalks in NYC.

The functionality and effectiveness of these buttons is often challenged, and with good reason. The primary reason is because most of them are not even connected to the system that governs the traffic lights! As originally reported by the New York Times in 2004:

 “…the city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that were in place at the time existed as mechanical placebos.”

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Push to cross: power and access [Part 2 of 2]

continued from part 1 here

While thousands of NYC push-to-cross buttons are inactive, there are ~150 special new push-to-cross buttons. They are called Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APDs), and they look like this:

Unlike the crosswalk buttons of old, the primary purpose of APD’s are to help blind and low-vision pedestrians navigate crosswalks more safely. They also provide a legend to the 3 modes of the crosswalk light (from a visual management perspective, this seems unnecessary if not counter productive).

From the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), APDs are:

“wired to a pedestrian signal and send audible and vibrotactile indications when pedestrians push a button installed at the crosswalk.”

In other words, they vibrate upon touch, and also make the following audible noises:

  1. A command to “Wait” every time the button is pressed when the cross light is red:

Continue reading Push to cross: power and access [Part 2 of 2]