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Published on Jul 11, 2011
This is a poor man's version of a LED scroller display - it uses only one column of LEDs, which write onto a phosphorescent surface. It's meant to serve as a display for temporal information such as tweets, whose value disappears as quickly as the phosphor fades. Stepper motor and 8 LEDs are controlled by PIC16F887 microcontroller (which as you will see in the video is currently mounted onto a EasyPIC6 dev board that I snatched from university, it'll be independant from it when I finalize this one day). It accepts plain text input from a Flash app that is sent to the board via serial proxy utility (I've used the one called serproxy). PIC then uses a custom bitmap font to write buffered ascii data that was sent from the Flash app, by moving the phosphorescent conveyor belt and controlling the LEDs. The phosphor fades quickly, it becomes indistinguishable after ~1 minute under dim light, or after ~5 minutes in total darkness (that would be a unusable for most applications, but for this project it was perfect). Software part was pretty easy, hardest and most time-consuming was the mechanical part, for which I have to thank my uncle Vasa for helping enormously. I'd also like to thank my friends Miki and Peca for help around electronics, Sloba who provided me with the stepper motor and Lemi for shooting and editing this video.