Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daleks Do Not Accept Apologies

What a weird weekend... Before I get to some promised material: on Thursday, I had another omen. This bit was on the “high end” of the “Weird-O-Meter,” however I was immediately convinced it related to my surroundings rather than to myself.

As it turned out, both my analysis and the way the events played out matched pretty evenly with what happened. I was only wrong on two items. I'd talk about I more, but I don't really want to violate anyone else's privacy, and so...


Okay. So. Remember that wand idea? Here are some of the core components at least for a personal, customizable LED system.

First, you'll need an Arduino. I will most likely be getting the Arduino Pro Mini or the Arduino Nano Board. This is what will store the information for coloring an LED, algorithmic flicker patterns, etc. If you're like me and this will be your first time playing with lighting systems, then you'll probably want to consider just shelling out for a package with all the components to make the Arduino work. I may get this package instead, once I'm sure I can afford to. The big thing to remember at this point is that you want your Arduino board to be as small as possible as it'll be placed inside the rod, and if it doesn't fit? Well... That's an unwieldy wand, isn't it?

Next you'll need an LED, as this is going to backlight the quartz crystal put at the end of the blasting rod. Since the Arduino allows you custom program color, pattern, and even variances (I believe some boards can save up to 49 settings), this makes a lot of the work beyond these base components quite easy. And I imagine just getting the color and patterns right will take me a month alone of playing off and on while I ought to be doing Other Things. The LED package I'm looking at is this. But if you're starting to go: “dude, this is becoming pricey...”

Well. 12 bucks. There ya go. Still need an Arduino with USB connectivity and the package to make it work, but... you know.

Now. I'm told I'll also need to make a rig for a 9-volt battery, and I have some other ideas. But there you go. Phase one!

[EDIT]: As RO has pointed out in comments below, you can do the same thing just by buying battery casings, two wires (hopefully you'll make sure to insulate them), and an LED. That'd cost you around $18 total at most.

It'd also be super-lame and I'd make fun of you. ALL THE WAY OR NOT AT ALL, I SAY!

... Or not. You know. Whatever works for you, blog readers. ;)

[EDIT x2]: Fr. AIT continues to dazzle. He may have become nicer as he's aged (by his own accounts), but he's still got excellent taste in... technomantic shizzle! Very, very nice, Brother.


Lady Scylla said...

P.S. the T.·.O.·.M.·. By Chumbley has been leaked. We wants it. Oh how we wants it.

Rufus Opus said...

You're way over-engineering this, imho.

You need a battery case, two wires, and an LED, all of which you can get from a nose-hair trimmer that costs three bucks at WalMart (I don't KNOW why they put an LED on nose hair trimmers, nor am I interested in finding out).

For those practical types who aren't all into programming the sequence of color patterns to coincide with the soundtrack playing in the background on their ipods every time they want to use their blasting rod.

Of course, over-engineering is half the fun.

Jack Faust said...

@Scylla: Working on it. Interestingly enough... You just happen to be one of the primary manifestation points I worked out ahead of time. Just sayin'.

@RO: Yes. But. With a battery case, two wires, and an LED I can't convert Words of Power into binary flicker sequences for rituals and shit.

Which means I'd just have made a flashlight. Not my technomancer's... whateverthefuck.

Rufus Opus said...

LOL, yeah. You are teh Vb3r g33|<.

Jack Faust said...

@RO: LOL. Nah, I'm just a little too clever for my own good occasionally.

I'm making the wand with a bit more component complexity than what would've been done even ten years ago precisely because just sticking the components together is fairly easy. The hard part is in what I really want; a wand with adjustable color spectrums and patterning for rituals with purposes that would be aided with such. There's further experiments along those lines down the road, but the first is to get something which will aid these things, rather than detract from them.

It's totally easy to backlight quartz, as you noted. But that isn't really the goal in and of itself. The goal is to make a "magickal weapon" that fits my personality, and that I actually want to use for once.

For years I've "made" various weapons and promptly ignored them because... well, in the end many of them were symbolically meaningless to me. They just didn't make me want to go out and do shit. So I used my hands and mind instead. Unless something called for them, anyway.

Rufus Opus said...

dude, that's awesome, speaking as one serious magician to another. I admire you a lot.

Are you going to do any prototyping to see if the theories are sound before making the blasting rod proper? Like breadboard the components and set up a preprogrammed statement of intent and see how it affects an area? dude, you could make a blasting board that changed the vibrational frequency of a whole room and invite psychic friends in to report on the experiences.

you're making my palms itch. Gotta get my soldering kit working again.

Frater A.I.T. said...

Arduino? I am a frequent purchaser at the MAKE store....you=awesome.

I can't wait to see her done--is Jason the only Frater in line for one of these if you become overly-ambitious and make a few? Put me on that list as well, Frater! I'll ship you my finest meats and cheeses.

Jhonn Barghest said...

When you mentioned this in an early blog, I liked what I was hearing.

Now, after reading the above comments between you and RO, well...I'm really just plain giddy for one of these. It really sounds like something right up my alley.

Jack Faust said...

@RO: I've done things like that in the past, actually! And oh, yeah. I will totally do them again and maybe even post about it. But I'm hoping to maybe even play with lighting patterns that stimulate trance, etc. You might want to chat up Greer about what you just wrote, too. *grin* I was in the room at P-Con when he demonstrated something similar.

@AIT: A micro-controller board, essentially. C++ programming is all you really need. Now mind you, my programming sucks. But there's never been a better time to brush up on it as I learn the ropes, 'eh?

And I may totally make a few others. If I can afford it, anyway. If I do, I'll be sure to drop you and Jason a line. I plan to include a few other things on mine... but they'll come with time, and power-use is a serious concern the more features that get added. So a bit of simplicity is going to be something I have to deal with.

@Jhonn: Glad you're impressed!

Frater A.I.T. said...

@ Fra Jack

Thank you kindly--and I'm definitely familiar with Arduino...although my C++ is frimly weaksauce. Check this out, and kiss your discretionary cash goodbye!