NickStallman.net

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Massive 3.6 meter tall LED Multi coloured Christmas Tree

by on Dec.13, 2013, under update

I’ve spent the last few months designing and building this RGB LED multi coloured tree. What you see is over 500 leds where every single one can be controlled independently to show 16 million different colours thanks to the absolutely brilliant WS2812 LEDs.

Each strip uses about 2 amps of power which means a lot of my time was spent on figuring out how to power it without tons of cable or something burning down. I ended up hacking apart a regular ATX computer power supply since they are great at supplying high power 12v and 5v. The strips run on 5v but the ATX power supply has to be 8 meters away which would produce a very large voltage drop. I settled on using the 12v rails and regulating them down to 5v with some cheap DealExtreme 5v high power regulators.

Since every single LED can be set to a different colour and I want it updating at least 30 times per second, about half a megabyte of data has to be transferred every second! This is handled by a Teensy 3.0 which is a Arduino compatible board with a ARM processor and it runs at 96 MHz. It handles the generation of the patterns and sending it to the LEDs via the ARM chip’s DMA controller which makes it very efficient. The controller and some of the voltage regulators are in two diecast aluminium boxes near the top of the tree, with more voltage regulators at the base of the tree to power it from both ends of each strip.

I intend to continue thinking up cool animations to code in to the tree.

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Bizarre and quirky things

by on Sep.28, 2010, under internet, update

Well I’ve finally gotten the Luxury Homes Australia Blog going which has got some pretty cool things. We send them out as a newsletter every week or so.

I’ve also managed to finally find a very tall lava lamp. I’ve been looking for one for ages but its almost as if they dont exist. Its nice and tall with a metal stand which supports it. Only come in blue and red with clear liquid but beggars cant be choosers. $40 made it a quick sell. :)

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Clickatell automated SMS combined with Real Estate

by on Sep.10, 2010, under realsauce, update

One of my latest projects has been a cool idea for Real Estate where you SMS a property id to a number, and it sends a text message back instantly with more details about the property.

PropertyText is the first one I’ve ever seen that automatically creates the text messages from property feeds. That makes it extremely easy to use and very fast.

The idea is the property id gets put on the real estate sign so if the sign doesnt have stuff like price and so on, you can easily find it out. The agent gets the enquiry in a control panel and can ring the enquirer back.

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I’ve gotten rid of Drupal

by on Sep.09, 2010, under update, website

I’ve gotten kind of sick and tired of Drupal so I’ve gone back to WordPress. Its just too big and bloaty for a simple blog.

I found a very good post on how to convert Drupal to WordPress. It made it quite painless. I just needed to reupload my images.

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