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2017/06/22 Droid and Friends, First Thunderhill 5 miles with the F458C
π 2017-06-22 00:00 in Cars
This day wasn't going to be easy. I had just come back from EDC in Vegas 3 day prior with a schedule of 19:00 to 07:00, and had to get up at 06:00, an hour before I was going to bed, just 3 days later.
Once I got there, the temperatures peaked at 115F/46C, and all the cars got way too hot, including the drivers. Then again it was just as hot in Vegas, so I did ok considering but had to short shift to avoid overheating the engine. The tires were also probably more greasy than normal, but on my last lap of the last session I got a 3:20 when my best time ever in the Mclaren was 3:30, so that's not bad :)
(hopefully another time with cooler temps, I should be able to go a few seconds faster still)








I got a sound defusing kit for my car since it was a bit loud :)
I got a sound defusing kit for my car since it was a bit loud :)


2017/06/02 LED Pants and Shirt Programmed With Arduino on ESP8266
π 2017-06-02 00:00 in Arduino, Clubbing, Electronics
So, this all started with some LED shoes I hacked to last 12H instead of 4, and it ended with me learning how to program arduino like microcontrollers to control neopixels (aka WS2811/WS2812/WS2812B) while being able to receive Infrared/IR commands. The latter is actually difficult but you go read that page to learn why

Since I've met plenty of people who complimented for my neopixel shirt and pants combo, and some who asked questions about them, I thought I'd write some quick page to explain how it all works and how you can do similar things, since it's more fun if I'm not the only one lit up at Dreamstate (which has been less of a problem at burning man).

Here is a video summary:

So, I have 3 versions of the shirt:

Multi Color LED strip, non controllable



It used a 12V controllable dimmer: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MHKCTLE which can simply change the brightness of the LEDs, which are of a set color. I bought the LED strip in Akihabara Japan, but I'm guessing something similar can be found elsewhere.

Tri Color Controllable LED strip



This version is better in that the LED strip has 3 channels, one for reach of Red, Green, and Blue. I uses a tri color controller like this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01410R4KS or remote controlled: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PBOJNZS
Those controllers can create any color and flash it at any interval, however:

  • they are a flat trip that doesn't really like being bent
  • all the LEDs are in series, so if the chain fails somewhere, nothing lights up beyond the point of failure (which is why I have extra wires soldered on to make redundant paths and get around breakage
  • I have had some sections of 3 LEDs where one color died
  • All of the controllers I tried have a dimming function, but it fails to work when I use the fade dimming patterns, which means they are full bright, suck battery and blind others. I've therefore had to add a 2nd voltage regulator where I can just dim the voltage sufficiently so that the current is then also capped by each color string and therefore the brightness is controlled (you cannot limit the global current fed to the LED controller because you don't know whether it's all fed into a single color, or shared amongst 3).
  • Of course the last thing is that all the LEDs for a color are in series in a single circuit, so you light up all the reds, or all the blues or greens, or none. You can't turn on one LED individuallly. This is where the next solution comes in.
  • ESP8266/Arduino Controlled Neopixels



    To fix the issue of not being able to have custom multi color LED patterns, where each LED/pixel can be controlled separately, the solution is neopixels (aka WS2811/WS2812/WS2812B). Each LED/pixel is controllable separately, which is done by a computer, in this case the ESP8266 can run my own programs to control all the LEDs.
    The ESP8266 is a 3.3V based microcontroller for low power use (good when battery powered) while the neopixels are 5V powered, but thankfully the neopixels can use 3.3V signalling from the ESP8266 while being 5V powered to light up properly. The one thing to keep in mind is that neopixels use some power even if they are not lit. In my case 200 neopixels, take about 120mA when they are off, and 4.5A when they are all lit in white on full brightness.

    Neopixels are almost infinitely versatile, instead of having them in single line strips like on my shirt and pants, you can also make display matrices out of them:


    I've then written code that receive the IR commands from the remote and execute different code that creates different light patterns, which is explained in more details and available on this page and you can get the code from github.

    Here is a video that shows all 3 modes, jump to 3:50 for the neopixel bit:

    2017/05/27 2017 Dreamstate in San Francisco
    π 2017-05-27 00:00 in Clubbing
    Last year, Dreamstate was in January, which was a bit cold and rainy when we got out. To be honest, it was much nicer in May, even if it was a bit close to EDC as a result. It was a great lineup, a nice 16 hours of trance with 16 DJs

    This was the perfect excuse to go try my new shirt + pants with neopixels I had worked on (including new light effect code I wrote and battery saving patch to run up to 12H on a single battery). I found a few other people who were lit up, but compared to burning man where you'd get "oh, 200 neopixels, so cute, I have 1000 Watts' worth on my art car, they can be seen 2 miles away", there weren't too many people lit up. I found 5 or 6 of them though:



    After some questions, I wrote a separate page on my lit up shirt and pants.

    Day #1: Video summary:

    Ruben de Ronde
    Ruben de Ronde



    Menno de Jong
    Menno de Jong


    Ben Nicky
    Ben Nicky








    Pure Nrg did a great set playing drums on top of that
    Pure Nrg did a great set playing drums on top of that





    Liquid Soul
    Liquid Soul





    Good to see Paul Oakenfold again, it's been 16 years since I first saw him
    Good to see Paul Oakenfold again, it's been 16 years since I first saw him


    hard to get Oakey smiling nowadays, he doesn't seem that happy the rest of the time
    hard to get Oakey smiling nowadays, he doesn't seem that happy the rest of the time




    Markus Schulz
    Markus Schulz





    Paul Van Dyk
    Paul Van Dyk





    After a bit of rest, it was Day #2: Video summary:

    Binary Finary
    Binary Finary

    Fleming & Lawrence
    Fleming & Lawrence





    Bryan Kearney
    Bryan Kearney



    Vini Vici
    Vini Vici












    Astrix
    Astrix


    John O' Callaghan
    John O' Callaghan




    Ferry Corsten
    Ferry Corsten





    Gareth Emery
    Gareth Emery

    Cool audio gear:

    this is for work
    this is for work

    but you can even play tetris on it
    but you can even play tetris on it



    Some crowd shots:










    Sadly, not enough people with lighting:



    Some people shots:









    See more images for 2017 Dreamstate in San Francisco
    2017/05/26 Jean Michel Jarre @ Berkeley Greek Theatre
    π 2017-05-26 00:00 in Clubbing
    I've been a fan of Jean Michel Jarre since the 1980's when I was a teenager. Along with Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre is one of the founders of Electronic Music. The two of them were popular before anyone else was even around doing any EDM.

    Sadly, I never managed to go see him perform way back then, so it was super cool to see that he did a US tour and that I'd finally be able to see him. Better late than never...

    Here's a video summary:



    JMJ did a tune with Snowden
    JMJ did a tune with Snowden




    JMJ is most well known for his laser musical harp
    JMJ is most well known for his laser musical harp










    Thanks to my friend Arnaud, we got invited to the after party for the crew:





    2017/05/24 KitTea Cat Cafe
    π 2017-05-24 00:00 in Cats
    Jennifer and I finally were in San Francisco on a day other than Tuesday when KitTea Cafe is closed, so we went to check it out:











    Jennifer made a good friend there:






    See more images for KitTea Cat Cafe
    2017/05/24 Dinner at Quince, the Latest 3 Star Michelin Rated Restaurant in SF
    π 2017-05-24 00:00 in Dining
    Since we were in SF to go see a Hamilton matinée (great show by the way), we used the opportunity to have dinner at Quince. Funny thing is that it's on the other side of the wall from Coi, with 2 stars.

    I guess they are Saison's competitor and honestly Saison was totally overpriced without being better. Quince is definitely a better deal, and had more courses (not that more is always better, but in this case it was).

    Some pictures:





















    Definitely a good dinner and Jennifer enjoyed the wine course (good pairings).

    2017/05/20 Verso Kyau n Albert
    π 2017-05-20 00:00 in Clubbing


    DJ Blurr
    DJ Blurr


    Kyay and_Albert then took over
    Kyay and_Albert then took over



    See more images for Verso Kyau n Albert
    2017/05/20 Maker Faire
    π 2017-05-20 00:00 in Public



    blade runner umbrella was all I needed :)
    blade runner umbrella was all I needed :)

    3D printed shoes, pretty cool actually
    3D printed shoes, pretty cool actually

    this would be very cool at burning man :)
    this would be very cool at burning man :)

    tiny arcade worked and looked super cool
    tiny arcade worked and looked super cool

    Z80 clone, very cool
    Z80 clone, very cool




    nice way to show how FPV works
    nice way to show how FPV works




    Miniature worlds were great:





    Big things:

    remember seeing those guys at burning man, they look better at night ;)
    remember seeing those guys at burning man, they look better at night ;)


    this robot was cool, but unreliable
    this robot was cool, but unreliable

    and it died before being able to hit the car (on its 3rd failed attempt)
    and it died before being able to hit the car (on its 3rd failed attempt)


    the Tesla coil from my neighbours at Burning Man
    the Tesla coil from my neighbours at Burning Man

    The dark room was fun as always:






    The Google booth had some friends:

    learning about the upcoming total eclipse
    learning about the upcoming total eclipse

    A few talks:




    Ahah, other people have been making neomatrices:



    See more images for Maker Faire
    2017/05/18 Droid and Friends, Thunderhill 3 miles, and first track day of the year
    π 2017-05-18 00:00 in Cars
    Tires were noe new, I was rusty, fair amount of slow traffic blocking on many laps, so not my best times, But eh, it was a day at the track, so still had a good time :)

    Attila's new ride
    Attila's new ride

    Oh boy, this looks mean :)
    Oh boy, this looks mean :)


    Hopefully mine doesn't look too bad :)
    Hopefully mine doesn't look too bad :)

    Ovidiu doing a test fit :)
    Ovidiu doing a test fit :)

    tire testing, or something :)
    tire testing, or something :)

    BR Racing, to support us and our cars. Thanks guys!
    BR Racing, to support us and our cars. Thanks guys!

    Looking forward to the next one.

    2017/05/07 MTV A La Carte Art Festival
    π 2017-05-07 00:00 in Public


    a roomba for grass, good iea, but expensive ($1500+)
    a roomba for grass, good iea, but expensive ($1500+)





    Always nice pictures:





    Also, nice display of RC aircraft and cars:












    See more images for MTV A La Carte Art Festival

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