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Capture Time

I decided to cobble together one baton.  A couple of things were immediately obvious:

  1. It’s a bit of a pain trying to solder *inside* of a square tube
  2. Thin PCB warp too much
  3. Small pads coupled with thin traces tend to break or lift off of the PCB very easy
  4. Need to find a better way to interconnect the PCBs, both while daisy chaining, as well as sideways to its neighbor

Despite all of that, I did manage to attach the battery to the PCBs, and left it tethered to an external controller through a very long ribbon cable.  I don’t have the design for the actual controller done yet, so I had to use an external one.  This was actually advantageous.  Especially since I realized that I could easily go up to a 1″ diameter tube and still be okay.  I’ll have to rework the PCBs for the LEDs a bit, but that’s not a big issue, in fact it may be a bit cheaper in the long run.  But, more importantly, it gives me an additional 3mm to work with for the controller.  That may not seem like a lot, but 3mm translates to 118mils, which means I can place seven 8mils thick traces in that space.  That is important!

Other things that became apparent after I started playing with it:

  1. Need to reverse the placement of the battery and controller – this may be the solution to having wires connected to the LEDs
  2. Need to make changes to the code and put the image delays in the control file, not the image file itself *
  3. Taking video capture just doesn’t work as well as watching the real thing
  4. Taking pictures however, works beautifully. 🙂


This is what the video looks like, when captured at 30 frames per second.  It’s nowhere near as awesome as seeing it with your own eyes.

* Besides storing delays, there are other items on the list:

  1. Add proportion calculator for images of various widths
  2. Switch to a 24-bit BMP format instead of the arbitrary RGB storage engine used now
  3. Add the ability to have a (longer) delay between images