LED Reader boards, scoreboards, and scrolling marquees have always been an interest for me. So I jumped at the opportunity to make one that’s about the size of a belt buckle. That’s, most likely, what this project will ultimately become. But for now I’ll be using it as a marketing piece for our Hackerspace, Ace Monster Toys. Look for me at the Bay Area Maker Faire in May. I’ll be the one with a pith helmet with a scrolling message on it.
This video shows it scrolling a pre-recorded message. However, I’ve also modified it so that it can handle all alphnumeric characters, upper and lower case, as well as punctuation. It will accept new input from the serial USB cable when connected to a 9600 baud serial terminal. Next step is to create an IRC bot and hook it up the #AceMonsterToys IRC Channel.
As a little warm-up to this year’s kick-ass Easter egg designs, I thought I should take some time to dial-in the latest addition to my robot army. The EggBot kit from Evil Mad Science was a fun assembly project and even more fun to operate.
In mid-March, I took a weekend intensive TIG Welding class at the Crucible in Oakland, CA. It had been about 10 years since I had touched any welding equipment, and even then, it was wire-feed arc, which I now know is quite different from TIG. There’s a fine art to making a good looking, strong weld. I have a lot more practice ahead of me!