Cheap micro “USB” cables that ship with cheap devices as power cables often only contain power and ground lines within them and omit the necessary data lines in order to save a few cents.
Normal USB 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 cables contain 4 wires within them. Power, ground, D+ and D-. The latter two are the data lines that are actually used to transfer data.
This means these cables cannot be used as serial data cables and could fairly could be called “fake” USB cables, the spec of which was meant to implement a serial data bus.
While these cables…
I had the idea to use a cheap led matrix to make a clock.
I chose an ESP8266 to drive the matrix. With the ESP8266’s native wifi, I would be able to get the time from NTP, so it would always have perfect time including automatically adjusting for daylight savings.
I decided to take my LED controller to the veritable “next level” by making it configuration with a bunch of buttons and dials somehow.
There’s a fair amount of different parameters you could change in the algorithm. I thought about this for a while. How should a simple set of buttons and switches and whatnot form a physical interface for this purpose?
Eventually I decided on the following design: Three flap switches represent a 3-bit register address selector (i.e., values = 0–8), and a rotary encoder to increment or decrement the register selected by the switches.
If you don’t know…
A coworker mentioned during lunch on Monday that he was thinking of having a holiday party. He further continued that it could be be LED themed.
“Interesting,” I said. “I have heard of these LED thingies before and would be interested in learning more about them.” It was a propitious prospect, and I was excited.
Later he suggested that that we should have a sign with our company’s logo on the door, so people would know what house it was. He described its size with his hands, about a foot or two across.
Since he is a product manager, by…