Monday, August 18, 2014

Fun with Gemma!

Over the weekend I built a sound activated 1 meter long RGB light strip.  (I included a nickel in the photo for scale)

I used parts from Adafruit & followed their helpful instructions.

It was by far one of the easier builds that I have done lately.

It it based on the Gemma - a stripped down version of the FLORA - itself a stripped down version of Arduino.

That is to say that it is controlled by a micro-processor that I can program through a microUSB connector on the board.

At 5k there's not a lot of memory for me to write code into - but given that all that I am doing is reacting to changes in sound & turning on/off lights & setting their color - that's plenty of space.

Connecting to the Gemma with my Mac wasn't immediately successful until I plugged the USB cable into a powered hub instead of the keyboard - be warned.  Otherwise I had no trouble at all, especially since I downloaded Adafruit's Arduino Bundle which comes with all of the required libraries for Gemma, FLORA & Trinket.

Once I programmed the Gemma with the Blink sketch & felt comfortable with that I went ahead & uploaded the Color Organ sketch.  (I will post subsequent modifications later.)

I will warn you - I did not have any luck testing with alligator clips.  This might be due to testing with a battery pack that was not fully charged or it might be due to the very very small connection points...  That being said - I checked all of my connections & they seemed to be correct, so I threw caution to the wind & soldered it up anyway. 

And it worked perfectly the first time.  (That almost never happens for me, so I am still stoked about it.)

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