September 12, 2018
We covered basic electronic circuits during the second week of Introduction to Physical Computing. I appreciated learning a bit more about the components I used last week to build my flashlight fabrication project.
For one of the components we covered in class, Danny asked us to get creative and build a circuit “switch.” So I went back to the ITP junk shelf for inspiration.
I combed through the junk shelf’s bits and pieces and I found this “switch” material:
I immediately thought the finger skateboard could act as a type of SPDT switch by allowing a user to toggle two different LEDs through nose or tail grinding the circuit’s wires.
But before getting ahead of myself, I prototyped a simple one LED circuit using the skateboard switch first.
Below is the a sketch of the prototype single LED circuit (which besides the skateboard, is almost identical to the circuit I used in the flashlight fabrication project:
I then built a working prototype using circuit components from my Introduction to Modern Electronics kit, an Arduino as a power supply, and a bit of copper tape on the skateboard’s underside.
My next step was to figure out how to create a circuit that uses a switch to toggle between two LEDs and shared a common ground. I drew a circuit that could only connect to one of two parallel LEDs that both led back to the power supply’s ground.
I decided to build a wooden baseplate for my Arduino and breadboard to help organize the various components and wires of this circuit.
After finishing the baseplate, I tested one LED circuit path as if it was the only circuit to ensure there were no issues with the components.
I then add the second parallel LED circuit once I ensured the components worked and none of my LEDs were burned out. Here is a video of the finished product: video.
Some thoughts I had if I were to redo this project or continue to build on it:
A perpetual work in progress blog documentating my NYU ITP projects. Words are my own.