That PComp/ ICM Final – Take 2

At This point I’ve changed my Arduino code so that it only sends a message when something happens, instead of sending everything in a constant stream. The “test writes” are used for debugging and get commented out when running with P5. I’m still working on a better solution for setting the threshold that isn’t doing so manually but for the time being, this is effective. I’ll also need to switch the photo cells to trigger when they go high instead of low when they’re placed behind the page.

I successfully connected everything to my sketch and am using placeholder shapes to make sure the code is working correctly while I finish the actual images . Circles represent constellations going high or low, glowing circles for fireflies, and rectangles represent foxes (with a black dot for the state change).

Here is the p5 sketch (it responds to keyboard presses with or without the micro controller).

I also managed to get my Hue lights connected using jshue and now just have to figure out the color story I want. However, they respond incredibly slowly? When communicating with the lights through the Hue debugger or the app, they respond almost instantly. But for some reason when going through either of the p5 editors there’s a pretty significant delay that I’d like to eliminate…

Moving back to the circuit, I’ve wanted to transition it off of a breadboard in the hopes of sandwiching it between pages. I tried making small circuits and switches with copper tape and conductive paint-

And they work! But conductive paint only becomes conductive when it is fully dry and I found that can take quite a while if you’re making a thick line. I also had some issues with voltage dropping but I may be able to fix that with a more consistent line. The connection for the switch is also at it’s best when someone is actively pushing on it. It can be fairly weak when only resting. I’ll be trying some different paint applications (it’s thinner at the edges here) and am open to using other conductors as well. But because the tape works fine, I started copying my circuit onto paper and matching it to my prototype.

Power runs through the middle, ground runs around the edge, and electrical tape holds down connection points as well as acts a bridge when lines need to cross.

It’s designed so that I can lay the page with the illustrations on top with appropriate holes cut through.


Unfortunately when I connected it back to the Feather, it shorts more often than not. I can wiggle the paper and it will work for a bit, but if you jostle it or even just breathe on it there’s a good chance it will go back to shorting.

This lead me to lots of testing with the multimeter and I think my problem (or one of them…) is that the electrical tape isn’t holding my resistors and photocells down well enough to form a reliable connection (though it does form an effective bridge!). So I’m now working on making a different version of this with better connections (maybe painting over the connection points and using better quality tape?) and also with a different layout so I can cross lines less. But for the brief moments when it was working? all of my sensors and switches triggered the sketch perfectly. So I know something in there is right. Now to fix the rest…