The 8-bit Bin

Posted on March 2, 2012 by Patrick under Contemporary Art Module

We’re making good progress with our 8-bit bin project. Getting to grips with the electronics side of it has been a steep learning curve but it can be very satisfying when you get something working. Our plan is to create a matrix of LED’s that display pixelated 8-bit animations. The challenge is that we want to run at least 25 leds but we only have 13 pins on the arduino board. The way around this is by using a process called multiplexing. By adding a shift resistor to the breadboard of the arduino, 1 input pin can have up to 8 outputs, thus increasing the amount of LED’s we can control. For our purposes, we will need 4 shift resistors in total. Then, once the LED’s are working, each one is going to be housed behind a 5x5cm panel of sand-blasted perspex (perhaps also wrapped in gause to increase the light diffussion). These pixels will then be fitted into an mdf panel to create a large scale pixel matrix. Then the fun begins. The sequences of animations we create will be controlled by the reading of a light depended resistor. When the bin is opened, it will trigger an animation in response. When not in use, it will have a series of animations it will cycle through to attract attention. This, along with some 8-bit sounds, should create a really fun experience.