• Flip dots with Python

    I have been working on a project for an artist that uses flip dot display panels. Flip dot/disc displays are a bygone technology that were typically used in places such as airports and stock exchanges, anywhere there was a need for dynamically displayed information. They were great for power efficiency as they retain their image with the power removed, therefore would have been much less power hungry than the light based displays of the time. Now superseded by LED displays that are just as efficient, but need less maintenance, they are still manufactured by Alfa-Zeta and used for more creative / nostalgic purposes. For this work I needed to create a program to show images on the panels, initially I was unsure of the source of the images, could it be a video? or programatically generated? So I decided to go as high level as possible and use Python on a Raspberry Pi. That way I would not have to re-write the program every time the ideas or the dimensions changed. I thought it would be great to be able to use Python Imaging Library pillow fork to manipulate the dots, that way I could draw shapes and text trivially, plus if any changes were needed I could write them quickly on the fly. I came up with FliPIL a sort of wrapper between PIL and the flip dot’s protocol.

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  • Boldport Club

    Annanas In 2017 I started working for Boldport a PCB design company that specialises in attractive circuit boards and runs boldport club a monthly subscription where you receive a highly designed electronic kit every month. Above is the very first kit I designed called Ananas it was a challenge to make my first design 3D but it turned out very well! Boldport decided to Change the way it works so I decided to write up how the design process works for a project kit. Please read this blog post to find out about how this unique design was made image courtesy Boldport ltd

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  • Paris Opera

    paris opera ceiling -  chagall painting, illuminated by DMX lights I had the rare opportunity to be a part of a project at the Palais Garnier, that is one of the main Opera house’s in Paris. I was working with Haroon Mirza to produce a live light and projection installation that interacted with a composition by Pierre Boulez called “Anthèmes II” and was a collaboration with the choreographer Wayne McGregor.

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  • Cryptocoin ticker

    Pimoroni's microdot phat displaying Bitcoin program A Quick 5 minute build and possibly a prototype for a future project. I took the Pimoroni micro dot display, which is suitably retro looking, like an 80s/90s stock exchange. Although it is LED, it actually looks a bit like an old Vacuum fluorescent display! The code is a very simple Python script that uses Coinmarketcap API (I chose them because they pull all the coins together) which is simply just provided as JSON, the API allows you to request by currency so I just pulled the ones I wanted and fed the details into a single string that loops on the display.

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  • Scanner Cloud

    Foxall Studio Scanner - Image courtesy Foxall studio Yes its true, I now do more than synths so my posts have diversified a bit although some new synth stuff coming soon, watch this space! This is a project I did a few months ago for Foxall Studio concept was to get around 50 flatbed scanners scattered around an exhibition space scanning in unison. Then creating clustered mosaics of images from the results that were displayed in the space using projections and printers. My task on the project became how to connect and power all of these scanners. We ended up using Raspberry Pis because it offered us the low cost and flexibility to position the scanners anywhere. I was sent this image below when the scanners arrived!

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  • Shapeoko 2 Wasteboard

    Shapeoko waste board installed I have been using my Shapeoko on an off over the past few months and the most frustrating thing is clamping. Nothing is more annoying when you have perfectly aligned it and your clamp or screw moves and it all goes off! Best option is a surface that can be clamped to. I have seen other people try solutions like putting in nail nuts to the surface or just buying a pre-made aluminium clamp bed (£££). But I wasn’t to sure about it, especially if as I have found my mill losses grip on the bit and it plunges right down I didn’t want to collide with steel. I found a special router bit that lets you cut undercut grooves into wood so you can put bolt heads into it. Pictured above is it fitted to the Shapeoko and was quite easy to make (lots of dust though!)

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