Sunday, October 23, 2005

Progress! Fall Break Solder Party Recap

This past friday and saturday we hosted a solder party in the ESE/IEEE lounge in Bryan to get as much progress as possible done on the floor. We had the help of several generous and talented volunteers (fueled by free pizza, chicken and chinese food) we were able to consume over 3,400 feet of 10-conductor ribbon cable (more than 1/2 a mile), 1500 LED's, dozens of feet of heat-shrink, 512 snap-on cable connectors, and a syringe of solder paste.

The results:

>all the wood is cut into strips and ready to be notched (to fit them together into a grid).
>all 512 pixel-cables are cut, separated, stripped, and have their board-connector attached
>more than 100 of the pixel cables have the LED's soldered to them (ie, finished product)
>the remaining LED's have been soldered together in groups of 3.
>4 controller boards are toaster soldered and 2 of them are programmed and verified working (with headers).
>the 4x4 pixel demonstration module for the programmers needs only finishing mechanical touches.
>the floor of the lounge is a MESS.

See the results for yourself!

We have less than 3 weeks until VERTIGO so there is still a lot of work to do.

Currently it is a matter of soldering LED's and sensor wires to the ribbon cable and heatshrinking the results.

After the cables are complete they must be tested and the rest of the controller boards constructed.

Finally, the wood needs to be finished and integrated into the aluminum frames for easy transport.

Coming up soon will be Solder Party II: the sequel. This time it will be ALL soldering as the rest of the mechanicals are out of the way.

Stay tuned!


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