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LED stair video and how-to

Posted by Erica on Jul 13, 2011 in Making

For everyone who has contacted me regarding the automatic LED stair project, good news: the official instructions page is now available.
Here is the video of me using the stairs. Movie making is not my greatest strength, but I think this gives an idea of what the stairs can do. They are beautiful. I am [...]

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LED stair lights installed and working!

Posted by Erica on Jun 30, 2011 in Electronics, Making

Just a quick post here, I want to let everyone know that the automated LED stair lights are in the stair wall and running successfully. Video to follow. As promised, I will be publishing the full schematic, code, and list of materials. Everything I used was off the shelf parts and chips, no PCB required. [...]

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How to add a power strip to perfboard

Posted by Erica on Mar 23, 2011 in Electronics, Making

Things are moving along well with the automated LED stair light project. All the software is completed and sensors tested. I’ve begun moving the components from breadboard to perfboard, the permanent construction. Along the way I ran into a puzzle that I haven’t seen posted anywhere so I thought I would write about it here.
I [...]

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LED stair sensors and other progress

Posted by Erica on Feb 1, 2011 in Electronics, Making

I’ve received a few comments and e-mails about the LED stairs lately, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to contact me. Although I haven’t posted in a while, I have been moving forward with the project. When it is complete I plan to publish a full list of materials and schematics [...]

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LED stairs: the chips are talking

Posted by Erica on Sep 27, 2010 in Electronics, Making

In my last post on the LED stairs, I discussed using the Arduino and an M5451 driver chip to control the lighting sequence. Today, I completed my first breadboard version:
The Arduino Mini Pro is on the left and the M5451 is on the right, positions I will reverse in the final design. I used LEDs [...]

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Expanding the Arduino: cheap ways to add output pins and power

Posted by Erica on Jun 9, 2010 in Electronics, Making

For the LED stairs, I need to control 14 LED lamps and 2 sensors. From the beginning, I had in mind an Arduino as the microcontroller for this project. Although it is possible to do a primitive version of these stairs without a microcontroller, having a brain at the center gives many more options. And [...]

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Automated LED stair lights

Posted by Erica on Jun 4, 2010 in Electronics, Making

I’ve been hunting for a new project to do ever since completing my contest entry for Robie. I’ve done a number of interesting small things, mainly with the kids, but nothing too big. Then recently Make: Online featured this:

When someone walks on the first step, the LEDs light up in sequence. Aside from looking cool, [...]

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