The basic display code is written, IO expansion has been added and I’ll be integrating both an XBee module as well as replacing the current RBBB to the Arduino Mega. It’s got more memory and IO ports and will allow me to add a keyboard interface and motor control. Yeah open-source hardware!
The on-board software is finally (no, really) ready to be wired up in the lab and I expect to do that tomorrow sometime.
The prototype controller is shown below with LEDs in place of connections to the relay board. I’ll likely leave those in as I’m wiring the two together so that I can clearly see that both ends are working. The lit LED below is a temporary status light that shows me the software on the Arduino is running.
The resistors are all 10K pull down resistors for input from the several switches that I’ve got on my workbench for turning laser and shutter power on/off. The 10K pot serves as a stand-in for the light sensor that sits above the table and is used to verify that the shutter opened as expected. Two voltage regulators provide 9v and 5v for various applications. I’ll be expanding their circuits soon to add diode protection and capacitor smoothing. An external board has TIP20′s for controlling the 1W LED status lights out in the hallway. At the moment they just blink or are steady-on but with the Arduino I can make them fade and add sound back back to the experience with an external piezo speaker. I miss having an R2D2 in the hallway like I did with the Lego RCX controller I started out with.
I’ve got one digital and one analog pin open so sometime soon I expect I’ll be expanding the system with more monitoring and someday with a touch screen or something similar.
The Arduino software is capable of driving the lab all by itself but since it doesn’t have a UI, I still need to use the PC to provide an easy to use input interface.
I’ve updated the HoloController software with an Arduino driver that simply sends port commands like the K8000 driver did and otherwise still controls the lab and exposures. Soon I’ll modify the PC software so the Arduino handles all the work which means the interface will move to an all-serial command set that can be more easily ported to other languages. The protocols are all written and tested now.
OneNote has been written about ad-infinitum as a tool for note taking in meetings and classes, as a general information repository and as a collaboration tool but I’d like to introduce you to another use that I’m putting OneNote to.
Or more specifically, documenting both the process I go through when creating a hologram and the results from that process in the form of notes and pictures.
As most of you will probably know, OneNote is a great repository for all sorts of information. It has allowed me to combine a number of sources into one place so that when needed, I can easily refer back to previous results when I’m making a new hologram.
JohnK on the holography forum had asked if I’d experienced any problems with delayed development of VRP-M.Â He’s been working on making holograms using a Coherent 315 and VRP-M film and was wondering VRP-M was sensitive to delays of several hours between exposure and development.
I normally develop right after exposure but did the following test to find out how VRP-M behaves.
It’s time for another labcast and this time I’m experimenting with making a copy onto PFG-01 from a test "master" made using the 315M and VRP-M film.
The final test turned out pretty decent and was exposed for 12s, developed for 30s in TJ1 and bleached with EDTA.
The final image isn’t as bright as I’d want if this weren’t just a quick test but overall it’s not bad. I may have time tomorrow morning to try another test with fresh developer but then again all my time might be spent watching the lunar eclipse.
If you find yourself needing to take your laptop into the lab, you can make life simpler by making a safelight cover for the screen.
I know most of you who make holograms don’t carry around a tablet and those who carry around one probably don’t make holograms but for others who, like me, do both, here’s a way to take the computer into the lab without having to turn the screen off while film is out and about and you can save your "night" vision for what is probably a dimly lit lab.
I don’t know how often I’ll do these but I had the urge to record what I was doing in the lab.
I’ve been trying to get good results with the coherent 315 laser and VRP-M film and haven’t had any luck. In each case where I’ve gotten any kind of image, it’s been extremely dim.
Unfortunately I found that my shutter was causing a full seconds worth of ringing in the table and had to build a new shutter. That was completed yesterday and this morning I’m doing some more exposure and development tests.
My apologies for the sound quality. Next time I’ll have to make sure the microphone is closer to me at all times.