HoloDuino, the next phase

The work is going slowly but it’s moving.

HoloDuinoxbee.jpg

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!

Technorati : arduino, holography
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Holocontroller II

The next iteration of the HoloController is just about ready for use.

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.

HolocontrollerArduino.jpg

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.

Woot! for Arduino!

A view of the table is available over here.


Technorati : arduino, automation, hologram, holography, lab
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Dead hologram controller

Ugh. I went to power up the table on Saturday and discovered the main controller wouldn’t come on.

At first I thought the laptop had frozen (it doesn’t this every once in a blue moon) but no, it was running just fine.

Poking around under the table revealed a slightly melted fuse cover on the main controller and a fuse with no wire at all.

The recent electrical storms had apparently tried to toast the controller.

After purchasing some new fuses I found that the recent electrical storms had succeeded in frying the controller. As soon as I turn it on the fuse blows in a spectacular way. Short in the transformer? That’s what I’m hoping.

Table testing Hades

For what seems like forever now, I’ve been working on developing a DCG process for myself that I could use when making white-light copies of my silver masters.

After some inconsistent results I stripped the table top of all components and set up an interferometer to see how stable the table was.

IMG_1751

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Holograms under a microscope

While giving a talk about holography to a school group recently I mentioned that one could look at a hologram through a microscope and see what you’d see with the original subject.

Since I’ve got an Intel QX3 microscope I decided to capture a few images.

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Green living

I’ve been working on a couple of holograms recently and while I don’t have a lot of time for blogging at the moment, here are a few pictures.

Irish Dance shoes

The dancing shoes turned out really nice both in master and copy.

The next one was a quickie for Wifey and her mother.

It’s a commemorative pitcher from Union Station in Ft. Worth.

VRP-M is working out pretty well so far, even the old film from Oct 2005 is coming out ok.

Using OneNote to make holograms

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.

Making holograms.

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.

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VRP-M Lessons Learned

For almost two months now, I’ve been working to figure out the exposure and processing steps to use in order to get bright and clean transmission holograms using my Coherent 315M and VRP-M film.

After blowing through roughly 68 pieces of film (mostly 1.5×1" in size) I think I’ve finally nailed the process to use for transmission masters.

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Experimenting with delayed development

JohnK on the holography forum had asked if I’d experienced any problems with delayed development of VRP-M.  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.

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Holography labcast 2

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.

Here’s the cast. Let me know what you think.