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.


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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ClearType Rotator 0.02

ClearType Rotator v 0.02 is available through the previous link.  It’s mostly functional with the only remaining work to do being:

  1. Remove the UI.  That’s the plan at the moment although I may just make it an alternate interface.
  2. Change the icon.  It was borrowed from some .NET sample code.
  3. Implement loading the ClearType Tuner powertoy.
  4. Implement a "load on startup" setting.

What it does at the moment is:

  1. Rotates the screen to a user-specified orientation.
  2. Saves the current ClearType settings.
  3. When the screen orientation is changed, if CT settings have been saved CTR will automatically restore those settings.

All of this is through a menu available from an icon in the system tray.

Cleartype Rotator Alpha

I finally got tired of resetting Cleartype whenever I rotated my tablet screen and started work on Cleartype Rotator.


This is just the beginning. At the moment it can capture your font smoothing settings for each screen orientation and automatically restore those settings when you rotate your screen.

The UI is just an work-in-progress interface for testing the functionality. This will evolve into a utility that lives in the tray and with no real UI. You’ll be able to quickly load the Cleartype Tuner and have CTR capture your settings when needed, rotate the screen to a specific orientation and enable/disable CTR.

If anyone is interested in trying it out, let me know.

HoloController update

If anyone’s interested in checking out the first fully functional (although as far as the final version goes, proof of concept) version of HoloController, I’ve just made a source and executable release through sourceforge.


I’m looking for feature ideas as well as people to contribute to the software. Check out the roadmap on the home page for more info on what I’ve got planned at the moment.

Continue reading HoloController update

It’s alive! Again

The controller software is fully functional again and I can get back to making holograms while continuing to upgrade the hardware and software.

Shown to the left is the board hooked up to two shutters and a light sensor. The lit LED is showing that the light sensor is seeing enough light to activate the input channel.

I’m now going to start the process of opening a sourceforge account and getting the controller software set up under an open-source license.

After I clean my office. It’s a disaster (again).

Continue reading It’s alive! Again