blackbox.jpg
the box.jpg

SUPPLIES

  • Arduino Mega - $58.01 - found at Amazon
  • USB Cable B Panel Mount - $5.99 - found at Amazon
  • Switches with 12V LED:
  • Switches with 5V LED
    • Momentary Switch - $4.95 - found at Adafruit
  • Protoboard - $11.49/25 - found at Amazon
  • 10K Ohm Resistors - $8.01 - found at Amazon
  • 2.54mm Male Pin Header - $8.99 - found at Amazon
  • Molex Crimper - $18.98 - found at Amazon
  • Dupont Headers Kit - $10.99 - found at Amazon
  • Lithium Ion Battery, 3.7 V 6.6Ah - $29.50 - found at Adafruit
  • Lipo Battery Charger - $19.95 - found at Adafruit
  • Step-up Adjustable Transformer - $10.29 - found at Amazon
  • Soldering Iron - $99.00 - found at Amazon

The mysterious box

I could control my addressable LEDs from my computer, but when I was entertaining friends turning my back to the room to type on my computer was not cool. I also wanted a simple and tactile way for my guest to play with the LEDs. Yes, I could have used a tablet... BUT that would be a boring video, and nothing is more satisfying than pressing a glowing aluminum button and watching the entire room change colors. I wanted the box to have a significant presence in the room, which is why it consumes almost 5000 cubic centimeters of space. The box is the most popular feature of my room, and it continues to take on more functionality. Not only does it control my LEDs, but it also controls my music and many other programs on my computer. 

How it works

If I tell you how it works then it would not be mysterious... Just kidding! The internals of the box are actually very simple. if you press a button an arduino mega will receive a signal which will be passed to my computer via bluetooth. A Python script is waiting for a signal and acts in different ways based on which button is pressed. This is all covered in my black box series below.

Files