Friday, 3 March 2017

Face Team - foireann visage

Face Team Research

In the last two weeks the Face Team diligently investigated four different areas that could be a solution for getting a face on the Lamp.

    Image result for minions
  • David looked into Dot Matrix's
  • Ayesha looked into LED Strips arranged in a circle
  • Padraigh looked into Pico-Projectors
  • Job looked into LCD's

Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix 8x8 - 64 RGB LED Pixel Matrix

David concluded from investigating the Dot Matrix's that forming one big eye from the matrix's would be much more visually impressive than two small eyes(Hence the minion above). The team agreed and we focused on forming one eye in the lamp face. As for Dot Matrix's, they don't have as good resolution as LCD's, but nonetheless he found a possible Dot Matrix to use.

Round LED Matrix - 340x WS2801 Pixels

Ayesha, from looking at LED strips, thought that they were a good idea, as they could be formed into a circle and fully fill the face of the lamp, instead of a square or rectangle LCD screen or DOT Matrix partially filling the face. 

On top of this controlling the LED strips, is convenient as it only has signal, power & ground, making  the wiring of the face neat and tidy.
Using loose LED strips shown, the individual LED's can be compacted really close together giving greater resolution than the DOT Matrix.

Unfortunately the LED's that she was looking at were out of stock. So that ended that idea.

Padraigh looked into Pico Projectors, these promising little devices could be tucked into the back of the lamp head and project an image to a screen at the front of the lamp.

Most Pico Projectors found weren't too pico and wouldn't fit inside the lamp head. And the ones found that were small enough cost upwards from $500. So trying get some of these in wounldn't be feasible. 

Job looked in LCD's, Through his investigations he discovered that there are four variants of LCD's

  • LCD: liquid crystal display. Works by adjusting the amount of light blocked. Usually has a backlight but might not (clocks, calculators, Nintendo Gameboy). The green-black ones can be very cheap and are a mature technology. Response time can be slow.
  • TFT: is a type of LCD with a thin film transistor attached to each pixel. All computer LCD screens are TFT since early 2000s; older ones had slower response times and poorer colour. Cost is now very good; power consumption is fairly good but dominated by the backlight. Has to be manufactured out of glass.
  • LED: light emitting diode. As the name suggests, emits light rather than blocking it like LCD. Used for red/green/blue/white indicator lights everywhere. Some manufacturers advertise "LED" displays that are TFT screens with a white LED backlight, which is just confusing. Ones that are real LED screens are usually OLED.
  • OLED: organic LED (rather than silicon or germanium based like regular LEDs). Comparatively recent technology, so cost still quite variable and not available in really large sizes. In theory can be printed on plastic, resulting in lighter flexible displays with good brightness, good power consumption and good response time.
Image result for lcd screen comparison

Because LCD's had such good resolution, we focused our attention on LCD's. We looked into circular LCD's that would fit into the lamp face, but any we did find were either too small, too big, or cost an arm and a leg. 
Therefore we decided on getting the largest possible square or rectangular screen to fit in the face. We calculated that the largest square possible was 4.2'' x 4.2'' or 105mm x 105mm. 

Searching on Farrell, a LCD screen was found that might be a possible solution. This 


We contacted the Pixel SCIENTIFIC company for the specs of the LCD screens which can fit into the lamps head they came back with the following LCD  along with the quotations:
1.       Part Number PS100-04040-00
a.       Price per unit is $1,220.00 each
b.       Lead time is 6 to 8 weeks ARO
c.        This unit is sold as an open cell and does not include a backlight

2.       The FFC to FFC connector board Part Number PS200-04040-01
a.       This is the dual connector board used to extend and remotely mount the T-CON PCB 0.50mm pitch ZIF adapter board allows two 50 conductor FFC/FPC's to connect to each other. Used to move the T-CON on the PS100-04040-00 cell.
b.       Lead Time – Stock to 2 weeks
c.       Price per unit - $20.00 each 

3.       FFC 8” 50 conductor extension cable PS200-04040-02
a.       This is an extension cable to allow for remote mounting of the LCD T-CON DIB
b.       Lead time Stock to 2 weeks 
c.       Price per unit - $20.00 each 

4.       Controller kit – PS200-04040-00 
a.       DVI and VGA input from a host computer includes interface cables to drive both the PS100-04040-00 or the PS100-04044-00 displays
b.       Lead time Stock to 2 weeks 
c.       Price per unit $500.00 each 

Since the quotations shown above are way to expensive so we are planning to buy LCD screen from Ireland only which we are getting in reasonable price.

Team Face Aka. Foireann Visage   

While waiting for the LCD's to ship in, we decided to get Pan & Tilt working on a different Lamp

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