August 6, 2017

 

It is Alive...

Project X that is. Finally after 3 months of work (with many camping trips in-betwen), I have finally finished the project, and I can finally reveal:

CylonEye

(Link to the project)

So what is Cylon Eye anyway? You remember the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica? Yes - No? How about Kitt from Knight Rider then?

I am refering to the right-left sweeping sensor "eye" that those pesky Cylon robots had, which was later copied by Kitt; the car on Knight Rider.

So what does that have to do with a RV you ask? hmmm... nothing. Remember I did say it was kind of a silly project. So perhaps I can give some justification to the project by detailing how it came about.

 

On the nose of my 5th wheel there is a LED strip consisting of 9 white LEDs. It's function is as a hitch light to allow connecting to your hitch at night.

The LED strip's bezel is clear plastic with the LED "lenses" embedded into it. Unfortunately, after only a year, the clear plastic has yellowed due to UV damage (in the moderate Michigan sun) and looks kind of bad. So I found a replacement that had a black bezel, and I figured it might hold up better in the sun. So the initial foundation for the project was to replace the strip as a repair action.

But then, my mind wandered...

What if? I changed the LEDs out to addressible versions? I have been wanting to do a project with those LEDs for awhile, and I figured, why not retain the original white hitch light, but add some neat lighting effects. And that is how the Cylon light was conceived.

So I spent quite a bit of time designing and prototyping several different versions, and the more I added stuff, the more ideas I had to add even more stuff. In fact, at the 11th hour, I came up with an idea to add an accelerometer to the LED strip for a digital "spirit level". Finally, I can add some legitimate functionality to my silly project.

Unfortunately, I was 99% done with the project when I had that idea, so I went ahead and installed the Cylon Eye without the Accelerometer function... for now. The LED strip itself won't have to be replaced, and all I will have to do is to unplug one module and plug in the Accelerometer module.

The design of the accelerometer version is complete and I am waiting for the circuit boards to arrive. Then I will update the project with another video.

 

More to come;
  RV-Project.Com