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Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:42 am
by aerodrummer
Hi guys, I've been meaning to try this for a while - I've had the parts, but not the time.

What I have done is:

used a CR2032 battery holder with switch
1 watt super wide angle 'grow' LED light - red colour (any colour will do)
Epoxy glued the 'grow light' onto the top of the battery holder
trimmed the wires and soldered them to their points.
punched a big hole in the ping pong wall with the soldering iron - keep turning the ball until the hole is bigger than the base of the LED- be careful - if the ball gets too hot it will burst into flames!
Epoxy glued the ping pong ball over the LED
Cut down the drumsticks to allow for the length of the ORB to allow for room to glue it on
Glued the orb onto the drumstick.

Currently they are glueing - testing is tomorrow. If tracking is a bit dodgy with the snare, then it will be too bright. One way to tone this down is lots of spray paint over the ping pong ball. Another way is to glue in some tinted plastic shopping bag into the ping pong ball. For the feet I have still got the old ones i have wired to AA battery packs - I could convert these to CR2032 but don't see the need as AA batteries are cheaper and wires are not a problem on the floor.

If it all works I will post a video. Happy DIYing.

Re: Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:52 am
by eagleeyez
That looks great, nice idea.

I would be interested in how good the tracking to the sides work as my experiment was very good towards the middle but on the side drums useless.
Let us know how it goes. I am still trying for the IR method, but I have to wait until end of the month before I can get all the components I want.
Have fun

Re: Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:31 pm
by aerodrummer
Hi Eagle,

Tracking worked well initially - but I'm having trouble with the LED brightnesss.

It starts off bright enough to play, but they seem to drop in luminocity quickly? I'm using 3V batteries - no resistor. I don't know why this would be happening. When I used AA batteries with the same LED I had to dull the light because it was too bright for the camera.

As far as glue goes - nothing moves and the switch is nice to turn on an off. I just wish I knew why they are not liking the button cell battery. What a pain! I guess I shouldn't have glued it tight until I was happy with testing!

Re: Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:52 pm
by eagleeyez
The problem is most probably how the software calculates the position of the markers.

The reason for using retro-reflectors is that when the LED light from the ring light on the camera hits the retro-reflectors on the sticks or feet, they reflect in exactly the same direction as from where the light came from, normal reflectors will bounce over an angle to the one side.
The LED balls are just projecting in all directions and the camera/software cannot be sure how far away or how deep in 3D the movement was.

This is why I think replacing the ring LED with a ring IR LED and keeping the retro-reflectors could be a better way to go. We just have to get the intensity and angle of the IR light right without it being too strong or too weak.
A normal reflector will reflect in angled directions, that is why we need retro for direction.

This is just my opinion at this moment and should not be taken as exact science as maybe we will find out something new just by chance of experimenting.

What LED’ are you using, forward voltage, forward current?
Are your button cells rechargeable?
Try putting some Aluminum foil in the back of the ball to reflect some light forwards.

You can actually hold up a 2cmx2cm piece of Alufoil and that will register too, but only in the middle regions as retro reflection is missing.

Re: Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:21 am
by aerodrummer
I beg to differ on the retro reflector idea, considering the PS3 games use an 'orb' just like this one to track using the camera. Perhaps the software is calibrated more for the reflectors and amount of light that they reflect back. I found when using the AA batteries, once brought the brightness down of the orbs, the tracking worked fine.

I had another play today on my laptop - I usually use Aerodromes on my Mac. I would have to say it seems to work better on the PC. I got good tracking today - kitchen was a little bright, but there is no place in here to escape natural light so its hard to test until after dark.

Anyway, here is a video to show how it tracks - which is what most people would like to see:

Re: Drumstick orb lights with button cell DIY

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:39 pm
by eagleeyez
I am going to try that tomorrow with the ps move. I've gotten 2 from a friend and after charging I will install the pc drivers and let the balls light up. Let's see what happens.
nice video demo, thanks.