Tag Archives | Christmas

More Christmas Crumbling

As we draw closer to Christmas, we thought that it would be nice to share a few festive ideas. If you end up at a loose end over the holidays, especially if you have kids, then why not give these seasonal makes a go? They’re a great use of any cardboard that won’t fit into your recycling bin!

First up, we have our uber-christmassy Crumble-powered Rudolph, complete with flashing red nose. A quick internet search brought up loads of different cardboard reindeer templates. After cutting out all of the pieces, we got to work on the nose. For this, we used a ping pong ball. We sliced part of it off, and then glued it to the nose. We wired up a Sparkle, and wedged it inside the nose.

We then secured the rest of our reindeer together, and wired up the Crumble. We stuck the components towards the back of the head which allowed it to stand up on a table.

There we have it, one quick Rudolph, ready to guide your sleigh.

🎶Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.🎶

Next up, we have another festive-favourite. If you, like the vast majority of people over Christmas, don’t need more cakes in the house, then why not have a go at a gingerbread-free faux gingerbread house? There is a wealth of inspiration to be had, just by doing a quick image search on the internet. Once your house is made and decorated, then we covered the windows with some tracing/baking paper, to diffuse the Sparkles inside. We then wired up our Crumble with a Sparkle baton, because you can never have too many lights – especially at Christmas!

Once it’s all wired up, simply program your required lighting sequence – we went for a flickering fire-like program (as seen here). Pop it inside the faux gingerbread house, and you’re all set!

If you have been inspired by any of these projects, or want to share something else awesome with us, then give us a shout on the forum or Twitter.

Christmas has arrived!

Our first proper Christmas since we moved in to our new building with Mindsets. We’ve decided to mark the occasion with a suitably decorated tree!

We connected 20 Sparkles and a Sparkle Baton together using croc-leads. We then wrapped these around the tree, with the Baton on the top. The croc-leads are almost a decoration in themselves!

The Crumble is connected to a Raspberry Pi, which is connected to our network, meaning we can remote-desktop in and change the lights! It’s pretty much an Internet of Things Christmas tree.

We decided to add our big red button near the base of the tree, to allow the user to cycle through the light sequences. The code runs a light sequence, and waits for the button to be pressed before moving onto the next sequence.

We decided that the tree was a bit bland, especially during the day time, so we added a few more decorations to it.

And there we have it, our IoT Christmas tree, ready to be programmed by anyone in the office.

Crafty Crumble Creations: When Santa got stuck up the chimney!

This year our Crumble Christmas decoration uses a servo to control an “animatronic” Santa leg stuck in a chimney decorated with twinkling lights.

https://vine.co/v/iAO7VBbnQHK

We used:

  • 1 laptop with Crumble software installed
  • Crumble controller; a flexible strip of 30 Sparkle LEDs and a micro Servo (both with crumblisers attached)
  • 1 Crumble-friendly battery box; 3 AA batteries
  • Croc-leads and a micro-USB cable
  • Cardboard blocks, cotton wool balls, cardboard; red and black paint; sellotape & PVA glue

Making the Chimney

The Chimney is made from some sturdy, red cardboard building blocks, that we already had at home, with cotton wool balls stuck on for the “snow”. Santa’s leg is cut out from a cardboard box, painted red and black, with more cotton wool balls as a fur trim. The turning part of the servo is sellotaped onto the back of the leg (excuse the Stormtroooper: we used the box from a Star Wars toy) and the body of the servo is taped onto a smaller yellow block that sits behind and inside the chimney. The Crumble and battery box also rest inside. IMG_9899IMG_9900IMG_9885  

Connecting the Crumble

The Crumble was connected to the battery box with croc-leads and to the computer, using the USB lead. The micro-servo has three connections: power (“+”, “-“) and “control” (labelled “S” on the crumbliser). The power pads were connected to the second set of pads on the battery box and “S” was connected to the Crumble’s pad “C”. The Sparkle strip was connected to “+”,”-“, and “D” on the right-hand side of the Crumble and then wrapped around the base of the chimney. IMG_9897

Programming the Crumble

The servo control block needs to tell the Crumble which output the servo is connected to (in this case “C”) and the angle to set the servo. As this is an absolute, rather than a relative number, we had to do a bit of experimenting. Eventually, we determined that the servo needed to move between 65 and 85 degrees. To slow down the transition, we used a loop which steps the servo 1 degree every 60 milliseconds and a variable “x”, which alternates between 1 and -1, to make it move back and forth. Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 18.19.04We wanted the Sparkle strip to change colour at the same time as the servo is moving. As there are 20 steps in the loop to move the servo, the simplest way to do this was to use only 20 of the Sparkles. We defined a variable “sprk” to be the index number of the Sparkle. Every time the loop is executed, Sparkles 5 to 25 are set to red, in turn. Variable “x” is used to set the adjacent Sparkle to green. Once we were happy with the effect, we disconnected the Crumble from the computer and placed our decoration on the fireplace. Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 12.38.51 Can you improve on this and work out how to thread two programs together to use all 30 Sparkles? Merry Christmas!!