Hi, I've been getting pretty good with the arduino (and AVRs in general), and I have a project. There's a building where I live that has set up special bulbs on its office windows so they can show various graphics during holidays (July 4, Christmas, etc).
I'm connected to the building manager, and I'd like to draw up a proposal to run a game of tetris on the side of the building. If its a solid method, I'm sure she'll be sympathetic, but I'd like to have it well thought out before I go to her.
The building has 14x18 "pixels" available. They actually can be split, but that makes things too complicated. This works out to 252 pixels.
let me reiterate, I'm dead serious about this. If we can think of something that'll work, this will probably happen (as long as upper management of the company doesn't have a problem with it).
So here's what I'm thinking. The first idea is x10. It allows 256 unique devices, and there's a library for the arduino, although I haven't played around with it. Does anyone have any input on arduino-x10 interfacing? I also have a couple extra boxes I could throw linux on, and use whatever people have developed for that. However, I've read over a couple pdfs on the protocol it uses, and I think that it isn't anywhere near fast enough to control 256 lights. This isn't necessarily a problem, as only a few pixels change with each "frame" of Tetris (4 max? Unless a line has to be cleared?), but its something to be aware of. The pdf is located at http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/technote.pdf . It takes 11 cycles of the power line to alter one pixel, which I think means you should be able to do about 4-5 a second at 60 hz (there's a small pause that eats up a few cycles). Did I work that out right? This also means I probably won't be able to play space invaders :)
My problem is that although I'm pretty good with residential x10, I'm not too sure about a large commercial property. One company owns this building, if that helps anyone. Does anyone see any problems with hooking up to an x10 controller, and using phase couplers to connect everything?
My other idea is to use relays, but the amount of wiring nonsense involved.... ugh.