Great LED cabinet example

MEOWSER is a (M)ineral (E)lement Br(owser). A cabinet contains rocks and mineral samples. The cabinet LED lighting is controlled via an interactive computer application that represents the periodic table OR cabinet image. An arduino microcontroller is the interface between laptop and cabinet. The user is able to explore the relationships between elements and minerals using MEOWSER. All the APEX mineral samples contain the highest element concentrations obtainable.

See it here…

I'm impressed, that is a really nicely done implementation. I even learned something watching your video :slight_smile: I think it would be really cool if you could incorporate a touch screen interface directly into the cabinet. Then you could walk up to the thing and start exploring it like a museum piece.

Cool display and application. But nothing on how the arduino is interfacing the leds and communicating to the PC and construction methods used. What wood working tools did you need? What size and type of leds did you use? If It's Arduino based project, we like all the gory details around here. :wink:


Nice piece of work!

This litterally rocks!

MEOWSER is a (M)ineral (E)lement Br(owser). A cabinet contains rocks and mineral samples. The cabinet LED lighting is controlled using an Arduino
microcontroller driven by a Laptop computer periodic table.
Visual Studio C## on the laptop. Shift Registers.

Topics merged.
@OP, please don't keep posting the same stuff, it smacks of spam, and we hate spam.

Topics merged.

Why here, though? This looks like it belongs in Exhibitions. There are no questions about how to interface with software on the computer.

Why here, though?

This was where the latest post was, so it was easiest to find for the merge.
Beyond that, I couldn't be too bothered.
Perhaps the OP can enlighten us


Your YouTube link in this thread is not working, only saying 'video was removed by user'
On your blog, the video link there is not actually a link, so I need to copy the highlighted text and use that to get to the video.

The project seems really well done, software, Arduino and assorted minerals in a nice cabinet.

But you think Zircon is really cool, I want to know more about the rock to the left of Zircon in your display cabinet.
Why you might ask?
You see, it is very special, it has an amazing property I have not seen in any ordinary mineral.
If you look closely while you are talking about the properties of Zircon, this other mineral I am mentioning is quietly flashing away!
No, it's not bioluminescence and it's not electroluminescence, it must be geoluminescence!
I wonder if it is the special and much unknown geoluminescence uses 'blink without delay'?

Apart from that, great educational project.

ok thanks everyone for the comments.

Sathi, yes, version 3.0 will be a win8 tablet version with touch screen. I'm also thinking a laser POINTER with feedback from cabinet to laptop would be way cool.

RetroLefty, yes, the gory details need to be there. I'll be posting illustrations of the electronic schematics. The shift register, transistor arrays used here are really nothing more complicated than what has been posted by many other people. Not sure about best way to document the laptop software development which is a whole visual studio thing by itself. If anybody wants, i can give you code.

The cabling was one of my central issues. It all had to come apart for maintenance. So I created my own custom DB9 cables. Regular DB9 cables wouldn't work because the 2 amps to each cabinet would melt the tiny wires. I'm sitting at my load limit for the PC power supply. Gotta upgrade for more cabinets.

For woodworking it is all flat panels screwed together. My simplified version 3.0 cabinet only has some routed grooves on the side panels so i can slide in the plexi glass. So maybe the router is the only tool some people might not have.

Mikmo, HA. Yes, it ROCKS. I had to laugh.

AWOL Moderator, Sorry. I hate SPAM also. Thanks for merging posts. I didn't realize I could edit the original post. I had reshot my Youtube video and all the links changed. I edited my links above. It has been very tough to demo this project on a single video monitor on Youtube in a manner I liked. Getting close enough to the cabinet AND the software so people can actually see it is tough.

PaulS, yeah maybe this post goes somewhere else. Not sure. I picked here because there is interfacing with the computer. The videos I discuss this some about using serial communications over the USB port and also some of the difficulties of splitting BYTEs into NIBBLEs.

Rockwallaby, wow what an eye for minerals. Yeah I'll have to check that one you are talking about. I was originally going to put UV LED's in the cabinet for the cool luminescence but I went over my electrical power budget and it required more cabling so I relented. Now I can just wave a blacklight over this whole cabinet and see cool rocks.

I will be showing MEOWSER at the Tampa Bay Maker Faire
Sat. March 23 2013

You Shoulde, and be proud too. Very proud, Great Work.