LIGHTBARS!

Work continues on finalizing our new line of lightbars.  Stay tuned for more info coming soon, but I wanted to share this photo showing the different configurations/colors we are planning at this time.

Note that with this new line of lightbars, colors will be set at the factory and cannot be changed.  We do plan to accept custom orders for specific colors/combinations, but above is the list of what we're planning to offer in the initial round of products.

As always, feedback is welcome!

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  • this is the one! 

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  • Logan McCain Yep that's definitely on the list!

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  • Rob Klingberg does that one have two leds that connect from the pieces to the interior of the car?

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  • Logan McCain These have the effect controller inside (under the middle 1x2 grill piece), so there's just one wire, to connect to the power source.  Plug it in, turn it on, and it does its thing.  You can select several different effect modes.

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  • Rob Klingberg  so these are all self contained? That is wild. I imagine the controller is rather small, are you using an ATTiny45/85 or something smaller? Also, could you guys do a Red White Blue 1x6?

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  • Josh Only the 1x6's with the grille piece in the center are self-contained.  The others will need an external controller, but only three wires running to the controller, and the controller itself is very small.  Yes we did use little Tiny85's as a matter of fact!

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  • Josh I think we could.  We could do either red/white/blue lights with clear tiles on top (the lights make the colors, and could change) or white lights with colored tiles on top.  Can you draw a picture?

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  • Rob Klingberg Awesome stuff, I have recently been looking into the 85's myself for some led prototyping boards of my own. Here is a studio screenshot. This is the standard Light bar setup on all my Fire/EMS vehicles. Red on drivers side, blue on passenger side, white in the middle. Would each stud have an LED (6 in total)? If I recall the Tiny85 has 6 programmable pins, so that could work.

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  • Josh Here's a photo that may help explain how we've set these up:

    On the left is the "self-contained" version of the lightbar, with the chip in the center.  Only two wires coming out, for power.  Those are 6x RGB LEDs, so we can make 'em any color we need to.  Underneath the flex PCB are two copper pads-- touch them with a tweezers or paper clip to change modes/patterns.

    On the right is the full-width 6-wide version, with three RGB LEDs under where each tile is placed (9 RGB LEDs total).  I replicated your setup in the photo.  Again, we can make any LED any color, brightness, etc.

    Shown above the assembly is the effect controller board-- it's capable of running two lightbars itself (the small plugs on the left are where the lightbars connect).  For larger setups we'll have slightly larger effect controllers with onboard sound featuring a variety of sampled sounds from emergency vehicles from around the world, so you can pick your sound.  These will also have wireless remote control and we're developing a LiPo battery board with built-in charger so you can have one microUSB plug under your vehicle to recharge the LiPo.

    I should have prototypes back for the bigger controllers in the next 2 weeks, and if they work we'll be moving full-steam ahead with getting these into the market.

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  • Thank you for these. This is some pretty incredible stuff, those boards are so thin! having 3 LEDs under the tile instead of 2 is so much better as well. Can't wait to get my hands on one, the one on the right would be best for me I think. You could even do all clear tiles with LEDs going something like:BWB RWB RWR

    The options for these are endless, and they make my 3D printed prototypes look like child's play. What are you thinking for cost of each one? They seem challenging and expensive to build.

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  • Josh Glad you like 'em!  Yeah the prototyping took awhile because the turnaround on the flex PCBs was long.  They're assembled by professionals with expensive equipment, not me. :-)  TBD on cost-- I should have a better estimate later this month.

    If you thought something like the 9-LED part could be useful as a raw piece for people to customize/program on their own, we could also look at selling the 6-wide and 8-wide flex PCBs with LEDs pre-mounted.  Then it would just be soldering your own three wires to the bottom and controlling with the Adafruit NeoPixel library!  Thoughts?

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  • Rob Klingberg Personally, I have an extensive programming background, so being able to customize these myself would be sweet! How do you usually program your microcontrollers? Via Arduino or a third party programmer?

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  • Josh We design programming headers into our boards with processors and use AVR ISP programmers (basically custom Arduino AVR programmers).

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  • Rob Klingberg Cool! I assume everything is written in C/C++?

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  • Josh Using the Arduino IDE.

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  • Rob Klingberg Good to know. I am very familiar with Arduino, so yeah, programming my own lighting colors and patterns with the neopixel library would make it a lot more fun! When can we expect (a) demo video(s)?

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  • Josh Soon.  I need to finish up the code this week and then we're starting to assemble them this week as well.

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  • Rob Klingberg Wait, Is the controller that changes the lights in the grill piece? or can you just put that in the driver seat of the car? also how big is the power supplier? could that fit in a 4,3,4 space?

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  • Logan McCain said:
    Is the controller that changes the lights in the grill piece?

     Only for the one with the grille piece (6 LEDs).

    Logan McCain said:
    or can you just put that in the driver seat of the car

    For the full light bar (9 LEDs) you would do this. And Rob can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe all brickstuff battery/USB supplies will work, the smallest of the bunch linked here could MAYBE fit.

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  • Logan McCain Yes, that's correct.  You change the pattern by touching two exposed contacts underneath the tile.

    As mentioned earlier in this thread, there will be several different types and designs.  The "self-contained 6-wide" version is only one of the designs.  The others will have an external controller as shown higher up in this thread as well, and that's definitely small enough to fit just about anywhere.

    In terms of power supplies, the link Josh shared to the mini coin cell pack is indeed the smallest currently-available supply that would power this setup.

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  • Josh Lol yeah you're correct on all points!  Thanks for jumping in.

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  • Rob Klingberg No problem, happy to help! I think my comment may not have actually been posted though, as it says "pending review" and it does not show up in the "recent activity" area.

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  • Josh Doh!  Thanks for pointing that out.  Not sure why I could see it but it wasn't posted publicly.  Should be there now. 😉

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  • Do you have a possible release date for the lights?  Like in a week or 5 more months?

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  • Logan McCain Also would the lights from the 1x6 (The one I circled.) on the left blink 4 times really fast and then the right really fast and take turns?

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