Client Software and LED Decisions
After spending several weeks out of town I'm back in Portland and back to work! I recently spent some time on the space coast to watch NASA launch a pair of probes to the moon. It was very exciting! If you're curious I have pictures here:
I got the stickers back from the printing company! I'm slowly working on making everyone a thank you card and sending out stickers. Keep an eye out in the mail (but it will take me a while to get to everyone!).
Also I've had a few people change addresses since I sent the surveys -- that's fine of course! Just drop me a line and I'll update my records.
On the hardware front I've been wrestling with several ideas for how to deal with lighting the notifier. The way I built my prototype was to have some LED's shine up through a piece of frosted acrylic. This is fine for a weekend project, but not really easy to do on a large scale - plus it involved a lot of hot glue :) Not too professional I guess.
So I've been thinking about making the notifier sit in a clear/etched case where you can see the electronics and have a ring of LED's shine up through the case when the space station is overhead. This also gives more opportunity for hacking in the future -- like playing with patterns of LEDs.
Another thing I noticed is that I can get a lot more LED's on it if I stick to only one color. Those multicolor LED's are expensive! So I'm not sure if I should go down the multicolor, but ultimately fewer LED path or the many (probably blue) LED path. Any preferences?
While waffling on hardware choices I started work on the client software that will set the location and send ISS pass times to the notifier. Here is a screenshot of an early version in windows.
I've also worked on refining the API that makes pass predictions and pushed all the current software progress (API and client software) to github:
The API still needs some work, seems to be off an odd number of integer hours. Likely a timezone thing.
I've gotten a lot of questions about how long this will take. I'm sorry that I can't be more specific because I really don't know. Right now I'm trying to get them all finished before Christmas. But I have to admit as I watch the days tick down (I actually have a countdown clock to help encourage - or, really, scare - me) I'm worried that I won't get them all shipped in time. I'm trying the best I can! I appreciate everyone's patience while I work out the details of the project.
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Get a nice, large NASA sticker, until I run out. Also my eternal thanks for helping this get off the ground.
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For a pledge of $25 I will send you a thank you card and a limited edition ISS-Notify sticker. And you can be proud of helping make space commonplace!
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If you're the hacker type, get the circuit board and all the parts you need, but not assembled. Makes for a great weekend project! I should have this ready before the finished product. If you have a soldering iron you could be the first in your block to have an ISS lamp!
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Be the first to get a finished ISS-Notify desk light! I will also send you a thank-you card and sign the back of the lamp!
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As a serious backer you will have my undying gratitude. You get an ISS-Notify desk lamp, but I will work with you to customize it! I'll have it laser etched or machined any way you like. It will be one of a kind.
- (37 days)