POV rotating LEDs not dead?

The rotating LED idea is now 2 years old, and I haven’t got any further. A while ago I was sorting out the closet in my cubicle which I inherited when a colleague left. And I came across various boards and prototype devices from previous discontinued projects, like satellite locators with a large LCD display, 2-way satellite devices for Interactive TV, and stuff like that. All the way at the bottom of the junk pile, I found two development and evaluation boards. One for a PIC controller we still use in today’s products, and one for an ARM controller.

The ARM board is an SMDK40100 development board from Aiji Systems used in the evaluation of the controller and the initial development done for the interactive TV modules. The entire product line has been discontinued for as far as I know, and that 40MHz microcontroller is in my closet gathering dust. Now I think that’s a real shame. There are even JTAG debuggers for that ARM processor in my closet, and no one in the company is developing for ARM any more. A real pity.

The PIC board is a PICDEM 2 PLUS demo board from Microchip. It is fitted with a P18PTST and a small LCD screen.

So I’m gathering my courage to step over to my boss and ask him if I can liberate those boards and give them a new life as light show.

February 29th I went to Nuremberg, Germany to follow a class on embedded security at the Embedded World Conference. The class was a €590 full day commercial to be honest, it wasn’t an actual class as I thought it would be, it were presentations on products and services from the organizers of the class. The only real “lessons”, if you can call it that, were about using asymmetric encryption to generate activation keys, and a more efficient SHA hashing algorithm. But those were not the things I was hoping for when seeing titles like “secure flashing” and “secure real time operating systems”, and getting presentations on products sold by the organisers.

Getting to and from the class I walked through the conference halls, with stalls from Aiji Systems, Microsoft, Microchip Technologies, Intel, AMD and hundreds more, displaying the latest evaluation boards and embedded products. Vendors were giving away swag to the visitors, things ranging from small fun gadgets to entire evualation boards. It’s like walking through a candy store, and not getting any. I couldn’t stay and wander around because I had a plane to catch back to Belgium that same day. I now know what those kids in the supermarket feel when they are down on the floor screaming, stomping, crying and making a huge scene: “I WANT THAT CANDY!!”.

It did put this POV project back into my mind, and when I was sorting out that pile of handed down stuff, and I came across those boards, things connected in my head.

Getting the boards from my boss and getting started on the POV project are something totally different, but it’ll be a step in the right direction.

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