Repost from 2006!
For the Duel nature sculpure, I wanted to have a ‘breathing’ pattern where all the LEDs vary in brightness in a natural/organic way. A good example is the ‘sleep indicator’ LED on recent Macs/Powerbooks. (There’s even a patent!) The problem is that, while the patent claims its a simple sinusoid (see the patent for the image), programming in a sinusoid doesn’t look nearly as good. So I decided to get the real waveform with a kludgy reverse engineering attempt:
I used a MIDIsense instead of a simple voltage divider because I want to extract the absolute LED brightness pattern and a photocell voltage divider acts ‘inversely’ (well, 1/R) instead of linearly (ie, just R). (The MIDIsense has an opamp to linearize the resistive sensor output)
There it is! There is a bit of ‘noise’ on the peaks because I’m picking up some of the PWM artifacts through the diffused white plastic.