Wireless Tower of Lights
|Tower Lights Show|
|Team Name||LEaD Design|
|Duration||Fall 2017 - Spring 2018|
The Wireless Tower of Lights at the University of Idaho is an ongoing project to convert the show's electronics to a fully wireless system. The Tower Lights show is displayed on the south side of the University of Idaho's Theophilus Tower. Each window is rigged with a set of LED lights which illuminate in synchronization to music. The old system relies on the building's unused CAT-5 wiring that runs from the basement up through every room. The new system will not rely on wires, and could be used in any building.
The Tower Lights Show has been an exciting part of the University of Idaho for years. The system used to make this light show happen is outdated however. We are renovating the Tower Lights hardware and making it wireless. This new system will be easy to transport and set up, so that the light show could be used in any building. There has been interest for using the system in buildings in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to put on light shows for events.
The University of Idaho’s Tower Lights system currently runs on old unused Ethernet wiring in the Theophilus Tower. Our team is faced with the problem of turning the current Tower Lights control system into a battery powered wireless system.
The current control system must be made wireless. The changes that we will make to the system are outlined below.
|Diagram of the current Tower Lights System.|
|Diagram of the desired Tower Lights System.|
Problems encountered during the project, as well as our solutions to these problems, are outlined below.
|We need to identify a wireless protocol to have an effective range of potentially up to 100 meters. Additionally, the frequency must be one that will work even in crowded venues, with lots of different cellphones, and Wi-Fi signals present.||The 802.15.4 protocol (Zigbee) is 2.4Ghz, but will not interfere with Wi-Fi. This protocol can operate at a speed of 250kbps, which is much lower than Wi-Fi, but may be adequate for this project. Shown below is a diagram of how 802.15.4 differs from Wi-Fi.|
|Exact battery selection and design is not yet solidified.||Test a couple different battery options once we have completed the rest of the project. Torture/time test each option.|
|Our wireless protocol can only send 250 kbits/s. If we have enough light bars in a large building, we may run out of bandwidth.||We can change the quality of the RGB color sent to each light bar. For example instead of sending 24bit Truecolor RGB with 16 million possible colors, we could send 12bit RGB and have only 4,096 possible colors.|
There are a couple subsystems to our project including the light bar itself, the LED circuitry, and the battery. Outlined below are the diagrams and thoughts that we have put into the project.
|Sketchup 3D Rendering of Finished Wireless Light Bar. Batteries and Wireless Receiver Mounted on Top.|
|Wireless Protocol Doesn't Interact With Wifi.|
|Specs For Potential Battery: 9V|
|Specs For Potential Battery: 18650|
|Diagram of Potential LED Circuit: Parallel|
|Diagram of Potential LED Circuit: Series|
Initial implementation and testing of our design has just begun. Below you can see the hardware we plan to use followed by our schedule.
|List of All Hardware Used in Prototype.|
The schedule for out project has not changed much since the beginning. Here is a basic outline of the entire schedule of the project.
|September||Team Assignment and Initial Client Meeting|
|December||Prototyping and Unit Testing|
|January||Finalize Hardware Decisions|
|February||Production of Final Hardware|
|May||Deliver Final Product|
Team LEaD Design
Our team has 4 members, all of which provide unique talent and bring new ideas to the table.
Adrian is a remote student, this can introduce unique challenges. He directs the budget for our project.
Andrew is in charge of documentation for the project.
Kevin is the client liaison and organizes team meetings.
Paul is the team's Wiki-master and designer.
Paul Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kevin Dorscher (email@example.com)
Andrew Butler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adrian Beehner ()