TimeRuler
TimeRuler
TimeRuler
TimeRuler
TimeRuler

TimeRuler is a time-space measuring tool, using light-painting technique. It can be used for fun, for measuring high speed movement in different sports or as an educational device for schools.

What you need:

  • Arduino UNO, or similar
  • 13 pcs. 3V ultra bright dome LED
  • jump wire
  • mini breadboard
  • 9V battery
  • plywood
  • wood adhesive
  • glue gun
  • tracing paper, black cardboard, carbon paper
  • silver paint or mirror sheets
  • fretsaw
  • Camera with long exposure function

    Step 1: Wiring, testing

    TimeRuler
    TimeRuler
  • insert 11 LEDs into the breadboard
  • connect the LEDs anode/longer pins (+) with pin 3-13
  • connect the cathode/shorter (-) pins to GND.
  • open Arduino and open the attached code file. If you don't have the software, than download it here.
  • disconnect the battery, connect the Arduino with your computer via USB cable provided.
  • take a look at the code to see what it does. When you are testing you can set longer times so you can check if the LEDs are lit up correctly at a perceivable speed.

    int delt=9; //delay time 9 ms - set this to 99
    int blit=0.1; //delay time 0.1 ms - set this to 1

  • upload the code to Arduino and see the result
    TimeRuler
    _01_deci_seconds.ino14 KB

    Step 2: Making the box

    TimeRuler
    TimeRuler

    Build a box from plywood. The assembled box size is 62*85*77 mm (2.44*3.34*3.03 inch)

  • print the attached PDF file
  • copy with the help of a carbon paper the red outline on the plywood lid.
  • copy with the help of a carbon paper the blue outline on the black cardboard and cut out the shapes carefully. Stick tracing paper on the back of the cardboard - this will diffuse the light. These blue lines are inset 1 mm, because it is hard to make precise holes in the plywood.

  • Cut 15 mm (0.59 inch) wide plywood strips than glue strips around the holes. You can paint reflective silver later or stick mirror sheets - this process helps bounce more light out through the holes.
    TimeRuler
    shape3 copy.pdf307 KB

    Step 3: Solder, mount

    TimeRuler
    TimeRuler
    TimeRuler
    TimeRuler
  • Solder the wires to the LEDs, than insulate
  • Test LEDs by mounting all of them in the right hole. If right, than fix them with hot glue.
  • glue some black hobby foam strips on the back of the lid, so when you close no light could escape on the edges.
  • mount a colored piece of plastic sheet inside the longest slit.

    Step 4: On-Off

    TimeRuler

    Make a hole, where the Arduino has it's power socket, insert the plug, than mount the battery outside the box with a velcro. I used this this improvised ON-OFF system instead of buttons. to have smoother and faster start. When i push the cable to the plus end, than the animation starts automatically.

    Set your camera to a few seconds long exposure with self timer, than paint some light in a dark space. Adjust ISO and aperture until you got the desired quality. Additionally if you want the painter to be visible in the picture you can give him/her a radio trigger, which is triggering a flashlight.

    Play, Measure, Enjoy

    Thanks for Midlands Makerspace Athlone for the helping me with Arduino.

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