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Tips & Tricks: Sequencer

sequencer_product

Introducing Sequencer Module!

The sequencer module allows you to connect up to eight output modules and control them in a sequential pattern. Now you can add event timing to projects for more complicated interactions.

How it Works

The sequencer module is a sequential pulse module.  It features eight female bitSnap connectors that output a 5V pulse at a rate based on the input signal.  The pulse output moves from one connector to the next and repeats the pattern depending on the mode.

 Modes

IMG_7879

A mode switch selects between an internal and external clock. The internal clock is “speed” mode and the external clock is “step” mode.

The external clock would come from a manual button press etc. or from the pulse Bit.  The rate of the internal clock is determined by the incoming voltage. You can use an input with variable voltage, like the dimmer, to speed it up or slow it doen. The output bitSnap sends a summed output of the clock pulse so every time the sequencer changes steps, a new pulse is sent from the output bitSnap.

A mini rotary switch selects the RUN mode. The modes are Forward, Backward, Pendulum, and Random.  Each step has an indicator LED, labeled 1 through 8.

1. Control the speed of a sequenced output

You can control the speed of the sequence in a couple different ways. In “speed” mode, you can add a variable voltage input (like a dimmer or pressure sensor) before the sequencer. The more voltage you send, the faster it will go.

In “step” mode, you can place a pulse in front of the sequencer. The speed of the pulse will be the speed that the sequencer advances from one BitSnap to the next.

2. Random selection

Combine the timeout (+button) with the sequencer and set the dial to random. The sequencer should be in speed mode and the timeout should be set to on-off. When you press the button to activate the timeout, the sequencer will run until the time is up on the timeout. This will result in various random outputs. You can also do this with just a button (and no timeout).

3. Create awesome light patterns (ie: Cylon helmets).

Connect 8 LEDs and 8 wires to the sequencer BitSnaps. The wires allow you to arrange the LEDs in a straight line. When you set the dial to pendulum, you see the light move back and forth.

photo 1 photo 2 (1)

Also check out our Neon Sequencer Sign project to see how we animated lightwire figures with the same technique.

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4. Sync up two sequencers

Set the first sequencer to speed (or step) mode and the second to step mode. Every time the first sequencer advances, it sends a pulse, which in turn triggers the second sequencer.

5. Automate sequencer patterns with Arduino

Use Arduino to control the speed and pattern of the pulses that propel the sequencer from one step to the next. We did a simple modification to the “blink” code from the Arduino Starter Bundle. The pulses and delays are set to varying times which output a pattern of fast and slow pulses. See the code modification below.

Try editing the “blink” sketch like we did:

void setup(){

pinMode( 5, OUTPUT );
pinMode( A0, INPUT );

}

void loop(){
if( digitalRead(A0) == 1){

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 100 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 100 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 100 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 200 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 200 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 500 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 200 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 500 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 200 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 1000 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 1000 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 500 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 2000 );

digitalWrite( 5, HIGH );
delay( 500 );

digitalWrite( 5, LOW );
delay( 1000 );

}
}

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