Programming guide published and start of shipping!

There were some delay in getting all the Grimlights to Sweden (got them May 17). We have been busy packing and expect to send out to the first backers during this weekend!

In other news, an programming guide has been added in the Guides section, so if you are interested in adding your own lighting effects make sure to check it out!

Also, during production our manufacturer accidently made 4000 Grimlight PCBs non-panelized (what that means is that it not possible to assemble them automatically).

500 PCBs

We haven’t quite figured out how to sell stuff now that the kickstarter is over, but once that is sorted out it will be possible to buy both assembled Grimlights and PCB+battery holder for the DIY feeling. Not sure about the pricing for that DIY kit, but it will be cheaper (per unit) than if you order them yourself from some PCB manufacturer.

Kickstarter almost over, nearing delivery!

The Grimlights produced for the kickstarter is almost through production, so it feels like high time starting to update here again. First a short update about what has been going on since last post here.

  • November 21, Kickstarter launch.
  • December 27, successfully funded!
  • December 29, Kicstarter ended.
  • ~Working with iterating the code and testing~
  • April 13, recieved production samples, verified OK.
  • Expecting delivery of all units during first week of May.

When all Grimlights have arrived in Sweden we will start sending them out to all the backers.

Other things on the timeline is making the code for the Grimlight publicly available, as well as a guide for how to reprogram them. The frequency of updates here should rise quite a bit in the near future!

Kickstarter launch 21 November!

The technical development of Grimlight is pretty much finished, our current work has mostly been with trying to get the word out (the technical challenge is much easier than the marketing one). Now the time has finally come to announce the coming launch of a kickstarter campaign to finance this and make it possible for everyone to get access to Grimlights! November 21 is the date for the kickstarter launch. If you want to be notified, make sure to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on facebook!

Multiple LED settings!

Some more work done on the code, check video.

Now the Grimlight has functionality to change lighting effect. The light is switched on and off by holding a magnet close for a short time. If a magnet is present for about 10 seconds on the other hand it changes effect. Currently three effects are implemented, flickering, steady and pulsing.

The controller remembers current state while in sleep, so it is possible to configure with the effect you want only once (if battery is changed state is lost thought).

Power consumption

tl;dr. Changes done to increase stand-by time, should be about one and a half year before the battery is drained now.

Upon measuring the power consumption behaviour in sleep-mode it looked like there were some room for improvements after changing the code to deal with the issue with the turn on time for the sensor.

In that implementation the behaviour was to wake from sleep, turn on the sensor, do nothing for about 100 ms, check the sensor and finally go back to sleep if no magnet is present. The power consumption during these 100 ms not spent sleeping had large impact on current draw. The average consumption at 3 V was 11.5 µA during one wake-check-sleep cycle.

Changing the code so the behaviour was, wake, activate sensor and then go back to sleep for 64 ms to make sure the sensor has time to be activated improved matters some but not much. On a hunch we tried removing the decoupling capacitor (100 nF) for the hall sensor, removing this had a huge impact. It seems that during each cycle the capacitor was charged and discharged wasting power.

Removing the capacitor didn’t seem to affect stability. That change together with putting the MCU in sleep instead of just waiting brought the stand-by power consumption down to about 1.5 µA!

Also, see the Sample gallery for new images!