To summarize the general framework for our approach, we:
- Acquired and put together a relay kit that would make it possible to link two 120-Volt fluorescent bulbs to an Arduino board that only supports 5 Volts. (It took lots of soldering prowess to put together!)
- Spliced an extension chord so that we’d only need one cable for both bulbs, and connected power and ground through each socket.
- Connected the relays to the Arduino board using the 5V power pin, ground pin, and digital pins for each of the bulbs.
- Connected 4 LEDs to the Arduino via a breadboard to create a visual affordance for how long each session lasts and progress in time.
Here are a few articles that we used for reference:
- Tutorial on splicing a relay into a lamp cord and connecting this to an Arduino: http://www.glacialwanderer.com/hobbyrobotics/?p=9
- Further discussion on the Arduino forums about the relay: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=125257.0
- Beefcake relay kit that we used: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11042
- A more expensive but safer relay kit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/268?gclid=CP3r_6HiqroCFUGd4Aod038AIA
- Eric’s tutorial on relays: http://teaching.ericforman.com/5v-spdt-relay/
- Sparkfun tutorial: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/119
Here are the steps we took to create its zenny look and feel:
- Planned, measured and cut the main pieces of out medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
- Mitered the joints to bevel them together for a smooth fit
- Cut out the frame and the acryllic sheet with a laser printer
- Attached the pieces together with wood glue
- Secured the wiring to the bottom triangle, making sure that the bottoms of each relay did not make contact with anything conductive
- Sanded the acrylic sheet for a soft, muted feel
- Traced a zenny vector image in Adobe Illustrator
- Cut out the image out of vinyl with a laser printer
- Applied the image to the acrylic sheet
- Fit the acrylic sheet inside the frame window