Monopoly in Lights

Enriching the Electric Company

The Gathering (of Materials)

This will be an ongoing process, acquiring all the stuff needed to make this project a reality.  I’m actually back-dating a few of these posts as I’m starting the documentation process, so I may have skipped a few steps here and there.  Anyway, here’s some of the stuff that’s already come together to start making this happen.

  • Acrylic, and lots of it!  Turns out a local plastics supplier, Regal Plastics, has a scrap pile.  You can go rummage around and get their leftovers for cheap.  I picked up a variety of different plastics including opaque black, translucent white, and transparent clear for about $8.00.  Hopefully I have enough for what I need to do, but even if not, it gives me lots of material to test with and decide what will work best.
  • Acrylic solvent adhesive.  Wanted to get Weld-on from the plastic supply house, but they were out of applicators.  I ended up getting some adhesive from a local hobby shop instead.  Either way, the stuff actually causes the two acrylic pieces to fuse together into one, giving a nice strong joint.
  • RGB LEDs.  Got a few packs from eBay.  Probably have more of these than I need, but wanted to have spares and extras in case my plan of one LED per space turned out to be infeasible.
  • White LEDs.  No sense in wasting an RGB LED on a section of the board that has a native color, like the property bars or the In Jail section.  Just light those with a simple white LED and move on with life.
  • Netduino microcontroller board.  I’ve done raw PIC programming before and played with an Arduino a bit, and this time I’m going to try something different.  A coworker was doing a project with this, but realized he needed a more powerful board, so I got this from him at a discount.  May as well see if it’ll do the job I want!
  • Two line LCD display.  Rather than have a huge switch bank, we want to reduce the number of controls needed for this.  To do that, we’ll need to provide user feedback about what those controls are doing.  Two lines of LCD display seem to be quite sufficient for my purposes.
  • Lots of miscellaneous electronics parts.  I’ve been projecting for a while now, so there’s lots and lots of goodies in my bins already.  Many of them should be useful in this process.

I also have picked up a couple of plastic-specific saw blades for my table saw and miter saw.  They’ve worked reasonably well so far, but I’m hoping that I’ll learn even more about how to best use them to get nice, solid, clean cuts in this material.  The less sanding and edge-polishing I have to do, the better.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Construction, Electronics, Microcontroller | Comments Off on The Gathering (of Materials)