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In my previous SPARK post, I created a program that sends serial port commands via an XBee transceiver to control lights plugged into a modified power strip. It was nice to see this level of functionality, but since this is my last SPARK post, I wanted to add a little pizzazz to the project. The eBox 2300 computer I am using has audio in and audio out. I thought it’d be cool if I had lights flashing in coordination with music. The more lights I have, the cooler the effect. So I grabbed several more of my hacked power strips, added some code to the Windows Embedded program, and had a nice little light show sequenced to flash along to Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.

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The power strips happen to be great project enclosures for my line voltage powered electronics.

Continue on to the SPARK site for video of the flashing light array and more information about hacking power strips for XBee control!

Kipp Bradford

Kipp Bradford is a technology consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer in Engineering at Brown University, where he teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. Kipp is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Make Magazine.


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