I reworked the Westchester Gaming Group web site at westchestergaming.org with a new responsive WordPress theme. The first step of creating a responsive version the original theme is complete and I am working with some WGG members to determine what new features to add to the site. Below are some before and after pictures of the site.
It’s 2016 and the Dragongears WordPress theme is in desperate need of an update, at the very least to make it more responsive and easier it use on mobile devices. A while back I played around with switching out the animated GIF gears in the dragongears.com logo with CSS3 animations as part of that update. It came out well, but still needs some tweaking.
Last Thanksgiving we went to visit my sister and her family in the Los Angeles area. While we were there we went to GameHäus, a board game café that some friends from my old LA gaming group opened a little over a year ago. A small cover charge gets you in and where you can play games all day. They have about 1000 titles to choose from or you can bring your own. They also have a food and drink menu with the best pie you will ever eat.
(From left to right) Hannah, Lia, Mac, Pauline, Nico and me
When you pay the cover charge you are given a sticker to wear to show that you paid for the day. After our day of gaming and pie eating, I hung onto our stickers because I wanted a memento of our visit. To turn them into something more permanent I mounted them on adhesive magnetic sheets I bought at an art supply store. The adhesive on the back of the stickers wasn’t as sticky as it was originally after picking up lint from having been on our clothes so the adhesive on the magnetic sheets helped create a secure bond between the sticker and the magnetic sheet. It was just a matter of cutting the magnetic sheet into squares that were just a little larger than the sticker, placing the sticker on the adhesive side of the sheet, then using a metal ruler and hobby knife to trim off the excess magnetic sheet.
The newly-made magnets
The completed magnet on our refrigerator
Sometime in the weeks leading up to Halloween I came across a fun blog post called “Spooky motion-sensitive Halloween eyes” which detailed the construction of a pair of Arduino controlled LED matrix animated eyes connected to a motion sensor that changed the color and demeanor of the eyes from “good” to “evil” whenever it sensed movement.
I liked the evil blinking red eyes but didn’t have a need for the motion sensor or the eye changing effect. I also didn’t have any of the Adafruit bi-color LED matrices on hand, but I did have a couple of red LED matrices from Fried Circuits, which suited my needs perfectly.
So, here’s my version of the LED matrix evil eyes. I took the original code, stripped out the code for the “good” eyes and the motion sensor and changed it to use the Fried Circuits MAX7219 display driver IC based LED matrix boards. The code is available on GitHub at github.com/dragongears/LED-Matrix-Evil-Eyes.
I used a small female header to put some space between the two eyes. I didn’t have a 5 pin header in my parts chest so I used a 6 pin header and just let the extra pin hang out. I connected the controller board with some short pieces of wire to help get it out of the way and make it less noticeable in the dark.
TODO: Break out the graphics functions into their own library.
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