555 timer lighting controls and a wee bit of silicone casting

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Blog, Etc | No Comments

I am not so confident about my newest project. For one thing, it encompasses a number of unrelated processes, all of which have a failure factor. Mold making, casting, laser cutting, tube bending and of course circuit design.

The concept is that there is a stepped white acrylic base, with stainless steel tubing coming out in all directions like flower stems. The flowers sit atop the stainless steel tubing and are clear silicone castings with LEDs inside them. The LEDs change colors by way of slider switch controls.

I am writing this while listening to my silicone de-gass in the vacuum bell jar. The silicone was manufactured at Silicones Inc. and I am not familiar with it, so I am going to get unexpected results. The silicone is water-clear and Andre, the silicone distributor I use tells me one of his customers made a gigantic bullet (!!) and shone lights through it.
Silicones Inc. was nice enough to send me 12 pounds of sample material, 6 pounds each of XP-536 V22 and V23. Which makes me wonder what the other 21 Versions were like. I’m not even sure if they sell the XP-536 regularly because a batch was mixed in the lab to ship to me.
I’m casting tonight, so in about 30 hours I will know if I like the product or not (30 hour cure time, which is unusually long). UPDATE: LOVE THE SILICONE!!

I spent the day soldering a lighting controller circuit board. No software!
The circuit has 9 slider switches, 15 LEDs, 3 555 timers and 3 556 timers (2 555s in one package). Also a bunch of resistors and capacitors.
Here’s the schematic in Google docs format
Email me if you want a better copy.

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