Real wood LED fire log using Arduino esplora. Press top button for Image mode. Right button for fire effect mode.
Image mode reads 4x16 pixel BMP image from SD card and sets led color.
Fire effect mode sets a slow Red, Orange, Yellow fire.
Step 1: Drill 4 Holes in Log.
Find a decent sized log. Measure a 5" x 12" rectangle and cut a line. Go 1/4" inside the rectangle and cut another line. This will give you a pattern to go by for the plexiglass and have a lip for it to set on. Drill 4 holes in the corners of the inside rectangle so it will give you room to cut along the inside line.
Step 2: Make Cuts to Log
Cut along the inside line and set the cut piece aside. You'll need it later. Now, take a small cutting tool I used a dremel with a wood cutting bit and cut the outside line 1/4" deep at the lowest point. Use a straight edge and draw a line on the inside of the hole were you'll make the cut for the lip that the plexiglass will sit on.
Step 3: Hack and Burn!
Okay now take the chunk of wood you cut out earlier. Cut the bark side about 1/4" thick and in small odd shaped pieces. I cut slivers of wood to trim the edges, as to hide the lip under the plexiglass as much as possible. Lay the 5"x12" plexiglass in top of log and fit small pieces to your liking. Keep some gaps between each piece so the lighting can shine through. Up next we will burn the wood to give it that fresh from the fireplace look.
Step 4: And Burn
Now we have a cut log and little chunks of wood. Take a torch and a pair of pliers and (I can't stress this enough) a spray bottle of water. Grip the chunks of wood with the pliers and burn thoroughly burn it. Also burn the log top and sides. (careful not to burn yourself or your workshop).
Step 5: Glue the Plexiglass to the Log, Not Your Fingers.
Take hot glue gun and put a dab of glue in corners of log and press plexiglass onto the log, hold for a few seconds. Now put a thin bead of glue around edge of plexiglass to seal it for epoxy application later. (I tried to show this in the pictures but it's hard to tell).
Step 6: Glue Chunks to Plexiglass
Hopefully at this point you have kept track of where the chunks will sit. If not do like I did and wing it. Put a dab of hot glue under a chunk, place chunk on plexiglass. Repeat till desired finish. At this point it doesn't look like much but wait.
Step 7: LED Time Parts List
I recommend getting the adafruit Neopixel RGB LED strip. You can go your own route. The other thing I bought or found. Bread board, 5v 10A switching power supply, female DC adapter with (2.1mm jack to screw terminal), 1000 uF capacitor, 400 _600 ohm resistor, Arduino Esplora, mini molex plug, and 22 awg wire.
Step 8: Glue and Solder.
I forgot to take pictures of steps so I'll explain. Cut the pixels strips into 4 pieces of 16 led's. Hot glue the strips to a strong surface. I used a 5"x12" plexiglass. Solder a green wire, in this order (arduino to Din, 1st strip) ->(1st strip Do to 2nd strip Din)->(2nd strip Do to 3rd strip Din)->(3rd strip Do to 4th strip Din). Solder the 5v and ground to one side of the strips. Hot glue wires to plexiglass for stability.
This is the files I created for image. It is a form of bitmap image (sort of) but it works with the Arduino code written for the fire log. Basically it is a series of RGB values separated by a ','
Video of the Log working.