In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to make a poster with an LED light that acts as a tool to strengthen the message by sending a signal to a viewer that relays live data supporting the message. Data isn´t up for interpretation so can be used as a powerful tool for designers to communicate realities to the public. For this demo, data about sexual harassment was used and the LED lights, which were incorporated into the explanation points, flicker in realtime whenever a #MeToo hashtag is posted on Twitter, and also every 98 seconds, which relates to the message/data about the frequency of harassment.
Step 1: You Will Need:
-Computer running Arduino software
-Half-size solderless breadboard
-Breadboard prototyping wires
-1 red diffused 5mm LED
-Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266 board
-Assembled with regular headers
-Micro USB cable (one that carries data not just power)
Also you'll need free accounts to the following sites:
-IFTTT (If This Then That)
Step 2: Software Setup
First, make sure you are connected to your wifi network of choice, you will need internet access to download Arduino libraries and to connect your Huzzah Board. You will also be accessing Adafruit IO and IFTTT websites. Use the link below for step-by-step instructions on setting up the software.
Step 3: Circuit Setup
Use this image as a reference to copy the circuit prototype. You will have to insert the Huzzah board into the breadboard, having the Huzzah's middle bar matching with middle bar of the breadboard. Insert the pushbutton in the same manner. Then you'll have to connect the LED's positive lead (longer) to the breadboard, next to pin 13 on the Huzzah, and plug the negative lead (shorter) into the breadboard's ground bus (anywhere along the blue line).
Step 4: Circuit Setup (cont.) - Wires
First, take a wire and plug it into the breadboard next to the pin GND on the Huzzah board. Take the other end of the wire and plug it anywhere along the ground bus on the breadboard. Take a new wire, and connect it next to the other GND pin on the Huzzah. Like before, take the other end of the wire and plug it anywhere along the ground bus. This establishes a common ground between the two. Finally, take a new, third wire and plug it into the breadboard that goes from the other leg of the pushbutton to pin 4 on the board. The link below takes you to the following lesson on the Instructables website that walks you through the circuit setup process.
Step 5: Internet Interaction
Now, access your Adafruit IO account. Create a feed to be used to record data that will be triggered by Twitter. The reason for this is to track the chosen hashtag every time it is posted and published by Twitter. Adafruit IO will track the feed and receive and record this as data. For this project, the hashtag #meToo was tracked.
Step 6: Create Twitter Applet
Once your feed is up and running, create a Twitter applet from the site IFTTT. This applet searches for the desired hashtag on Twitter and sends the data to the feed on Adafruit IO. The link below takes you to the following Instructables lesson to walk you through creating an IO feed (mentioned on previous step) and an applet on IFTTT.
(See image above for applet setup on Adafruit IO.)
Step 7: Arduino Code
The last step for the wiring of the prototype is the code.
You can copy the code from here!
Open Arduino and paste the code. Edit the code to add your wifi network name, password and Adafruit IO credentials, including your username and key.
Step 8: Interactive Poster
The following steps will walk you through a technique I used for an aesthetic that matched my concept. This is where you can be creative and choose a design and technique that supports your particular message. Remember, this is all about the message! The LED and data only support and strengthen what you are already saying. Also, LED placement is important and should add to the concept.
Step 9: You Will Need:
-Wooden canvas (16"x20")
-Primer, white and black spray paint
-Stencil or vinyl print, in this case
-Circuit prototypes (shown above), with the two Arduino code examples, #MeToo and 98 seconds, uploaded respectively to the Huzzah board and Arduino Uno.
-Nails or double-sided tape
-Soldering iron and lead
-150 ohm resistor x2
-Red 10mm diffused LED x2
-Long breadboard wires
-Rechargeable battery x2
Step 10: Statement Part 1
Prep the wooden canvases with spray paint in order to give them a background color. Choose a color that will contrast the color you are writing your text with. Since the wood is porous, make sure to use a primer. After the primer dries, apply the main background color using thin strokes of paint in multiple layers, otherwise the paint will drip.
Step 11: Statement Part 2
For this project, I created a stencil template in Illustrator and printed it as a giant vinyl sticker. The text was cut out from the vinyl, and ready for usage a ´knockout text´. (You can also buy a stencil alphabet and manually do each letter.) Be careful when peeling the vinyl sticker off the original backing, especially for letters like M and A. The tiny pieces of these letter can easily rip.
Step 12: Statement Part 3
Once you're happy with the vinyl and text placement on the canvases, drill a hole into the points of the explanation marks. Here is where you will insert the LED lights (from behind). It is easier to drill the holes exactly where the points are as seen on the vinyl, because once you remove it, you will have to guess where they should go.
Spray paint your message using a contrasting paint color over the vinyl stickers. I used black on white, and white on black for my posters. Use the same spray paint technique as before; slow thin layers.
Step 13: Soldering
Solder resistors and longer wires onto the LEDs, so they can be easily mounted on the circuit and to the back of the canvases. The lights should poke through the canvases onto the message side of the canvas (see last image.)
To do this, solder a resistor on the negative (short) lead of the LED. Use a long Arduino breadboard wire to cut one end off, strip it, and solder it onto the resistor. Repeat with another breadboard wire, soldering it onto the positive (longer) lead on the LED. Cover the LED leads with a heat-shrink tube to avoid them from touching (otherwise, this could result in a cut circuit.)
Step 14: Electronics Mounting
Put the LEDs in place, and stick the Arduino boards and breadboards onto the back of the canvases. Swap the USB cables used to connect both boards to your computer for the rechargeable batteries and their wires. To mount everything to the back of the posters, I recommend using strong tape or double-sided tape.
Now that your poster is finalized, place it in an environment for context and circulation. This strengthens the message and allows for the design to impact people, which was the point of the project in the first place!