Although I know better than to call any project really ‘finished’, I’ve got my Game of Life array all set up, in a nice frame / enclosure, and with a silly complicated over-engineered way to turn it on and off by remote control.
Not the TV remote control that I had done before… that worked ok was imprecise, didn’t allow for finite control, and was succeptible to interference (spuriously turning on all the time actually.)
What I’ve got is 20 Game of Life kits assembled into a 5 x 4 array. This is roughly 20″ x 16″ in size. It’s mounted inside a wooden enclosure / frame, with a dark green acrylic front panel. The entire display is mounted on a wall in my livingroom.
In addition to the boards all being connected together normally, I’ve tied all their control buttons together so a single signal can turn them all on or off at once. This switching is handled by a PN2222 transistor. The transistor is driven by an Arduino Pro Mini, which in turn receives its commands through an XBee.
The commands originate from my DIY Thermostat across the room, which is now also XBee-equipped, and has some additional code that tells it when to turn the Game of Life on and off. The timing is based on the day of week and time of day, essentially meaning that while I’m home the GoL will be running, and while I’m at work or asleep it will be off.
There’s some code as well which lets me send the on/off commands through the network, which the thermostat relays to the Game of Life. And finally, a push-button on the thermostat can control the Game of Life, should I need/want to manually operate it.
I’ve done a more detailed write-up of the whole thing on my blog.