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March 18, 2014 AT 8:00 am

Disorient Pyramid #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

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BeagleBone Black project spotlight:
Disorient Pyramid by Tara Stratton

When you think of Pyramids in the middle of the desert, you think of Egypt—not Nevada. The Disorient Pyramid, which was on display at Burning Man 2013 this year in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, is changing all that.

This year at Burning Man, the Disorient Camp hosted a 23-foot tall pyramid with more than half a kilometer of LED strips. Several artists, including Disorient founder Leo Villareal and Fresno Idea Works’ Jacob Joaquin, designed patterns for the panel. Designs included the double helix of DNA, wiggling snakes and abstract patterns. The pyramid could be seen from almost everywhere on the playa, helping people find the camp and making it a popular place to gather.

A Sitara-based BeagleBone Black open-source computer running LEDscape drove each face of the pyramid, slicing the images into individual panels. BeagleBone Black then sent each piece to four Teensy 3.0 USB development boards, which drove eight LED strips on each panel.

A Toughbook ran the pyramidTransmitter code, which rendered the animation frames to 24-bit bitmaps and sent them to the network via USD.

The pyramid’s tall panels were powered by 5V 40a power supplies, and the smaller panels were powered by 5V 30A power supplies. The heat and dust caused several of the power supplies to fail, leading the team to do some ad hoc maintenance during Burning Man. Nevertheless, the Disorient Pyramid and its 16,000 LEDs gave quite a show during Burning Man!

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BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!


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