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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creating The Game Kase Part 2

Here is what the final Game Kase looks like:

The keyboard comes out from a little slot towards the top between foam.

With the lights turned on. Red glowing fans on the left, and a strip of Red LEDs in the back.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Screen Color Emitter

Here is an idea. It comes from a brand of televisions, I don't remember what it is, but I saw one years ago.  What it would do it get the average color of the screen, and emit that color through some lights behind the screen, lighting up the wall/room that is behind the TV.  I have no clue if this worked, or is even worse then without it, but I think it is a cool idea.

So I am going to try that of course!

I found a sweet RegionGetColor function for Autohotkey, that runs very fast and comes out with a very accurate color.  I then modified my Autohotkey code to send the color I get from that function to the Arduino.  The rest of it I had set up already.  So in theory, now I have it set up, so all of the LEDs on the chain will be the average color of the screen.

I have no clue if this will look good, or just be annoying, but I am excited to see what it does.

A couple other ideas I have with interaction with the LED chain:

  • In a First Person Shooter game, everytime I click to shoot, the LEDs flash white
  • With music playing, do one of those cool color visualizers on the LEDs
  • Show how much my CPU is being used, by simulating a bar on the LEDs
Many cool things could be done with this!

Arduino + LED Chain

I have not gotten the Arduino or LED Chain in the mail yet, but I have begun programming the code. There are two sides to the code, the Arduino side, and the Computer side.

For the Arduino side I have setup some simple methods that wait for serial messages being sent. It then parses them, and turns on the light chain accordingly.  So far I have only written a message that turns the entire chain one color.  Later I will make it so I can address each one individually. Luckily this was pretty easy, as a Library for the LED chain was supplied.

On the computer side I am using AutoHotkey, so I can easily setup hotkeys to turn on/off the LED strip. I also plan to be able to control the colors and such with hotkeys in the future.  I found a good Serial Library for AutoHotkey that uses Windows DLL calls for Serial communication.

I now have successfully written code on both sides, and have Serial communication.  I cannot test to see if the LED chain color is being changed though, as I still do not have it. Soon!


In order to get my computer to communicate with the LED chain, I need a middle man.  So I chose Arduino of course. Specifically I chose this one, as it is nice and small:

With this, I can have my computer send a message to the Arduino, which will then parse it accordingly, then tell the LED chain what to do.

Color Changing LEDs

The next idea I had is that I could set up the LEDs in such a way that I can turn them on or off via my computer! This was an awesome idea, I figured I could setup an AutoHotkey script and be able to setup hotkeys to hit while in game!.

But wait, what about colored LEDs? The LED strip I got is just red, and cannot change colors. So why not get an LED strip that has color changing LEDs!

So I ordered one of these:

Individually Addressable Color Changing LED Chain
This is a LED chain, that each LED can individually have its brightness or color changed. Pretty sweet!  But the next hurdle was, how do I get my computer to communicate with the LED chain?

Light It Up

A couple months ago I had gotten an LED strip for my computer, as I wanted to get some more red light in my case, as it has become a Black/Red color themed case. 

This worked perfectly with the red fans on the side, and this on another side of the case, it looks really cool glowing red.

 But then I noticed a problem. If I play a dark game at night, I need to turn off the light in my room, or else I cannot see the screen very well. But now of course, the bloody screen is glowing bright red, and the LED strip shining perfectly into my eyes. My eyes are nice and adjusted to the dark, but then the bright strip of red adjusts my eyes for that, so then it is very hard to see the screen. For instance, last night I was playing Fallout New Vegas, and I was inside a building that had very low lightning, I could not see many of the items on the ground, and was very often running into walls. I could of adjusted the lighting in the game, but it would of looked washed out. 

So I figured, why don't I find a way to make a little switch to be able to manually turn it off when I don't want it on!

But of course, I couldn't stop there. Why make it only have the ability to turn on, why not make do even color things...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creating The Game Kase Part 1

Info about creating the game kase.
The chassis with only the Power Supply inside

Fans Added
Everything else in place
Fans turned on
EVGA GTX 560 TI just barely fit in
The "tower" finished and hooked up to keyboard and monitor

The Game Kase

Info a about the Game Kase.