DiscoHAT is a small board allowing you to do computer controlled lights, sounds and special effects.
It is an essential building block for making custom light and sound systems. You can easily create your own home disco based on it. It is also usable for small theatre groups, bands or school projects.
With the DiscoHAT you can control DMX equipment and LED strips. It also has interfaces for up to 8 pushbuttons that can be configured to start light and sound sequences. It is programmable in python.
Truly Amazing Remote Disco Interface System
As the first test project I will describe how to make this Truly Amazing Remote Disco Interface System, or just TARDIS for short. We will use all the interfaces on the DiscoHAT. You may get lost in time and space while doing this as it will take lots of time and it will use up a lot of precious space from your apartment.
We need some kind of panel for the buttons. As brushed copper with gold letters is kind of expensive I go with a picture of it instead.
I ordered a 28 x 35.5 cm photo laminated on a wooden frame from a local web shop. It is also easier to keep clean than a plain paper printout.
The next step is to get cool buttons and ws2801 leds from ebay.
I went for 7 blue pushbuttons designed for game cabinets. And of course one large 100mm illuminated BIG RED button that you should never press under any circumstances.
This design has no display, keyboard or mouse. In order to program it I add an USB WiFi dongle. The Raspberry Pi can act as a WiFi access point so you have full control of the lights and music from your mobile phone.
To connect the push buttons we need to cut an Ethernet cable at the middle. You find four cable pairs. Each pair is connected to one push button as seen on the schematics above. The Ethernet cables plug directly into DiscoHAT.
Controlling light and sound
Well, light and sound is what the DiscoHAT is all about. For this minimal project I go with one PAR56 light and a few coloured LEDs. For audio I use the built-in sound socket in the Raspberry Pi.
I would so like to control the unit with a cool remote like this from the BBC shop. Unfortunately it is a bit expensive so I have to sell many DiscoHATs to afford it. Adding an IR LIRC LED to pin 11 would be nice. I can connect it easily to the extension pins of DiscoHAT. The system is then ready to be controlled by a Sonic Screwdriver as well. With a little Python scripting you can tie the commands from a remote to QLC+ buttons.
OMG. The BBC shop had a 20% discount day and I fell for this Lovely Sonic Screwdriver.
- I know, you don't need to say it.