New 5mof Podium

FIgured I’d post this here so others can ogle it.

You may be wondering “what jackass took the cool noisebridge logo off of the TypeA Machines podium???”

That jackass is me. I did it. WIth a screw gun and everything. I also originally installed it back in 2015. A few days after that I tried using some sillicone putty to glue some diffuser panels onto the sides, got one installed, then decided it was ugly and I gave up for 4 years, which leads me to today.


I’ll be re-adding some cool LEDs behind it as well, but this time driven by a Particle Photon. I’ll try and have it support the FlaschenTaschen protocol if I can work it into my rendering engine, and include some more LEDs and a sound element to become a reliable 5 minute timer for 5mof presentations. In this future world where we have a 5mof podium, I’ll be installing some old arcade machine buttons I’ve had kicking around my workshop. They light up and also have a satisfying click! I’ll be working out how to order a palette of plywood for the laser cutter with NB funds and once that arrives, I’ll start assembling this together in earnest.

What I don’t have figured out yet is what the 5 minute timer display would look like to the presenter themselves. A tiny LCD feels like a lot of work when I could just put a strip of LEDs on the podium that someone can see, hidden behind a small hood so the audience doesn’t get distracted by them. Maybe a third revision would include a knob with which you can adjust the timer to be something other than 5 minutes.


Hey! I made some progress!!

Next step is replacing the Arduino with a particle photon and flashing it with my rendering engine.

@rando had a really kickass idea: DMX control. So I ordered some sockets and will work on that at some point too.


Nice and neat looking. I’ll have to fixup the rest of the DMX lights; replace the loud fans.

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Earlier this month I replaced the controller with a Particle Photon and wired it up to the 'net. If you plug it in, it should boot up and run, but my console tells me it’s been unplugged since 7:30pm on the 22nd.

The code has the following features:

  • Set the animation hue
  • Rotate between three different animations
  • Show a loading animation while it is being reflashed via the network
  • Power management to modulate amperage draw (statically compiled, unfortunately)
  • Stores various settings in EEPROM

There’s a billion devices on the local network. Which ones should this thing talk to and for what purpose?

I don’t have DMX wired up because I bought the wrong connectors (XLR 3 pin, not DMX 5 pin). But since I have XLR connectors, I’ll probably install a grab mic on the podium itself so then we have one more piece of hardware that won’t grow legs and walk off; just plug in the podium and voila~. Unclear if it would be appropriate to use phantom power to drive the board and lights, which would make it so we only need to plug in exactly one line. Not sure what amps are available.

Code-wise, I’m working on adding FlaschenTaschen protocol support to it. Untested DMX code is present and running but without a DMX socket I can’t really test it. This device is based on a rendering engine I’ve been developing on and off for a few years which I’m now starting to break out into its own library, and both pieces will end up in github.

I think I still have enough RAM on the chip to add in arcade cabinet control buttons to drive a 5 minute countdown display on the FlaschenTaschen for a magic 5mof-in-a-podium setup, but one feature at a time.

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