Weather Smart Lego Lighthouse
As the father of two sons, I'm required by international law to be into Lego. And of course after my boys lost interest, I had to go on and build 'adult' Lego sets. Not so much required by law, but strongly encouraged by The Lego Group, plc.
So, last Christmas, as a request, I received the Lego Motorized Lighthouse set.
This is, to say the least, an extremely cool, and as the title says, motorized, lighthouse kit. I managed to hold off on finishing the build for 24 WHOLE hours. But once finished, I added batteries, turned on the switch, turned off the lights in the room, and watched the beacon light sweep around the room, with a warm gentle fireplace light showing in the little house. To say I was smitten is to understate the patently obvious.
But then . . . and here come the words that any engineer will tell you are the most dangerous in the world . . . . I got to thinking . . .
- 12/26/2022 - Jay builds the Lego lighthouse kit.
- 12/27/2022 - Jay starts to thinking . . .
- 2/17/2023 - Jay draws a basic function diagram and then goes fracking crazy.
- 3/15/2023 - Jay starts ordering parts
- 3/23/2023 - Prototyping the electronics starts
- 4/15/2023 - Interface to the actual lighthouse electronics
- 4/17/2023 - Building the base box
- 5/4/2023 - Installing elecronics into the base
- 5/6/2023 - The entire thing is working. All that remains is finalizing the finish on the box, adding feet, and deciding whether or not I want to order a large clear plexy cover to go over the lighthouse ($$$)
- 5/31/2023 - I'm calling it finished. No cover for now. I've added feet to the case and left the case unfinished.
For the moment, this is a placeholder until I can add the updates. I've moved very fast on this project, and only a little bit of it is woodworking related. Otherwise it's Lego, electronics, interface design, sound design, and python programming. I'll start with the wish list:
The motorized lighthouse is cool and all . . . but I want it to do more. I made the mistake of, the second night while showing it to my wife, opening my phone, finding a lighthouse sound effects video on Youtube, and played that in the background. Even she got goosebumps. So I wanted it to do more:
- Sound effects . . . obviously
- Timer function to turn it on and off
- A foghorn . . because DUH, obviously.
- Oh, and the foghorn has to turn on when it's foggy out.
- And it has to lose the batteries, so I need it to plug in and run all the time
- And it can't have an attached computer, so I need a way to control the thing
See . . . . nothing much. Just a standalone lighthouse toy that looks, sounds, and acts like a real automated lighthouse with foghorn.
Sounds a bit mad. But ya know what . . .I've BUILT it. And it is AWESOME!
Much more to come.
TBD - I have some more of the project updates to add. After I've done those, I'll add my final thoughts here.