Domestar Lives (With Your Help)!
DomeStar is magical and transportive, offering a unique experience that is at once isolated from and deeply connected to the world around it, offering those who enter it an all-consuming experience of dazzling light, otherworldly sound, and shared experience. It’s simultaneously soothing and energizing, providing both an individual and communal experience. It is a place to dance, a place to find community, or a place to lie down and contemplate.
It is made up of a 31-foot diameter geodesic dome covered with 6400 LEDs and multiple speakers. Each LED is individually controlled by computer; people inside the dome are able to manipulate the light and sound experience using interactivity enabled Nintendo WiiMotes.
We want this journey to continue, but we need your help. DomeStar is remarkably robust, but after years of travel and loving abuse, we need to refurbish the kit and turn it into a bigger, better, brighter dome that's easier to build, transport, and enjoy.
With your help, we will expand the diameter to 31 feet, replace all LEDs, build on last year's aural addition , and enhance the structure. We expect this work to lead to more appearances at more events enjoyed by more people.
Specifically, your donations will fund:
- All new, bigger, sturdier PVC structure
- 40 replacement LED strips
- Black Paint
We love DomeStar. We know you do, too. Help us keep it alive and growing. We'll be eternally grateful.
Thank you for your support and see you at Country Club!
Our MegaHubs config led to our purchase of 1200’ of 1” PVC pipe. We aren’t using all 1200’, but we needed to buy that much in 10’ lengths in order to get the 680’ of custom cut pieces we actually needed. We attempted to minimize waste and expense by sourcing different lengths of PVC, but were ultimately unsuccessful. We could have also minimized waste by shrinking the dome to point where multiple pieces could be cut from one 10’ length, but our overall size is dictated by the length of the LED strips that will hang over the dome.
After cutting the PVC at NYCResistor, we cleared a space to assemble a small test section. That’s when the size of this thing really hit home. The original DomeStar has been successfully erected inside of NYCR, while this one small piece barely even fit. DomeStar2 is big.
Our initial drilling and assembly process was sort of clumsy and complicated, and we quickly came to understand why we should do all of our drilling on site while installing. This will dramatically increase the build time for the first installation, but will dramatically decrease the likelihood that we’ll want to drive the drills into our own skulls at NYCResistor.
On to the blinky bits. After years of abuse and repair, we opted to replace many of DomeStar’s well worn LED strips. For the first time, they’ll be diffused instead of laid bare. DomeStar’s 656’ of LED strips will now be paired with 656’ of white foam tubing. And that’s where we have to give a huge shoutout to Matt Mets and Blinkinlabs. Matt designed the driver software for DomeStar and procured both the LED strips and foam for the project. It’s safe to say that there would be no DomeStar, much less a DomeStar2, without Matt. It’s also safe to say that any fan of DomeStar will absolutely love Blinkinlabs.
So what’s next? The gang is toying with the idea of curving LED strips around the dome instead of running them straight down. The simulator is successfully running in Processing 3. Hours of interactive sound and music are being developed. The crew is assembling this Friday to hack away at new routines. There’s lots of work left to do, but it’s all starting to come together. We can’t wait to build this thing!
Just grab the simulator and library and start coding.
There are 40 LED strips, each with 160 LEDs so the Processing sketch should be at resolution of 40x160. Draw a vertical line and you will light up one entire strip. Draw a horizontal line and you will light the same LED on each strip, forming a circle. The hardest part is thinking about how your sketch will map to the dome.
Send us some code and we will show it at DomeStar's next appearance, with proper attribution and much gratitude.
When we ask for your help, it’s so we can keep doing this for you, for free, for a long time. Be sure that we’re not asking you to foot the bill. We’re just looking for a little help from people who love DomeStar as much as we do. If that describes you, we welcome your help. If it doesn’t, we hope you’ll take a look at what we’ve built, say, “that’s neat”, and maybe pass it along to someone who might find it interesting, too.
Thanks and long live DomeStar!
Keith, We're starting to play with the newer WiiMotes with Motion Plus. These seem to be able to keep up with much more rapid motion and can give us things like angular velocity.. I'm currently trying to turn that into a poi and/or staff interface. I should be able to post a video soon. We're in Brooklyn, if you're ever in town stop by NYC Resistor and we'll show you what we're up to.
Keith - We're going to write about that soon. For now I'll just say that the WiiMotes use bluetooth and there is a lot of software that is helpful in connecting them to OSX. While we've used other tools in the past, we're likely going to use OSCulator going forward. Stay tuned for more.
Eric, I am highly interested in this project! What about the spatial detection of the wiiMote? Are the IR functionalities used? Also, where are you out of? Anywhere near Philly?