Day 10 of Winter of making. I spent almost three hours soldering the Led strips together for the underlighting of the chessboard. I also planned the soldering for the other parts on this development board I made. My friend @fellu-U04FZ5P1E4X went on a skiing trip so the progress on this has been somewhat slower than planned but it will get there. Just not in the 10 days. The LEDs work wonderfully and tomorrow I will be continuing the soldering nightmare. (This time it's mostly trough hole so it should be much easier)
Day 9 of Winter of making. Today I researched Leds. Led strips, led matrixes, led cubes, RGB led gaming keyboards and led coffee mugs... I also set up 1/4 of the led strip for a smart chessboard. Soldering those connectors takes forever. (Maybe I am just doing it wrong). Ooh, and tested some cool effects of course
Day 8 of Winter of Making! Today was a pretty boring to say... A bunch of refactoring and code improvements, nothing that interesting.
Day seven of Winter of making! Today I finished the main UI for the screen. (which is definitely not inspired by an open source cloud)
• Multiple user support
• Really cool chart of played games (although a bit cluttered looking)
• Play online against a Lichess user
• Play against Stockfish
• Simply play against a friend locally
• A toolbox (e.g. LED effects)
Day six of Winter of making. Today I've been coding the software and have made some progress. I created a basic version of the game that you can play using text commands in the terminal.
So you can type in where you want your pieces to go and the system checks to make sure it's a legal move.
It might not sound like a lot, but it's a good start for my project. Next, I'm going to add more features like an AI opponent and a gui for the RPI. I think it could be a bit like the Lichess sidebar with clocks on the bottom and top.
Day 5 of Winter of Making. Today I did a bit of research about chess pieces. Did you know that a single wooden knight can take professionals multiple hours to make.
In my and @fellu-U04FZ5P1E4X’s smart chessboards, under each square, is a magnet hall effect sensor. And the pieces will have magnets on the bottom so the sensors can detect for example that a piece on e2 has been lifted and placed on e4. The sensors cannot distinguish the pieces from each other but it can be assumed that if no other moves have been made the e2 to e4 moved piece is a pawn. then it will be saved to memory and when e4 is moved to e5 it can also be assumed to be the pawn and so on...
The magnets we have are about two centimeters in diameter. I made some prints to get a feel of what size the pieces will be about and to test if gluing the magnets to the bottom of the pieces in an indent is a good idea. Of course the obvious problems with the current design are that the pieces look ugly and the magnets can break pretty easily (they are only one millimeter high). I also considered having the magnets slide in from the side but I'm not sure if that's practical because of the sensors' detection range. That's something we will have to revisit in the future.
Tomorrow I'm thinking I want to finally do some programming.
Today I learned that even though the Arduino nano is standing on top of the pins, they still don't connect. So I set up my soldering station and soldered the pins. Now everything is working wonderfully.
I also got the magnet hall effect sensor working and now detects if a magnet is brought close.
We were first worried that the sensors would detect the magnet from too far but it ended up being the perfect distance. The sensors will be placed under each square of our super-smart chessboards. They will be connected to Arduino nanos through multiplexers. The chess pieces will have magnets on the bottom and that way the board will know where the pieces are.
The Winter holidays have begun and I finally have more spare time to make these chessboards true.
Today I didn't get anything done. I tried to get the magnet hall effect sensor working for three hours and just gave up. I didn't have a 10 kohm resistor so I put together 8 resistors to make about 10 kohms.
Day two of building a super cool chessboard with my friend @fellu-U04FZ5P1E4X. Today we reviewed some ideas on how to support the screen so it doesn't bend and break the screen's pins. After playing around with Fusion and some failed prints, it finally works.
As for the first day of the Winter hardware wonderland, we opened like twenty boxes and Got our Raspberry Pis working. After a bit of struggle, we also managed to get the screens working. They work okay but you have to press hard for the touch screen to register. I guess that's about what you could expect from a 13€ display from Aliexpress... I think we are going to have to design some kind of support for the screen so the pins don't break.