I’ve been struggling for a little while in getting lights and sounds working together on my Arduino. Finally, after issues with the code editor and then the board itself, last night I had a sound playing and some LEDs fading. Like so:

Of course, the first sound I used was the theme. Then I switched to a Bridge ambient sound.

My next step is to use the button to toggle which LED lights up. Once I have that, I have a way of switching states.

Lighting areas

Navigation beacons

The Enterprise has four navigation lights (hehe) on the saucer. Two above, two below. Red on the port side, right on the starboard. These flash, although the frequency and duration of the flash intervals seems open to interpretation.

The clip on the left shows a long interval and a short flash. The clip from the restored Smithsonian museum model, however, has a long “on” time and a very brief interval.

Bussard Collectors

Using the same Netflix clip, it seems there are 10 individual coloured lights within each collector. These flash on and off at different random rates. So far as I can tell, it looks a little like this:

Planning the lights

Now, this leaves me with two questions:

  1. Will 10 LEDs fit on the small plastic disc that fits just inside the nacelle?
  2. How can I get it to flicker, each light randomly, by using as few Arduino pins as possible?
  3. How do I get the dome itself to be the burnt orange colour while allowing these colours to show through, diffused?

I’ve built a quick prototype by drilling some holes for LEDs into a bottle cap.

The bottle caps are frosted transparent, which gives a nice diffuse glow through. I might end up using something similar for the final effect.

Next step is to work out the random fading for each bulb. Now, do I do a spinning rotor on top? If so, how?

Warp and Deflector lights

I really like the concepts I’ve seen with blue lit warp engine grills and deflector dish. Which means I really want a cool startup fade. This will roll out across all the windows too, taking inspiration from the startup sequence from The Motion Picture.

These blue lights won’t loop.

Overall Progress

It’s coming together slowly but surely.