Something was wrong with the Hypnocube I build earlier, but I couldn't put my fingers on it: Sometimes areas of one colour had some strange shades over them, sometimes too many LEDs seem to be on etc.
The smart people who designed the Hypnocube did put a test pattern as the first fifteen seconds of animations, which can be used for checking when you build it (LIGHT! LIGHT! IT LIGHTS UP!) or when you suspect issues (all red... all green... all blue... wait, one blue missing. And then 64 LEDs showing individually... wait, why are there more on when this row is being shown?).
The symptons were: one LED didn't show the blue colour, and when that square of LEDs was tested, there were strange artifacts (for a better word) in the other squares.
Getting the one LED removed was kind of playing Doctor Bibber (or like the game is known in the English world with the very imaginatative name: Operation) but this time not with a set of tweezers, but with a hot iron which could do more damage to my favourite toy than a drunk chirurg with a blunt scalpel could do. Getting the new LED in was even worse, this time I had to hold the hot legs of the LED to get it stable and cooled down.
But at the end, everything got back in and the self-tests went fine. And my animations are smooth again!
When I talked to the people who made the Hypnocube about the broken LED, they replied with:
Sorry you had problems.Sorry?!? It's half of the fun of self build kits! Try fixing a toy you get from one of these "Made in China" cheapie shops here in Australia and then you will know what "feeling sorry" means.
About a month ago I ordered a kit of the Hypnocube (Things that go blink in the night). Having not touched a soldering iron in say eight years, AU$ 200.- was quite a big amount of money to spend on it, but it was worth it. A nice piece of electronics is now sitting next to the TV.
The score so far:
Little Dirk has managed to watch the test pattern (which shows up when you power it up) about ten times in five minutes, after which I moved it out of his range.
Quotes from family and friends: