Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
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The 'Circus/Cyr Wheel' Category

LED Cyr Wheel History

I figure it might be interesting to share my knowledge of how LED cyr wheels came about and the history of them. I may have gotten some dates and people wrong, so please feel free to correct me if anything isn’t correct or I’m missing something. [email: corbin @ corbinstreehouse ] As soon as I started doing cyr wheel I figured it would be awesome to make a fire cyr wheel and an LED cyr wheel. I never got into fire…but I did experiment with LEDs.  The first person I know of to have an LED cyr wheel is Sam... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Geometric Patterns

LED Cyr Wheel v3: More photos

Spinning cyr wheel with my buddy mario.   0.4s exposure, f/2.8, ISO 100, and a light focused on me:     1/8s exposure, f/2.8 ISO100:          

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Text and Faces

Some more experimental pictures I took tonight with my new LED cyr wheel (version three!): Original source image that I’m playing on the wheel: The wheel has 806 pixels on each side, and the bitmap is 300 pixels wide, which is less than half the width of the wheel. Now I realize I need to keep the image width way less than this to be able to read text really well.   The next one is quite simple, and I just think it is funny! Source image:    I was curious about more detailed images. They are hard to see... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Test Video

Cyr Wheel App: Timeline improvements

Some improvements to the LED cyr wheel app! I am working on adding time codes to my timeline so I can more easily see the scale of things. Next will be at timeline marker, and then I need to figure out how to read some music formats and display the scale.

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Initial photos

The LED Cyr Wheel v3 is alive! A few initial pictures that I took with the help of my friend Mark from down the road. I need to do some more work on the wheel, as the voltage regulator is dying.           

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Rolling in time lapse

I finally edited some footage I have of me rolling my LED cyr wheel. Here it is!

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Custom app to control the wheel

I needed a good way to control my new LED Cyr Wheel (v3). I previously had an app that would allow me to generate a pattern sequence. I’ve been expanding on it and created an updated look for it.  The app sort of works like any video editing app. You drag items from the table on the left to the timeline on the bottom. Items can easily be adjusted via drag and drop or dragging to resize an item.  The compliment part to this is to dynamically control the wheel via Bluetooth LE. I can connect to the wheel and... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Expoy

Okay…the wheel is coming along! I haven’t posted a while — my internet was working poorly, and last weekend I went to Sedona (more on that in another post).   Notes to myself: Using the silicon 20 gauge wire for power, and 22 gauge wire for data/clock seem to work pretty well. Non-silicon melts the plastic covering when I solder, making it a pain in the ass to use.  Tap into the 5v power rail wires on the inside and pull out the wires through my hole: \\\\ I need a better battery situation. My main battery has a pretty... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Routed tubing..

The LED Cyr Wheel moves along slowly! I screwed this little thing to my table so I could route the tubing. I used my same routing jig as last time:   Chips in a little holder: Two pieces with LEDs: Moving the camera quickly to see a quick POV image test:

LED Cyr Wheel V3:Jig, and the circle

My drilling/tapping jig to hold the wheel steady while I drill and tap the inserts:   I put a coat of paste wax on the inserts to make them slide easily: All the pieces during painting: Cooling rack after powder coating: Skinned and un-skinned pieces together: Detail on my air compressor setup for skinning: I put tape over the other end holes, and block the tube with an insert I made: Completed wheel, before LED’s:

LED Cyr Wheel v3: Notes…on inserts

Okay! I discovered that 1.240” for an insert is too thick. I had to do several passes with a sanding disk to take them down a bit. I’d say 1.230 is more close to the accurate value; or maybe 1.235”. Somewhere around there.  The inserts are now all done, and drilled and tapped. I made nice jig for it (Pictures coming soon). I did a quick test spin in it, and this wheel’s inner diameter is my height + 3” + 3/16”x2 (for the tubing thickness), and it feels a bit big. But I’m used to spinning ons smaller wheels,... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel v3: “rolling” the wheel

Fresh rolled wheel:   Marking off the circumference with a flexible tape measure: After cutting it into a 5 piece wheel: Some of the curves where a little under-bent, so I rolled a few through the bender again to get them aligned a little more to the template. Turning the 3/16” sidewall steel inserts (1.25” OD) down a bit. I went to 1.240”. I’ll see how well that works tomorrow…   .. the ’40 ford is watching me.    

LED Cyr Wheel v3: “Making Donuts”

“Making Donuts” is Bill Roberts, a “Cyr Smith” [term coined by Jesse], says when rolling cyr wheels.  So, I’m “making donuts” right now for my next wheel. This started by fixing up my harbor Freight rolling bender (it was already moved with the SWAG offload touch ups). The center bearing died when i last used it — too much pressure and rolling too quickly.  I also worked harder at aligning everything, and bolted it down outside: \\\ These pictures are more for me to just remember what I did:

LED Cyr Wheel v3: boards arrived

My boards arrived from OSH Park today. This will combine all the necessary cool stuff:   A few days ago I got my new LEDs (144 per meter). A month or so ago I ordered some more at 60 per meter, and decided to step it up for this next wheel! I got them direct from China via aliexpress.

LED Cyr Wheel v3 is in the works.

I’ve been obsessed with making another LED cyr wheel that has improvements over my last one: Persistence of Vision (POV), better pattern sequence creation, and Bluetooth LE support.  I’m currently working on a PCB that connects all the bits together. I made one of these PCB’s last year that worked, but was with my prior design using Wifi. The wifi connection was neat, but too slow; latency for connection was just unbearable, and the chip couldn’t create an ad-hoc network, requiring you to make it join a network in some way beforehand (i.e.: credentials stored on the SD card).  ts 

New domain for cyr wheel stuff!

I now have that redirects to my Circus/Cyr Wheel blog section. Cool!

Cyr Wheel Tutorials – “The List”

Here is the start of a list of some Cyr Wheel Tutorial videos; many are by other people (ton’s by Mitch!), so I don’t take credit for the videos. As a reminder, here is info on where to buy a cyr wheel.  Also, my list my become out of date. Be sure to check out Mitch’s Cyr Wheel Tutorials Playlist on YouTube.  Beginner Moves and Starts   Basic Waltz – by Mitch / freedomcaller    Developing your waltz and early coin exercises – by Kris Madden   Getting Started with the Skate Start – by Sam Tribble   Wheel to Toe... [read more]

LED cyr wheel (v2) repair

A bit over a year ago I started using my LED Cyr wheel v2. This version has LEDs embedded on the sides in epoxy, and it had been working pretty great until a show last night. One section of the wheel I didn’t use ExpoCast 690. I had some trouble with the first section I did, and thought I’d try the other (cheaper) expo that I had. It also was just a difficult to work with, so I ended up using ExpoCast on everything else. But that one section that has the other expo developed cracks, which I’ve known about... [read more]

Cyr Wheel Tutorials: Walkthrough manipulation

Learn some cyr wheel manipulations when you are tired of spinning or get dizzy :) I go through some of the basics on how to do this trick. Be careful! One of the first times I tried this I walked right into the wheel and it hit my face really hard; my tooth poked a hole through my lip and I had to get stitches on both sides!

Cyr Wheel Tutorials: Rock start to waltz

Cyr Wheel / Roue Cyr Tutorials: Rock start or side to side start, to waltz Here is another intermediate to advanced trick that took me a while to get. Really it was all about doing one particular motion that allowed me to finally get this trick. How to do this trick: First, be very confident with the normal “rock”. A rock is a left to right through where you don’t do any spinning; just rocking. The rock is a motion where you are transferring weight from one foot to another. Most the action is done with your feet, and very... [read more]

Cyr Wheel Tutorial: Superman

Here is a video tutorial on how to do the Superman move in a cyr wheel (roue cyr). This trick took me a long time to learn, and I’m still not perfect at it. Eventually I’d like to learn to “waltz” while in the superman. In the tutorial, I spin to the left — which is leading with my left hand, or counter-clockwise when viewed from above. I find it much easier to refer to specific hands and legs; if you spin to the right, reverse what I say. A normal waltz is from left foot down to right foot... [read more]

LED Cyr Wheel on Stage

Some pictures of my work with Velocity Circus at an event for UCSF Photos by Hiromi Yoshida, Courtesy of Gregangelo & Velocity Arts & Entertainment

Photography: LED Cyr Wheel v2 Self Portraits

Self Portraits, Corbin Dunn, LED Cyr Wheel v2, September 11, 2014. Canon 5d, a timer of 10 exposures manually set for a specific aperture and shutter speed. Man Silhouette Pattern Test Single Pattern Test

Fire LED Cyr Wheel Pattern

I took some demo code and modified it to do a fire pattern in the cyr wheel:

Angular Velocity in cyr wheel

This is a plot of the angular velocity vector when spinning in my cyr wheel. I took the gyro x/y/z value and created a vector (squared each value, added them, and took the square root). The downward start was from back spin “wind up” hat I did. I then increased velocity to a high speed, and you can clearly see when I give it an extra “umph” each revolution around. It was probably about 7 revs I did in the wheel. Values are (apparently) degrees per second. So, I spin about 1.5 times every second.

Accelerometer woes

I have a accelerometer/gyro/compass combo in my wheel LSM303DHLHC, data sheet: found via Pololu’s link: It has been tough to figure out consistent data. First of all, I realized the compass has to be calibrated. There is a sample app included with the LSM303 Adruino code called “Calibrate”. It just reads the compass/magnet data a keeps a running max and min value of what it sees. First off, I kept getting strange values out of it; specifically -4096. I later learned from the Polo website that this is an overflow condition in the chip and it is documented... [read more]

How to make a cyr wheel: Insert detail

Here’s some details on my cyr wheel inserts that I make (aka: roue cyr):

LED Cyr Wheel: compass/accelerometer

The next step for my project is to add 3d position support by determining what angle and how fast the wheel is spinning at any given moment. The chip is in the wheel; I just need to interpret the data. I initially bought the LSM303D 3D Compass and Accelerometer Carrier with Voltage Regulator from Pololu ($15). However, I learned the LSM303D is just a compass, and gyro data is needed to determine pitch and yaw. So I bought a $20 MinIMU-9 v2 Gyro, Accelerometer and Compass from Pololu (well, two, in case I screw one up — and the price... [read more]

(c) 2008-2017 Corbin Dunn

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