Simulated Thunderstorm

This is my demo of Lab 3 for Georgia Tech’s ECE 4180 Embedded Design Course with Professor Hamblen.

It is a simulated thunderstorm using randomized flashing LEDs and the Shiftbrite. The sound effect is selected at random from a bank of them on an SD card and played through a sound jack to external speakers. A uLCD displays a screen saver like effect of rolling clouds. A potentiometer controls the storm intensity or the average of randomized durations between lightning “strikes”. This change is also reflected on the uLCD in real time.

The whole system is powered by the ARM mbed and it is actually using the official RTOS to coordinate everything. It would be a monster of a problem to try to handle all the peripherals without it.

I would like to work on improving the sound quality. Currently it is limited to 16bit PCM wav files at 16 Khz. A bassier speaker would probably be nice as well. The cloud screen saver effect really isn’t that critical for the functioning of it and in a dark room it actually looks better off but I get some extra credit for it :).

The most important thing I would like to add would be a high quality rain sound effect. At that point it would have the potential to actually be relaxing at night especially with some calmer thunder effects. Maybe more of a rolling thunder.