Day and Night, Night and Day

Architectural Artwork

New Street Square, London

by Ron Haselden, 2009

The artists concept for this project was to have a neon "fabric" suspended between the two main buildings of the New Street Square development.

The people working in the surrounding offices would then have the opportunity to design there own coloured "fabric" pattern on a laptop and have their design appear in light.

The "fabric" consists of 18 "threads" of coloured neon light. Each "thread" consists of a red, green and blue neon tube housed in single tubular lighting units. Thus each neon unit can be controlled by fading to produce many different colours.

The challenge for Nusoft services was the manufacture and installation of a 54 channel neon fader control system. Design of a PIC18F24J10 based intelligent fader units and Laptop MS C++ MFC based GUI remote control system. Remote connection between the laptop PC and the control panels PC is via a pair of 869Mhz radio modems.

Control System Design

The

main element of the design for the control system was to produce a robust and reliable fader for the neon transformers. As inductive loads neon transformers can be destructive to conventional phase angle controlled lighting dimmers. By using a PIC microprocessor in the design of the Nusoft fader it was possible to archive in software the correct phase angle firing of the units Triac switch. The units software also allowed for control from a PC over an RS485 multidrop bus.

The other main aspect to the control systems design was to produce software for the laptop to allow the users to design their own coloured "fabric".

 

This editor on the laptop also had to link to the control executive running on another PC in the main electrical control panel. The code for both programs was developed using Microsoft's Visual C++ and MFC.

 

The neon faders and control executive PC were housed in the electrical control panel, also designed and constructed by Nusoft.

 

Design of Support Framework

As a part of the project Nusoft was also sub-contracted to produce the detailed design of the stainless steel support structure.

AutoCad Design Drawings

Side Elevation

End Elevation

Tube Joiner

Cable Support

Cross Tie

Cross Connection

HT Crossover

Light Unit Support

Light Unit

The construction and installation of the neon and and steal structure was done the City Neon Sign Co. Ltd.

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