Functioning Unit

This week Mark was able to get one of the Solari units working, using basic keyboard commands. For obvious reasons this is a major step in terms of progress, not least because it’s probably the first time any of the Mirabel Solari units have actually run since the passenger terminal closed in 2004. And it’s certainly the first time any of the MSP’s units have worked since the initial acquisition in 2014.

In order to give us maximum flexibility in terms of display, Mark has figured out how to ensure that we can control the following parameters:

– Flapping speed
– Going directly to the next letter/number or to a blank first
– Setting one letter/number at a time, or the whole row at once
– Remaining stationary if the next letter/number is the same

This will have a direct effect on how expressive the displays can be. (In usability terms, it improves their affordances.)

Meanwhile, Danica and Matt are working on replacements for a few missing split-flaps. It’s amazing what you can find in a local stationery store in terms of raw materials. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Functioning Unit”

  1. What an exciting project! Thank you for taking the time to record and share your experiences. I’m still very enamored by split-flap displays and hope to one day get my hands on some real ones. In the meantime, I’m inspired to finish the documentation on the ones we created for the Dearly Departures. Best of luck!

    1. Hi Myron! Great to hear from you, and congrats on Dearly Departures. Those homegrown split-flaps look awesome. Do let us know when the extra documentation is online. Best, Matt

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