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Would it surprise you to learn that you can get a pretty good idea of which waveform is being used on a Channel from watching how the Remote LEDs behave at low frequencies?

For all of the examples I’ve already shown you, we used a square wave. With a square, the power is always constant at positive and negative polarities, and the change from positive to negative is almost instantaneous.

However, exactly the same positive-to-negative switching principles apply to all the waveforms in Spooky2, and at low frequencies, you’ll be able to see that the changes in brightness of both LEDs reflect the actual shape of the waveform.

Let’s go back to some of the original waveform graphics to explain what happens:

Here’s what happens with a 1Hz sine wave:

A: positive amplitude ramps up, so the left LED gets progressively brighter.
B: amplitude has reached its high point, so the left LED is at its brightest.
C: amplitude falls, so the LED dims and goes out, while the right LED starts to brighten.
D: negative amplitude reaches its high point, so the right LED is at its brighest. E: amplitude once again starts to go positive, so the right LED starts to dim.

Here’s an inverse sawtooth waveform, also at 1Hz:

A: positive amplitude falls at a constant rate, so the left LED slowly dims.
B: amplitude passes through 0, the left LED goes out and the right one comes on.
C: negative amplitude increases at a constant rate, so the right LED slowly brightens.
D: amplitude rises through 0 to peak positive, so the right LED goes out, and the left one immediately brightens fully.

Let’s take a look at the 1 Hz damped sinusoidal:

A: amplitude is at peak, so the left LED is fully lit. As amplitude ramps down, the LED dims and goes out, and the right LED comes on dimly and starts to brighten.
B: amplitude falls away with 12 internal rises and falls passing from positive to negative through 0. So each LED will brighten and dim 12 times in succession, and the brightness ramps up and down gradually. With a damped square, the LEDs wouldn’t ramp up and down – they’d simply switch on and off alternately.
C: at this point, both LEDs are very dimly lit because of the low amplitudes.  Finally, the amplitude returns to peak positive to start the cycle all over again.

By now, you should be able to predict LED behavior when Spooky Remote is fed a 1Hz H-Bomb square:

A: amplitude is at 0, so neither LED is lit.
B: amplitude rises to peak positive level, then falls through 0 to peak negative level. This means that the left LED will light fully, then go out as the right LED illuminates fully.
C: amplitude rises and proceeds through six smaller internal switches. So each LED switches six times in succession, but not to the same intensity of brightness as the first peak. With an H-Bomb sinusoidal, the LEDs will dim and brighten gradually rather than switch.
D: Step B is repeated.
E: amplitude returns to 0, so both LEDs go out.

Finally, before we move on, there’s one very important thing you will have realised from reading all the foregoing: The Spooky Remote LEDs are powered and controlled by frequency, waveform, and amplitude.

If Spooky2 is not sending a Program to instruct your generator to create these, the Remote will naturally receive none of them. So neither one of the Remote LEDs can possibly light up.

Now you, too, have “The Knowledge.”

You should experiment for yourself with the various waveforms and very low frequencies at different amplitudes so you can see for yourself the different results they produce in various combinations.

With a little practice and patience, you can learn to use the Remote’s LEDs as a useful tool rather than simply a way to  answer today’s burning technical question:

“Is this thing on?”

Authored By David Bourke

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