• Tag Archives electronics
  • Arduino Flickering Code

    A number of people have asked me for the code for the Flickering LED for my Steampunk Tesla Cane.

    It’s a modified version of the standard “Fade” Arduino example code. The original code I borrowed appears to have disappeared, but this instructable (not mine) has some “flickering” sample code: that is very similar:

    Flickering Arduino Instructable

    Roughly, you make an array of values (the flicker[] below) and cycle through them. Some versions are far more complex, and generate a pseudo-random number for each step instead of a static set of values.

    int ledPin = 10;
    byte flicker[] = {180, 30, 89, 23, 255, 200, 90, 150, 60, 230, 180, 45, 90};

    void setup()
    pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);

    void loop()
    for(int i=0; i,7; i++)
    analogWrite(ledPin, flicker[i]);


  • TARDIS lantern necklace first look!

    This is a necklace I’m making for a friend. The lantern is a tiny little thing by Tim Holtz that came with an incandescent bulb. I replaced the bulb with a white LED and control the pulsing using an Arduino. I’ll eventually replace the Arduino with an ATTiny and run the whole thing from a 3v button battery.


  • Yet another project…working Pip-Boy!

    I haven’t posted recently due to some medical issues, but I’m itching to get back into things now!

    There is a series of video games called “Fallout” set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the tech is based on 1950s style things, but often with a humorous twist. One of the key features is that some people survived the nuclear war in special “Vaults” (made by Vault-Tec). Each Vault member (called “Vault Dwellers”) wore a wrist computer called a “Pip-Boy” — it had a GPS, stats, giger counter, etc, etc.

    Pip Boy Closeup

    Several people have made them for cosplay, either with an entirely fake screen or using looped video on an ipod Touch. I know that with an Arduino I could control a real usable screen, so that’s the goal!

    It will need:

    1. Light-up LED buttons for the buttons across the bottom of the screen
    2. Working rotary encoders for the wheel on the left side of the screen and the select switch (lower left)
    3. Speaker and mp3 player (playing sound effects and radio stations found in the games)
    4. Screen that works and is programmable!

    I’ve ordered a bunch of stuff for it:

    1. LED tactical buttons that might work (they may be too small)
    2. A couple of rotary encoders to play with
    3. Really nifty 3.2″ TFT LCD screen complete with touch interface and SD card slot and an Arduino Shield for it
    4. An Arduino Nano (its *tiny*) and an mp3 shield for it
    5. A resin casting of the Pip-Boy case

    As stuff arrives, I’ll detail it!

  • Electronics stuff purchased!

    I bought a lot of electronics stuff for upcoming projects today:

    • Electroluminescent (EL) wire (I got it off ebay for $7 for 7.5 feet, shipped from China) – nifty wire that is flexible and glows!
    • An Arduino Shield (an Arduino Shield is an addon module for an Arduino to perform a specific function) to control the EL Wire
    • Some SMA (Super Memory Actuator) actuators – these are ultra cool “metal muscles” for a super-secret project for The Artist Wife
    • Blue LEDs (I’m hoping these are really bright!)
    • Breadboard and supplies (for building electronic circuits without having to solder them, which I can’t do yet…)

    Now the waiting for all the shipping begins!


  • First electronics/arduino bit! (LED, part 1)

    Lighting an LED is easy: power and a resistor so you don’t blow out the LED.

    Apparently making that LED do something else, like fade in and out, takes something more, like an Arduino microprocessor that supports Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). PWM is basically a method of turning the power on and off rapidly, so the LED in this case appears to fade in and out, or pulse. If you looked at it with a high speed camera, it’d be flashing on and off, each time it came on a bit dimmer. Since this is happening faster than the human eye can detect, it looks like its just fading.

    This is all explained in the Arduino PWM Tutorial I followed, which I followed and produced this:

    Hurray! I’ve accomplished something a 10 year old can do!

    But it was fun…and I’ll do more!

    To Do:

    Buy resistors and LEDs!