by Dan Meeks @ edn.com:
A long, long time ago there was a great Design Idea for a simple gadget to find a bad bulb in a series-connected string of Christmas lights. This is really simple and works great, but it exposes the user to potentially lethal line voltages. The PROBE in the figure above is inserted into the light bulb bases, so there is a good chance that you could be touching a part of the probe, while the probe is touching line voltage.
Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights – [Link]
Wireless. Easier. Safer. Longer Lasting Christmas lights. by Chris Higgins & Hardeep Johar:
The first ever wirelessly powered Christmas lights
Smartphone controlled energy efficient LED lights
Outshines any of the average Christmas lights by 20 years
AURA: The first ever, wirelessly powered Christmas lights – [Link]
Dr. Megan Smith and [krazatchu] have cooked up a circuit board to control Christmas lights. It’s Arduino compatible, based on the Mega328 and has a microphone, audio line in and a light sensor. It can switch 7 strings of lights with the ULN2003 transistor array. It also has Infrared for communications, to work with a TV remote or to talk among themselves to coordinate lighting events (it will be using some code from firefly project: http://www.lumipendant.com/ )
Hack ur Baubles – A circuit board to control Christmas lights – [Link]
Having been disappointed by the generic offering of Christmas lights with small customization options, he decided to make fully customizable light decoration.
Small PIC12F609 MCUs along with RGB LEDs are placed on a board and daisy chained over a 3 wire cable. A master MCU is placed on one end of the cable and controls the color of the lights individually by sending addressed data over the wires. [via]
Christmas lights with a MCU in each bulb – [Link]
Festivize your bench this holiday season with an oscilloscope Christmas tree – [via]
When I was a little kid, my dad worked at Bell Labs. Every year around Christmas, we’d go visit him at work. One memory which has always stuck with me from my holiday visits was seeing a Christmas tree on an oscilloscope. I was pretty amazed by it. Engineers are a funny bunch — they tend to celebrate holidays in the most uniquely nerdy and wonderful ways, just like kids. When I recently acquired a new ‘scope and wanted to familiarize myself with it, I knew exactly what my test circuit was going to be.
In honor of the nameless BTL engineer whose scope scribbling captivated me as a child, here we are. Maybe the same thing will happen for some other kid. There are a lot of holiday parties coming up. You could put this on one of your scopes at work or at your hackerspace, and some other kid will see it, and it’ll fire their imagination too. It looks pretty neat at any rate, and it’s downright fascinating after a few fortified egg nogs.
Oscilloscope Christmas Tree – [Link]
Last year I made a simple LED Christmas sign with very basic animation effects controlled by a PIC MCU. One of my friends, who visited us during the last Christmas, liked it and asked me the recipe of the project so that he could make something similar to decorate his front porch during the next Christmas. In response I gave him the link on my blog where I have described the details of the project. As Christmas is just couple months away, I got an email from him two weeks ago, saying that he has just started working on the project. He followed everything in the recipe that I have described on my blog except the PIC programming part, which he has never done before. I told him that I can send him a programmed PIC processor but he didn’t seem happy with that. In his own words, ” I don’t want any black box in the project, I want to enjoy building every part of it”. Then I had to find an alternative way of running the LED Christmas sign without using a microcontroller. So, here I am revising my previous LED Christmas sign project by replacing the PIC16F688 microcontroller in the original circuit with digital logic ICs (74HC595 and 74HC14 ). I have also added flashing LEDs around the edges of the sign to make it look more attractive.
Make your own animated LED Christmas sign – [Link]
Mauricio Martins modified an acrylic Christmas tree by adding some LEDs controlled by a simple circuit. For this hack, he used the following components that you can buy for less than 8 euros:
- MUJI Red Acrylic Christmas Tree
- Resistors: 10k, 470k
- Capacitor: 0.1µF
- Integrated Circuit: 4060B
- LEDs × 18, 3mm diameter, any mix of colours: red, orange, amber, yellow or green
- Battery clip for 9V”
LED Christmas Tree – [Link]
Christmas is the festival of lights. There is a new project posted on embedded-lab.com that uses LEDs to display Christmas message. The individual letters of the message are created with 5 mm red LEDs and are controlled through a PIC 16F688 microcontroller. Something you would like to make for your Christmas decoration.
Christmas Message Display Board using LEDs – [Link]