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]
This circuit uses the 555 timer in an Astable operating mode which generates a continuous output via Pin 3 in the form of a square wave. This turns the LED (D1) on and off. The speed at which the LED (D1) is turned on and off is set by the values of R1 and R2.
Flashing LED Circuit – [Link]
Latest Gadget Freak from Design News, a special Vday one! –
Looking for cool way of wowing that special someone on Valentines Day/birthday/whatever? Build her a flashing heart made from LEDs driven by a programmable microcontroller. Les’ gadget is simple to build and made from easily-obtainable parts. The unique thing about this design is the LEDs are in an X-Y matrix so each LED is addressable. This allows an unlimited combination of displayed patterns for the heart — not like some other designs out there! Source code and schematics are all available here and if you’re not into hand wiring, even the PCB can be had for a small fee. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but gadgets are forever. [via]
HOW TO – Build a flashing heart – [Link]