Chronicle did a very nice job with it–the book itself comes out of the nifty sleeve that holds the kit and book together. The cartoon illustrations by Alexander Tarrant are very clear and there’s a nice assortment of accessories to go with the core hardware.
The bug circuit went together very easily. These little guys are super compact and self contained, which means they’re adaptable to all kinds of uses. And while putting them on pipe cleaner legs is seasonally appropriate, they’re a perfect fit for a mini-pumpkin. The first thing to do after gutting the gourd is to mark and cut the holes for the LED eyes. A 3/16″ bit turned by hand makes a hole that is just snug enough to hold a 5 mm LED firmly in place.
A couple of slits let the LED leads stick up through the body of the pumpkin where the antenna wires will be able to reach them.
Finally, the pumpkin lid is trimmed to allow the antenna wires to move freely.
Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has now been around for four years. We’ve collected some interesting projects from this past year to celebrate.
Microcontroller and Electronics Projects:
Simple LED Projects:
And, don’t forget, you can win a Peggy 2 or one of 13 other prizes in our clock
concept contest, going on this week.
Lately we have been working on a new version of the PeggyDraw program, which is a program that lets you draw things that you want to display on the Peggy 2 for static images. The new version isn’t quite ready to show off this week, which is too bad because we like to put out our Peggies for halloween.
On the bright side, Mark Delp just sent in a program called bmp2peg that’s been added to the Peggy project at Google Code. It converts a (tiny) windows BMP file and generates an Arduino sketch that can run on the Peggy. (bmp2peg runs on windows, and also on linux if you recompile it, macs unknown thus far.) Both bmp2peg and the original cross-platform PeggyDraw can be used to put static images on the Peggy, or to generate static frames that you swap out in the code to build simple animations. The window-friendly pumpkin above was drawn as an image file, converted with bmp2peg, and installed on a Peggy 2 filled with orange LEDs.
Last year at halloween we took a different approach to the Peggy in the window. We took one filled with red LEDs, and every twenty seconds (or so) it would flash the letters “BOO” — huge and bright — and then go dark again. We took a little movie of this last year, showing how that works.
(The flickr video is embedded below — if you can’t see it, click through to see it.)
The video is very dark, but it’s accurate: our street really is that dark on Halloween. You have to walk slowly because you can’t see where the sidewalk is.
The Rovin’ Pumpkin’ is a simple robotic pumpkin, and a close cousin of the Snap-O-Lantern. Silently, it sits on your porch– camouflaged amongst the humble squashes.
After a minute, its green eyes start to glow, and it creeps… moving about one foot to the left… and stops. The eyes go dark again. It fades into the darkness. And it waits.
Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now three years old.
To celebrate, we’re rounding up our most interesting projects from this past year.
Quick projects and observations:
Simple LED Projects:
Jack-o’-Lanterns are supposed to be scary, right? So here is our new one: it’s a mini pumpkin with a (tiny) scrolling LED stock ticker. Reprogrammable so you can update it every day with gloomy news from Wall Street.
Here’s an inexpensive electronic circuit that you can build to put in your Jack-o’lantern. It provides power to drive a few LEDs at night, and automatically turns them off during the daytime. It’s a simple and automatic dark-detecting circuit that you can use to for your very own photosensitive pumpkin.
Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now two years of age. Collected below is a “Best of Evil Mad Scientist” for the past year: Some of our favorite projects that we’ve published over the last twelve months. Here’s to the next year!
Rubberbands made from old bicycle innertubes.
Light tent made from a lampshade.
Spool spinner from an old fan.
The $1.00 C to D adapter
How to make a Joule Thief from Make: Weekend Projects.
How to make a dark-detecting LED night light.
AVR microcontroller projects
Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller
Printing complex shapes: Sugar Chain
Candyfab improvements: higher resolution and edible output
Observations & silly projects:
Forbidden Lego review & build