One of our first kit projects, and one of the consistently most popular, has been the LED Mini Menorah project. For a couple years now we have meant to revisit that project, and we’ve finally got around to doing so. Here is the result: our new Deluxe LED Menorah Kit.
The circuit board in the new kit sits on an elegant laser-cut stand that incorporates the battery box. It’s five inches wide and between 2.75 and 4.25″ tall, depending on configuration.
If the circuit board itself looks familiar, you might recognize that this is the “ix” board (“Roman for the number nine…”) which we also used on the Larson Scanner project.
Phrased another way, this answers the question about why the Larson Scanner kit has nine LEDs.
The kit can be built either with the shamash (lighter candle) in the center or on the side. The default configuration is centered. If you want it on the right-hand side instead, you can solder a wire across jumper location “opt 1” on the circuit board.
The button on the board advances between nights, lighting the LEDs in the proper order. There are low and high power modes, for better battery life or brightness. You can switch between them by holding the button for a few seconds. Fades and dimming are done with 64 levels of gray, essentially flicker free due to its high refresh rate.
The source code is available for download at the Evil Mad Science Wiki. It’s designed for use with AVR-GCC and an AVR ISP programmer. If you’re new to AVR programming and want to hack the menorah, add some function to the serial port or so on, you might want to start by looking at our list of resources for getting started with AVR microcontrollers.
Additional photos of the menorahs in different configurations are available in this flickr set.
We also made a quick flickr video showing the different things that these do, fading, incrementing day, and so on. (It’s embedded here, but if you can’t see it you might want to click through.)
The Deluxe LED Menorah Kit is available at our webstore.
Complete documentation for the Deluxe LED Menorah Kit (including design files and source code) is now hosted at the Evil Mad Science Wiki.