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.
All cynicism aside, one of the cool things about the holiday season is that it often provides a good excuse to play with lights.
Hanukkah in particular has been a festival of lights for more than a dozen centuries longer than there have been lights on Christmas trees. History notwithstanding, Hanukkah still lags behind Christmas in the transition from traditional light sources like candles towards microcontroller driven arrays of LEDs. While that may be simply due to the relative flammability of dry pine trees versus that of metal menorahs, the irony is that Hanukkah– unlike Christmas– actually requires observers to light up specific lights in a specific order, which is exactly the sort of thing that you want a microcontroller for.
Can’t find an open-source LED menorah at your local big box store? Not to worry!
Make one yourself from our instructions, which include source code for the AVR microcontroller (we use an ATtiny2313). Complete soldering kits to make your own– no programming needed– are also now available in quantity at our new web store.
(Note: While I cringe every time that I see Christmas displays up before Halloween, we aren’t actually too early in this case. Hanukkah starts on the evening of December 4th this year.)
We’re infiltrating Chicago! More accurately, we’re sending a few of our projects there for a little while. In the box are: the RC Sweeper, Shuffle Headphones, a holiday LED ornament and menorah, and ornament and menorah kits.
They are heading to an exhibit on DIY called “Pass It On! Connecting Contemporary Do-It-Yourself Culture” at the A+D gallery, which is affiliated with the Department of Art and Design at Columbia College Chicago.
This exhibit is unique in that all of the items on display will have accompanying instructions for viewers to take home. There will be some incredibly creative folks participating in the exhibit, so if you’re going to be in Chicago this spring (March 1 to April 14) be sure to check it out.
Thanks to the A+D folks for inviting us!
We have written instructions for building two sweet microcontroller-based electronics projects for the holidays: an alphanumeric LED christmas tree ornament and an LED mini-menorah (hanukkiah).
These are open-source projects; You can download and modify the source code, use it to program your own microcontroller, and solder the microcontroller to some LEDs to help make your own holiday decorations.
If programming microcontrollers is not your idea of a good time, we understand. Not everyone has (1) access to a microcontroller programmer, (2) the time and (3) the desire to modify the firmware of their christmas tree ornaments.
Low-cost open-source holiday project kits brought to you by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
In order to help our fellow
citizens Evil Mad Scientists with their holiday projects, we have put together electronic soldering kits for these projects. (Updated: November 2007)
LED mini-menorah kits are now available at our new web store.