Tag Archives: peggy 2

DIY Fever: Heading to Maker Faire

It’s a busy week at the labs here. We’re getting ready for Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo, CA– the biggest, baddest, and most awesomest DIY festival of the year.

We’ll be showcasing an updated version of our mechanical Pong game. We’ve added a curved playing field, new user-friendly knobs, and a host of other improvements that we’ll plan to write about at a later date. We hope you’ll come by and try it out–we’ll be on the west side of the Expo hall.

Tabletop Pong - 92
Some of the other projects that we’ve taken to Maker Faire in the last few years include our Interactive LED Dining Table, CandyFab, Bristlebots, Interactive LED Coffee Table, Peggy 2, and Meggy Jr RGB.

We’re also participating in the Open Source Hardware Panel, on Saturday at 1 pm at the Innovation Stage at the south end of the Expo Hall.

Eggbot kit - preview 1

We’ll have much more to say about this later, but we’re thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Bruce Shapiro, Ben Trombley, and Brian Schmalz. While we’re demonstrating the Tabletop-Pong game, Bruce and friends will be giving a sneak peek at the results of our collaboration: a fantastic new version of the Eggbot kit, which we are preparing for release as an open source kit sometime this summer.

Eggbot kit - preview 2

You can sign up here for more info about the kit, and you can try out the Eggbots– or just see them in action –in the center of the Expo Hall.

Lastly, to help get everyone else in the DIY mood, we’re having a DIY Fever sale over at the store, with 20% off of Evil Mad Science open-source kit favorites such as the Larson Scanner, Meggy Jr RGB and the Bulbdial Clock, and 10% off of everything else!

Happy hacking, and we’ll hope to see you all at the Faire!

Streaming data from Flash to Peggy

Wicked Cool Flash to Peggy (Arduino) Demo from Leonard Souza on Vimeo.

Leonard Souza wrote in with a pretty neat demo that he put together, generating video in flash and streaming it to a Peggy 2.

His demo video is embedded above, and the direct Vimeo link is here. If you’re not into programming, note that the animations start at about 1:00 into the video.

Leonard has written much more about this project at his site, so take a look if you’d like to see how he put this together or download the source code. Nice!

Peggy 2LE


It’s new… and we shall call it Mini Peggy.

Peggy 2LE (“little edition”) is a diminutive version of our popular Peggy 2 LED “pegboard” an open-source LED matrix display. Peggy 2 is big, designed to fit a 25×25 grid of 10 mm LEDs. Peggy 2LE is mostly the same, just smaller: it’s designed to fit 5 mm LEDs.

Family Photo

Here’s the family photo: Big ol’ Peggy next to the new Mini Peggy, Peggy 2LE.
Continue reading Peggy 2LE



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.

Update: PeggyDraw 2 is now available for your Peggy 2 fun!

You can find more Halloween decor projects in our Halloween Project Archive.

Peggy goes wild

The Peggy 2 board is not small by PCB standards, but it was just not big enough for a couple of folks.

MonsieurBon built a Giant LED Board based on the Peggy 2 circuit with a 30 x 30 display area. Here’s his photoset and video on YouTube.

Dave took his Peggy 2 and mounted his LEDs off board for his u:moon project. Here’s the project page and video and photos.

You can read about more Peggy 2 projects in our earlier story, The Peggy Strikes Back.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Year 3

Evil Meggies

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:

Magnet tricks
17 cool magnet tricks

The monetary density of things

Cheap calendar 2
Cheap Perpetual Calendar

Parts Tray-14
Contact Lens Case Small Parts Tray

Simple LED Projects:

lanterns - 11
Quick, easy, temporary, and beautiful LED garden lights

RoboGames Awards (on)
RoboGames Awards

LED Ghostie
LED Ghosties for Halloween

Food Hacking:

Dry Ice Martini
The Hungry Scientist Handbook

Decoder 2
South Indian Restaurant Menu Decoder


"That's no melon!"
“That’s no melon!”

Grillin 2
Hot Dog Bun Grilling Jig

LOLHearts - 34
Improved Custom Message Hearts

Apple Pie
Now that’s an Apple Pie!

Caprese - 16
Eyeball Caprese

Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes - 24
Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes



The CandyFab 6000


Harley Sleeps
Cardboard Cat Chaise

EdgeLitCard - 49
Edge-Lit Holiday Cards

Hex Boxes5
Hexagonal Stacking Boxes

frabjous - 01
Making a Frabjous

Electronics Projects

Interactive LED Dining table
Interactive LED Dining Table Circuit


Color distortion
Giant seven segment displays

DarkPumpkin - 11
Dark detecting jack-o’-lantern

SolarCircuits - 06
Simple Solar Circuits

Soft Circuit Merit Badge14
Soft Circuit Merit Badge

Kit Projects

Meggy Rainbow
Meggy Jr RGB

VideoPeggy - 09
Video Peggy in action

Peggy 2 RGB
Peggy 2 RGB

2313Card - 1
ATtiny2313 breakout boards

Revised ATmegaXX8 boards

Crafty Projects

d12 Bag
DIY d12 Handbag (of Holding)

Meggy Jr RGB Cozy-21
Meggy Cozy

no-sew iPhone cozy14
No-sew iPhone Cozy

fabric klein bottle
Fabric Klein Bottle

Seat recovery
Reupholstery with Used Denim

Missile Command Skirt 24
Missile Command Circle Skirt

Fishbowl cat quilt29
Fishbowl Cat Quilt

Turning Mollie into Maulie

Bicycle lunch bag
Bicycle Frame Lunch Bag

Acrylic Nesting Bracelets-1
Sinusoidal Bracelet Design

Microcontroller Projects

Time exposure
Tennis for Two, a video game from 1958

stockpumpkin - 11
Scariest Jack-o’-Lantern of 2008

mignonette - 09
70 bits of gaming goodness

Serial Port Added
AVR Serial Communication

lissajous-dark - 07
POV Lissajous figures

Mobius Circuit - 21
Single sided circuit board

A Bulbdial Clock

Geek Design

Snowflake generator
Vector Snowflake Application

The Amazon Kindling

Pi (squared) trivet - 9
Pi Pie Trivet

lego - 2
Lego Kitchen Crafts

Binary Birthday
Binary Birthday


Peggy on Make cover!

Make vol 18 cover
We’re thrilled to see Peggy 2 on the cover of Make Magazine vol. 18 which is showing up in mailboxes now and will be on shelves soon. We were especially excited to get our copy so we could see Windell’s article on making a one-ton servo motor out of an electric automotive jack.

Speaking of our friends at Make, Maker Faire is coming right up! We’ll be there again and hope to see lots of you in San Mateo on May 30 and 31. Discounted tickets are only available through May 20, so if you’re planning to attend, get your tickets soon!

Peggy 2 RGB

Peggy 2 RGB
We filled up a Peggy 2 with 2×2 super-pixels consisting of red, green, blue, and white 10 mm LEDs. This makes an easy and big programmable full-color LED matrix.

Peggy 2 RGB
Peggy fits 25×25 LEDs, so if you fill every hole this way, you wind up with a 12.5 x 12.5 pixel RGBW matrix.

And like whoa— you can animate it.

Peggy 2 RGB   Peggy 2 RGBPeggy 2 RGB   Peggy 2 RGB

Yup, there’s video. The video is embedded below, and you can also view it directly at YouTube. (In either case, please excuse the scanline artifacts produced by our camera.)

One thing worth noting (and that we demo in the video) is that you can diffuse the big RGBW pixels into one continuous full-color display by placing a thin diffusing plastic layer above the LEDs– it really works well.

The demo code is an Arduino sketch, based on Jay Clegg’s timer-interrupt style grayscale driver for Peggy (demonstrated here), you can download it here (12 kB Arduino .pde sketch file). Besides the colorful flow shown in the pictures, this code also has a mode to light just the red, green, blue or white LEDs at a time.

Photographing LEDs

Photo by Bill Bumgarner (some rights reserved)
Taking pictures of LEDs can be difficult. Digital camera sensors just don’t respond the same way that human eyes do, so it is nearly impossible to take a picture that reflects what you are seeing. But manipulating a few settings like white balance and shutter speed can improve things immensely, as can simple physical things like using a tripod.
In the lovely photo above, two LED displays are propped up on a reflective stone countertop. The vivid colors we want to see show up in the reflection, and the LEDs facing us head-on illustrate how washed-out they can look as the camera sensor gets saturated.

Continue reading Photographing LEDs

Video Peggy in action

VideoPeggy - 09

For a while we’ve been meaning to try out Jay Clegg’s TWI-video hack for the Peggy 2, and we must say, it’s pretty nifty. Using this routine, we can take webcam video (e.g., from our MacBook Pro’s built-in camera), sample it in a Processing routine, and send it to be displayed on the 625 LEDs of the Peggy 2.
Continue reading Video Peggy in action