Simply connect 3 to 6VDC to the + pin and ground to the – pin, and the LED on the board will light up. You can make the LEDs fade and twinkle by using the PWM (a.k.a. analogWrite) functionality of your Gemma or Flora, or just connect directly to a digital I/O pin of a microcontroller to turn on and off. Or even skip the micro altogether, and power directly from a LiPoly or coin battery.
This order comes with 5 “1206 size” LEDs, matched with a 100 ohm resistor. When powered from 3.3V they draw about 5mA so you can put up to 4 or 5 in parallel on a single microcontroller pin. We have these sequins in warm white, royal blue, emerald green, and ruby red.
Mark’s Space has a great tutorial on how to scroll text across a matrix with a Raspberry Pi.
A friend requested if it was possible to scroll text across three 8×8 LED matrices, specifically this type from Adafruit, which are very bright.
So, I got to work.
These matrices uses a HT16K33 controller chip and communicate with the Pi via the i2c bus.
Adafruit have very good and detailed tutorials on how to solder it up and get i2c working between your Pi and your matrices.
Since we are having multiple matrices using the same i2c bus, we need to make sure that each uses a unique address. By default they will have 0×70 (hexadecimal notation). This value can be changed by brindgin the gap on some copper pads on the back of the matrix.
Adafruit Mini 8×8 LED Matrix w/I2C Backpack – Blue – What’s better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! A fun way to make a small display is to use an 8×8 matrix or a 4-digit 7-segment display. Matrices like these are ‘multiplexed’ – so to control 64 LEDs you need 16 pins. That’s a lot of pins, and there are driver chips like the MAX7219 that can control a matrix for you but there’s a lot of wiring to set up and they take up a ton of space. Here at Adafruit we feel your pain! After all, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could control a matrix without tons of wiring? That’s where these adorable LED matrix backpacks come in. We have them in two flavors – a mini 8×8 and a 4-digit 0.56″ 7-segment. They work perfectly with the matrices we stock in the Adafruit shop and make adding a bright little display trivial. Read more.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Make your own BMO with 3D Printing and DIY electronics. This adorable robot features a mini 8×8 LED matrix and GEMMA, adafruit’s tiny arduino-compatible micro-controller.
3D Print the parts, solder the components and assembly this cute video game robot to have an awesome adventure time!
Grab the files on thingiverse and 3d print the parts in your favorite color.
The Mini 8×8 LED matrix powers 64 LEDs to display bright and super cute animations. Here’s what the complete circuit looks like. The push button should also have enough slack for it to move around in the enclosure. Gemma acts as BMO’s brains, while the LED matrix+backpack is his face. We can assume the battery is his heart
You can print BMO’s buttons in different colored ABS or paint each piece.
Want to 3D Print and build your own BMO? We have a easy to follow tutorial and the STL files are available for free on Thingiverse!
With Intel’s announcement of a collaboration with Opening Ceremony and Fitbit partnering with Tory Burch, the tech industry has been reaching out to the fashion industry to help transform their wearable gadgets into something a bit more fashionable. Outside of Cute Circuit, who debuted their first haute tech collection at NYFW this year, most of the fashion industry has yet to embrace — even explore — wearable technology.
The exception this year was Swiss fashion house Akris, led by designer Albert Kriemler, who sent an illuminated coat, pants and three dresses down the runway.
The collection itself was inspired by German artist Thomas Ruff’s work “Stars,” “Nights” and “ma.r.s.”
The embroidered LEDs played nicely with the space motif. The e-boridery (or electronic embroidery) was a collaboration between Forster Rohner and AKRIS.
Seth Moczydlowski is normally an industrial designer, however, when a group of fashion design students needed an Arduino capable member, he picked up a needle and thread. While members of the group worked on the dress design, Seth worked on a circuit mock-up using a FLORA microcontroller, NeoPixels and a microphone. Check out his method of prototyping using Arduino and Processing in this video. This is great for working with light patterns in any wearable!
The majority of the circuit is hidden in a fabric belt, with a nicely finished pocket for the battery. Following Adafruit best practices, Seth sealed all of his knots of conductive thread using clear nail polish. This is really important for a lasting creation, as the thread has a tendency to unravel. As you can see in the video below, the result is a beautiful dress that reacts to sound. Thanks to the cutouts in the flower design (which looks laser-cut), the light cascades nicely onto the dress.
Considering many people choose black or white for their canvas of LEDs, it’s refreshing to see a coral colored wearable. Seth was definitely pleased with the results.
In the end, this project was very enjoyable. It got me out of the normal bounds of Industrial Design and afforded me some great exposure to a new hardware platform. Additionally, it was an excellent exercise in scheduling, as we all had different schedules and could only meet once a week to work on the project details. The actual construction of the dress was very rigorously timed so that it could be completed on schedule.
With these great results, Seth can probably expect an even tighter schedule. Got an industrial designer in your life? No worries, we’ve got tutorials that are perfect for you. Check out the Sparkle Skirt.
Derek Molloy wrote up this useful tutorial on how to control the BeagleBone Black on-board LEDs using Java.
One of the first things you would like to do when you connect to the Beaglebone Black is see that you are having an impact on the hardware. In this short post I am going to look at how you can change the behaviour of the Beaglebone on-board LEDs – the four (blue on the BBB) LEDs in the corner near the reset button.
Now, the LEDs are there for a reason, and that reason is to give information about the Beaglebone state (from beaglebone.org):
USR0 is configured at boot to blink in a heartbeat pattern
USR1 is configured at boot to light during microSD card accesses
USR2 is configured at boot to light during CPU activity
USR3 is configured at boot to light during eMMC accesses
We can change the behaviour of these LEDs, but obviously we will temporarily lose this valuable information. The heartbeat tells you that the BBB is alive, which is always useful to know. The others are fairly self explanatory (the eMMC is the solid state memory that you are booting from).
Lenticularization of an image allows the viewer to be presented with additional visual information within the same space, dependent on angle. Striped of lenticular sheets, we see that information altogether, almost theoretically identical to the Cubist idea of relativity presented as one. This project aims to appreciate the encrypted information as it is as well as decoded with additional media. Also, it aims to highlight and hopefully inspire the idea that there is more that can be done with the GIF medium – new tricks and methods can be applied to animation making, whether it is ‘flipping’ from one image to another, or added depth … Gif making can have additional visual narratives.
…There’re two things to take into consideration when you want to use LEDs as an output in a product:
First light can only shine at a right angle of the PCB; or alongside with the electronic board if you use 90° type of SMT LEDs. In case you want to reach a location of your product which isn’t directly aligned with the board you will have to buy, or have made, a LED pipe that will conduct the light to the right place.
The second role of a led pipe is to act as a diffuser; i.e.: the light is guided with minimum loss and, at the end, spread equally on the surface of the casing. This is accomplished by polishing the end of the pipe.
…In our case we wanted the light to be visible from all angles and spread out equally over 360° horizontally. To achieve a light ring usually you design a circular PCB with many LEDs and you have a diffuser right in contact with them.
We couldn’t afford to have a special LED board so we had to have the LEDs on our vertical PCB. Also we couldn’t afford to have a ring piece that we would need to polish by hand.
So we had to conduct the light as equally as possible to the edges and then to diffuse it. For both functions we used light reflection by having a kind of gear teeth pattern laser cut in our transparent pmma. We tested several design and found out that it was by having one gear pattern close to the LEDs and one at the edge that it work out the best to have a relatively equal spread of lighting….
Scientists at the University of Malta have created music software that allows its users to play tracks, fast forward, and adjust volume simply by looking at the screen! Wearing electrode-studded caps, users are fed controlled stimuli: in this case, flickering boxes on a screen. As the frequency of flickering changes, so too does each brain’s electrical response pattern. The subsequent electrical patterns their brains elicit are recorded and assigned a task like play, pause, or fast forward and the software is programmed to take those actions when their respective patterns are detected.
As amazing as this might appear as a stunt, brain-reading as a whole is still not without it’s share of limitations. However, the implications and potential future applications of this are still exciting to consider. From Singularity Hub:
The brain-reading apparatus is cumbersome (if you think Google Glass unsightly, imagine Sergey Brin in an EEG cap), and the readings are still fairly low resolution. Greater control would require more detailed readings.
The larger concept, however, is viable. And for folks who’ve lost the ability to physically control their environment—quadriplegics or sufferers of ALS (Steven Hawking, for example) and locked-in syndrome—such methods might offer a non-invasive way to regain some sense of control, freedom, and easier communication with the world.
Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes, was important to the Harry Potter story. He saved the day more than once, and it’s cool to see a human take on the character. Phoenix Fawkes documented the entire process of making the mythical creature from sketches to the finished outfit. It’s interesting to flip through them to see exactly how much work and planning goes into to building a costume.
Some information on the feathers:
At first, I cut out a bunch of feathers in the wrong fabric. My plan was to add a backing to each feather. Not only did it look ugly, it was taking for freaking ever. So instead, I used those feathers at the planning stage.
As each feather was painted (so that it looked as if 12 fabrics had been used to make Fawkes, rather than 4), I needed to know which feather to paint which colour. This is the colour coding method I used.
I updated to the WS2812, got our own PCB’s printed up, and made this. There is the same amount of negative space as there is PCB, and the light only throws forwards, so you can see through it perfectly well. Also, because they PCB is mostly fibreglass, it bent into the half cylinder really easily. This thing is insanely bright. We modified the Pixel Invaders software to be able to send to the 2812 (as it has no clock pin) using a teensey using the adafruit library.
Paul Gentile posted this fun top hat on YouTube. Apparently his son had a geek dream.
The inspiration for this hat came from my son, who was looking to create a costume for Halloween. Unfortunately we did not make this in time for Halloween, but we did make it for the Geek Create show. He wanted something Steam Punk in style. I found these felt top hats on Amazon for only a few bucks and figured we could not go wrong.
His final outfit turned out well and he called himself Doctor “OHM” (Doctor Who Fans – read it upside down). So the hat, the LEDs, the Doctor OHM references … it all just worked. We have since used the hat at holiday parties and it made a big hit on New Year’s Eve. We made the hat using the LED MAgician.
Hats off to Paul for bringing his son’s dream to reality. This is a great use of LEDs, but if you want even more variety in pattern and color, you could do the same with a FLORA microcontroller and some NeoPixels. Check out our NeoPixel Uber Guide to learn about your options.
Sam Baumel was faced with a challenge — design a pair of kicks for his cousin’s wedding. Being a lover of the moving image, he decided to make a shoe that would embody his passion.
The groomsmen were told to pick a theme (like robots or superheroes) for their Converse All-Star High Tops. My theme?…SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND. The gem-encrusted Converse spit light in circles from heel to toe with each step, hop and twerk. I danced the night bright with sequins on my socks and LED cuff link accents.
You can check out Sam’s craftsmanship, as well as his love of fun graphics (Spoiler Alert), in this video.
When asked about his genius, Sam admitted that the shoes were an Adafruit inspiration.
The shoes are modeled off the Adafruit Learning System, but I added some of my own rhinestone flare. An earlier prototype was built for Burning Man using EL Tape, velcro and traditional force resistors. Those force resistors sent a few too many electrical shocks to the heel Adafruit’s suggestion of using Velostat and LED strips worked MUCH better
We have to agree he has dazzling talents, especially patience in attaching all of those rhinestones. In the end, it’s worth it to be seen on a dance floor in an original creation. Are you ready for the wearable tech movement? Get your kicks out of our tutorial.