Archive for the ‘electronic’ Category

LED Matrix Evil Eyes

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Sometime in the weeks leading up to Halloween I came across a fun blog post called “Spooky motion-sensitive Halloween eyes” which detailed the construction of a pair of Arduino controlled LED matrix animated eyes connected to a motion sensor that changed the color and demeanor of the eyes from “good” to “evil” whenever it sensed movement.

I liked the evil blinking red eyes but didn’t have a need for the motion sensor or the eye changing effect. I also didn’t have any of the Adafruit bi-color LED matrices on hand, but I did have a couple of red LED matrices from Fried Circuits, which suited my needs perfectly.

So, here’s my version of the LED matrix evil eyes. I took the original code, stripped out the code for the “good” eyes and the motion sensor and changed it to use the Fried Circuits MAX7219 display driver IC based LED matrix boards. The code is available on GitHub at

I used a small female header to put some space between the two eyes. I didn’t have a 5 pin header in my parts chest so I used a 6 pin header and just let the extra pin hang out. I connected the controller board with some short pieces of wire to help get it out of the way and make it less noticeable in the dark.

TODO: Break out the graphics functions into their own library.





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Peggy 2 Chronodot Clock

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

The other day I added a Chronodot to my Peggy 2, using the Evil Mad Scientist blog post Peggy 2: Adding a Chronodot as a guide. Instead of buying the 4 pin female header connectors used in the blog post, I used an 8 pin DIP socket from my parts bin that I cut in half with wire cutters and cleaned up by filing it down a bit.

I had written a clock program for Peggy a while back, but it used millis() to keep track of time, which wasn’t as accurate as I would have liked. The time also got reset whenever Peggy lost power. The Chronodot fixes both those issues. Chronodot Clock is a modified version of my original Peggy 2 clock program to read the time from the Chronodot using the Arduino-Chronodot library. It is available on GitHub and on my Peggy 2 Projects page.

Peggy 2 with Chronodot

Peggy 2 with Chronodot

Chronodot Clock

Chronodot Clock

8 Pin DIP cut in half

8 Pin DIP cut in half

8 Pin DIP soldered into Peggy's proto area

8 Pin DIP soldered into Peggy’s proto area. Ignore the round hole from a previous project that didn’t quite work out.

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RGB LED Glow Ball Project page added

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

ATtiny2313 RGB LED Glow Ball Project

I added a page with a description of my RGB LED Glow Ball project. It is one of my favorite projects because it’s simple and turned out even better than I planned. I ended up making two more glow balls that I gave to my nieces for Christmas.

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Peggy 2 Projects page migration

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Peggy2DisplayThe Peggy 2 Projects page from my old web site has been migrated over to Dragongears. I still need to pretty it up a bit, but all the links and images work properly. The old page on the old site should redirect to this site.

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