I’ve always fancied the idea of taking part in a Hackathon, but I never seem to be in the right place at the right time. This morning I’m heading from Glasgow to London on the Virgin Pendolino – a trip that takes 4hrs 32mins.
I was prepared in advance for this meeting (a rare event) so I decided to throw an Arduino and a few components in my laptop bag just in case inspiration for a project struck on the journey.
A tube of Pringles at the station gave me an idea: build a simple game, controlled by a single rotary encoder using the Adafruit Neopixel ring I had in my bag. Without any tools I knew it would be a real ghetto hack, but that made it all the more fun.
Round and round and round they go! 16 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 1.75″ (44.5mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock.