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New Guide: A NeoPixel Blinkendisc – Throw LEDs at Your Friends

I just finished writing up a project I’ve been meaning to do for years:

I played a lot of Ultimate in college, and I’ve wanted to build a programmable, sensor-equipped disc ever since. This project is intended as a basic starting point for DIY disc projects: It can be programmed in the Arduino IDE, it looks cool when flying, and it responds to being thrown and caught.

The Flashflight Disc-O, designed in Boulder, CO and widely distributed by Nite Ize, is a good quality disc with an RGB LED and a couple of coin cells mounted in the center. A handful of fiber-optic light pipes run from the center out to the edges. At 185g, it weighs a bit more than a standard Ultimate disc, but generally flies well and has a good feel.

I decided to modify one of these since I figured I could repurpose the light pipes.

animation2

The end state of this project is less of a finished product than a starting point for fancier, more durable blinky discs, but I think it’s a pretty decent start.


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