Sunday, February 7, 2010

Microcontroller Fireflies

After all the effort to get up to meet the DorkbotPDX crowd, I figured I should do something (non-train related) with the Dorkboards we came home with.

There are six LEDs attached to the pulse-width modulation capable pins. They fade in and out at random times and rates, and will continue flashing for ten minutes after the lights go out.

I got the idea from an Instructable where they put them in a jar and used a much smaller chip like I used in Project Buggy. The Arduino makes it much easier to build and program a project like this.
We'll see how long the 3xAAA's last without any low-power CPU sleep tricks.

BATTERY UPDATE: With the CPU running full time, it should last 12 days, but if put it into sleep mode and only check the light level every 4 second, it will last a year! Hurray for standby!

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