HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Gadget Freak
Gadget Freak: LED Message Board
8/24/2012

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

The circuit board and LEDs are placed on a wooden hand that Rich cut out using his own hand as a template.
The circuit board and LEDs are placed on a wooden hand that Rich cut out using his own hand as a template.

< Previous   Image 2 of 2   

Return to Article

View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Nice project
Jon Titus   8/24/2012 11:22:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Nicely done, Rich.  I have seen similar message units that use an accelerometer to start and stop the display, but you did the job with a small MSP430 board.  Clever. --Jon

RichQ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice project
RichQ   8/24/2012 11:46:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Jon, thanks. The board does have an accelerometer and it is what triggers the display. It was a challenge, though, separating out the gravity signal from the motion signal. Also, I owe a lot to my blogger Ryszard Milewicz, who started this with a program that displayed the I heart MCC message when he waved it around in his hand. I "featureized" it a bit, adding the multiple message capability and adjusting the display timing somewhat. Oh, and it's my hand.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Nice project
Charles Murray   8/24/2012 4:45:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Doing this in two weeks when you don't know C is an amazing accomplishment. Kudos, Rich.

RichQ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice project
RichQ   8/24/2012 4:47:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks. Fortunately I didn't have to do it from scratch, and my code would probably make a grown C programmer cry, but I was able to do what I wanted with it.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Nice project
mrdon   8/26/2012 12:07:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi Rich, Very clever approach to developing a cool embedded product. The method of modifying code to change the product functional behavior is what I discuss with my ITT Tech Electrical Engineering Tech students every class period. I often use this rapid development method for  embedded devices and gadgets I create in my home lab as well. Very cool project!!!

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice project
Nancy Golden   8/28/2012 4:41:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Some of my code would make a grown C programmer cry too, RichQ. What some folks might call "spaghetti code" I prefer thinking of as "thinking outside of the box" :) Besides, since I am Italian, the moniker fits in my case LOL 

Rather than reinventing the wheel - you simply readjusted it - a great time saver that still took tech know-how - Great job!

 

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice project
NadineJ   8/25/2012 3:21:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Very cool.  I'd love to see the next one with a keyboard.  Good job!

AJ2X
User Rank
Silver
Re: Nice project
AJ2X   8/27/2012 11:45:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Cool idea. Maybe the next version should have the board and LEDs affixed to, or embedded in, a glove.  Wearable computing is the Next Big Thing. :)

RichQ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Nice project
RichQ   8/28/2012 8:05:11 PM
NO RATINGS
I like the idea of the glove. Will have to figure out how to wire it so it won't be scratchy. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Cool Idea
Cadman-LT   9/5/2012 7:55:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Very cool idea. I am not sure what purpose it serves, but I like it anyways!

KenL
User Rank
Gold
Re: Cool Idea
KenL   9/10/2012 10:34:54 AM
NO RATINGS
Clever, but not a new idea.  I saw an LED message wand at Toys R Us many years ago.  The message was several inches high, and it included a built-in keyboard. 

You can buy a kit from Amazon for $23.74  
http://www.amazon.com/LED-Magic-Message-Wand-Kit/dp/B0006HJSV4

Or a ready-made wand from Gizmodo  (from 2008)
http://gizmodo.com/369640/brando-usb-light-show-stick-wave-your-words-in-the-air

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool Idea
Cadman-LT   9/12/2012 12:59:11 PM
NO RATINGS
I am still wondering what real purpose it is for?

KenL
User Rank
Gold
Re: Cool Idea
KenL   9/12/2012 1:32:41 PM
NO RATINGS
It's a cool toy.  Have fun with it.

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool Idea
Cadman-LT   9/13/2012 9:51:55 AM
NO RATINGS
Ahh ok, just as an amusement.

Nugent_56
User Rank
Gold
Wrist strain?
Nugent_56   2/7/2013 3:16:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Instead of pine, it might be better to use styrofoam. Seams the weight would waer on your wrist after a while. Another improment would be to use a spring steel joint between the handle and the "hand". That way, a little motion would set the hand into action with less strain on the wrist. Just a though for anyone concidering to build this.

RichQ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wrist strain?
RichQ   2/11/2013 5:57:11 PM
NO RATINGS
The foam is a good idea. I had to make this in short order out of supplies around the house and tried using some springy stuff for the wrist but it was hard to get a consistent movement, so just made it rigid. Not a new idea, I know, but had fun with it.

jack90
User Rank
Iron
Re: Wrist strain?
jack90   3/8/2014 1:55:08 AM
NO RATINGS
Communicate furthermore fabricate some communication for some function. Merely throw absent the stages on inferior for desktop advantage, or droop on some barricade or portal also abroad you go. This led beam up telegram council is a grand appendage to some imperceptible partnership, hurdle, dorm opportunity or some arrange where you miss to render a narrative.

apa annotated bibliography

jtanalog
User Rank
Iron
My Kids had such a Toy
jtanalog   2/7/2013 3:46:18 PM
NO RATINGS
My kids had such a toy MANY years ago.  You swung this paddle shaped object back-and-forth and it displayed your keyed in text using LED's.  In the dark your eyes provided the persistence to make a stable image.


(My youngest is about to turn 39 years old... so this was quite a long time ago.)

-Jim Thompson

ReneB
User Rank
Iron
Saw it already on TV
ReneB   2/7/2013 4:26:26 PM
NO RATINGS
This is definitely not new.

I saw it already on TV several years ago, possibly the "Gizmodo" gadget that someone else mentioned. It may have been a news item from a Consumer Electronics show at the time.

I remember that it was displaying messages from a keyboard buffer and the display was moving left and right on the tip of a large metronome.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Fireworks
tekochip   2/8/2013 10:27:38 AM
NO RATINGS
I saw a fun one a few years ago for the 4th of July.  It was a battery operated fan that would display animation of fireworks when the fan was running.  The fan blades were a flex circuit with RGB LEDs that produced the animation.  I wanted to say that it was a very cool toy, but that would be an awful pun even if it wasn't intended.

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Gadget Freak
Dick Bipes couldn't find a boat lift remote with the specs he wanted, so he created his own for automatic operation.
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
Colorado State University students have created “One Shot Two Shot, Red Shot Blue Shot” -- a Dr. Seuss themed target game where the objective is to get the most points with six shots from the gun.
This solar charge controller, which is placed between a solar panel and a battery, regulates the voltage and current coming from your solar panel. It is used to maintain proper charging voltage on the batteries.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development – A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service