Space Invader button


[Marcus] saw [Alex]‘s 64 pixel project and decided it could be implemented in even less space. Pictured above is his Space Invader button with a bicolor LED matrix. The controller board is all SMD and piggybacked on the matrix. An ATmega164P drives the 24 pins via transistors. In addition to animation, the board can do LED sensing too. It’s a very clever project and [Marcus] has some notes about working with such tiny components. You can see a video of it below.

[via Make]


  1. Spork says:

    Way to go interactive-matter that is my kind of project for sure. Working with SMD is one of my favourite things electronics has had to offer. I really like how it has a professional look to it and well… space invaders…we all know how great that is.

  2. amk says:

    “Working with SMD is one of my favourite things electronics has had to offer”

    freaking masochist… Do you also enjoy jabbing your eyes with hot pokers?

  3. charlie says:

    it’s called myron reducto syndrome. we like to make things small … tiny tiny
    … small. ;)

  4. rasz says:

    I like SMD cos its easier to solder/desolder

  5. geoff defloor says:

    I hate when people use euros as scale markers. That’s total disrespect for real european currencies.

  6. punmaster says:

    Nice project. Although I kinda got my hopes up a little too high from the title: I thought someone had figured out how to *play* space invaders on a display like that. :) Still, I love the formfactor. I can’t wait to see something this small support the bidirectional “touchable” LED concept. It could make for an interesting game platform.

    And yes, I like SMD devices too. I just wish I could fit them into a breadboard without an adapter. Oh well.

  7. pmac says:

    I hate when people use euros as scale markers.

    So do I. could they post a pic with something next to the Euro so I can see how big that is? :)

  8. Jack says:

    @ rasz

    “I like SMD cos its easier to solder/desolder”

    than what …spliting atoms?

  9. madaeon says:

    “I hate when people use euros as scale markers.”
    I do that sometimes.
    Reason is that everybody in UE will know how big the object is.
    If we will ever have a global currency I would use it.
    In the photo it is not there as a currency, but as a reference item that as many people as possible will know how big it is, and maybe have one in their pocket.

  10. ragnar says:

    I have euros in my pocket and have a good idea of the size of that thing. thank you!

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    I don’t have euros in my pocket, i’m simply glad to see you.

  12. MRE says:

    How big is a euro?
    about half the size of a 64 led array.

  13. I’ve never been to Europe and have never seen or held a euro so I have no idea how big that is…

    maybe a better universal marker would be to place it on your computer keyboard, since keys are roughly the same size place to place and if they’re viewing this on the internet then they have a keyboard right under their hands already.

  14. none says:

    The euro coin is about the same size of a two euros coin, only a bit smaller, you insensitive Americans!!!

    No, seriously, it’s exactly 23.25 millimeters in diameter. :-D

  15. liebesiech says:

    EUROs are crap anyway.

  16. interactivematter says:

    To solve the size mistery: The matrix is 32mm long/wide which is 1,26 inch.

  17. aoeu says:

    if you want to measure something, or show it’s size, i’d advise using a ruler. not coins, or keyboards, or matches (my preference).

  18. niun says:

    “I hate when people use euros as scale markers. That’s total disrespect for real european currencies.”

    “To solve the size mistery: The matrix is 32mm long/wide which is 1,26 inch.”

    I hate when people use inches to tell me the size of something. But what are the real european currencies?

  19. niun says:

    ah and i forgot: this is a really cool project. Can anybody tell me, is it a double layer pcb only?

  20. interactivematter says:

    Yes, it is an double sided PCB. It wa hell to cram everything on one board – so an single side version would be next to impossible.

  21. nebulous says:

    @ niun
    Real European currencies: Guilders, marks, francs, pesos, crowns, etc. Bring them back!

  22. ragnar says:

    No, don’t bring them back! It’s only money, I wish we would have one currency worldwide. call it C-Bill, Coins, something, I don’t care it’s just freaking money. do you sleep with your money, or why is it so important to you how it’s called?

  23. kyle says:

    @none hey we are simple american folks here what is this millimeter you speak of?

  24. therian says:

    after living 9 years in us I still don’t understand why people continue to use inches and etc. It hard and not natural to use them, hard to calculate, hard to visualize size and this unit just don’t fit with mathematics

  25. Wwhat says:

    Matches would be a bad idea to compare size, they come in various sizes from tiny to quite large.
    We should use a universal thing, like the moon, although of course you’d have to scale up the pictures a bit to fit it in in real-size :)

  26. punmaster says:

    I’ve lived in the US my entire life, so you certainly can’t accuse me of being inherently biased against the US unit systems. But metric is simply more useful and more intuitive, and anyone who has ever done any type of science will hopefully agree. As for currency, the same mentality goes. Today’s business world is too international, especially with the internet being what it is, to be using a thousand different arbitrary exchange systems. We’d all be better off, and economies would be far more stable, if we had a universal currency based on a real-world commodity (such as gold) instead of overinflated numbers pulled straight out of a government’s asshole.

    Well there’s my rant. :) On a more practical note, why not use an iphone as a scale comparison reference? It’s not an end-all solution to measuring units, but at least we’d all know how big the damn thing was. :P

  27. cptfalcon says:

    i’m surprised so many people dont know the size of a euro, clearly it’s about 75% of a 8×8 LED Matrix ;)

  28. billhates says:

    so….. what does it do?

  29. neuron says:

    “so….. what does it do?”

    The LED matrix or the Euro?

  30. Wwhat says:

    “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the LED-Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”


  31. Wwhat says:

    Incidentally, I know americans are ecstatic about the iphone, but in europe it’s not that hot, and I for one have never seen one in person.
    Someone suggested the disposable lighter as universal object to me, but now with the anti-smoke fascist being so succesful and I hear it even being illegal in canada for instance for people under 16(?) to buy a lighter, so even that would not work.
    I think a PSP would be more universal than an iphone, except there are now 2 versions.

    But wait a sec, here’s a solution: keyboard keys, while typing I realise they are almost everywhere the same size AFAIK, and you can pry one out for the picture! Plus everybody that visit the internet knows them.

  32. ACentauri says:

    I like using standard “AA” 1.5V alkaline batteries for size comparison. Same size everywhere in the world, everyone knows it.

    Or just place the object in the palm of your hand then take picture (needs a quiet hand though, and not usable if you got huge or tiny hands maybe)


  33. aw4lly says:

    How about using the standard measurement unit of say, a ruler? If its in inches/mm doesn’t really matter, its not exactly rocket science to convert them!

  34. Basic A. says:

    A one world currency would have to be issued by a one world bank… and considering national currencies like the US Dollar have already fallen into the hands of private banks, and the European Union was pushed as a way for the Rothschilds to further gain political control in Europe, it very quickly become obvious that a world currency is simply a way for a single group to obtain world domination….

  35. ak77 says:

    “i know americans are ecstatic about the iphone, but in europe it’s not that hot, and i for one have never seen one in person.”

    Haha.. there are plenty of iPhones in Ireland and UK, loads.

  36. ??? says:

    “i hear it even being illegal in canada for instance for people under 16(?) to buy a lighter” That’s ridiculous. Anyone can buy a lighter in Canada. I should know, ’cause I live there. You can’t buy tobacco under 18, but that’s just common sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97,790 other followers