Shift powered pumpkins


[Garret] and a couple of friends totally stole our idea wanted to light up their pumpkins a bit differently this year. They used some ShiftBrites and all the corresponding shift hardware (who knew there was so much shift out there) to bring their carved orange minions to life. Yes, this could be done a lot less modulated by using a regular LED and perhaps a PIC. Maybe it’s not the most technically challenging, but hey its in the spirit of Halloween – one of our favorite holidays. Speaking of which, doesn’t that fence look familiar? Check out a video after the break. Seriously, Mutton Chops?


  1. kirov says:

    woo look at me i can stick LEDs into a pumpkin

  2. wdfowty says:

    i’m definitely enjoying the midi ghostbusters theme. lol. this is a pretty cool idea, would be better if it was synced with the song on loudspeakers, like those christmas light arrays that blow people’s minds.

  3. TRB says:

    Hah thats so weird. We just went over shift registers in Electronics 201 today. pretty simple indeed.

  4. xrazorwirex says:

    At first glance I thought this read “shit powered pumpkins” and thought “FINALLY someone’s putting those damn kid’s vandalism to good use”….

    Oh well..

  5. That pumpkin looks like one of the cats from Azumanga Daioh.

  6. eee says:

    had to double take that headline.

    thought someone solved an energy crisis.

  7. aztraph says:

    hey kirov, I know where you can stick your LED’s

  8. napalm says:

    Yo kirov, love it or shove it baby!

  9. tMH says:

    simply fuckin awesome

  10. Awesome! I want to try it on my pumpkin.

  11. macegr says:

    Haha Jakob, I see what you did there with the black on black text at the end of your summary. As I said in the article, the mutton chops were a joke for my friends. I shaved off part of my beard and then cued up the Shaft music on my phone and walked into the kitchen. I assure you that right now, my face is devoid of all hair.

  12. jason says:

    i think the chops should stay!

  13. george says:

    pics or its not true! just kidding… howd you do the flicker effect?

  14. macegr says:

    @george: The candle flicker effect is pretty simple. Move up and down in brightness by a random amount, but not too far. The following function writes an individual flicker effect to all the ShiftBrites in a chain. You just run the function as many times as you want; loop it forever to get neverending candle.

    void runCandleFlicker() {

    int flicker;

    for (int j1 = 0; j1 1023) flicker = 1023;
    if (flicker < 100) flicker = 100;

    LEDChannels[j1][0] = flicker;
    LEDChannels[j1][1] = flicker*2/3;
    LEDChannels[j1][2] = 0;



  15. macegr says:

    Or at least that would have been the right code if the comments weren’t filtered. Here’s the unmangled version:

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