Advent wreath from parts you have on hand

Here’s an advent wreath made from six parts and a paper clip. Powered by a CR2032 3v button cell, the circuit has been free-formed using a paper clip as the conductor. We love the “dead bug” style of construction used with the ATtiny13 microcontroller because it adds an extra level of intrigue for the uninitiated. This project build on the flickering circuit we saw last year and uses the LEDs as light sensors, only turning on when a certain darkness level has been reached.

We used a tiny13 with our Menorah project last year and still have some lying around that we can use for this. We’re sure you’ve got at least a couple of low-pin-count micros on hand. If you don’t, you should!

Comments

  1. jimmy_pop says:

    I love these type of designs with components soldered in the air and this particular one is really cool.

    One thing that I’d like to do someday is to build a similar thing without the microcontroller, generating the activation signals of the leds from
    an oscil·lator built from more common elements like resistors, capacitors and bjt’s.

  2. CJrKoS says:

    now thats awesome and 2 small for the A…. word lol

  3. qqqq says:

    so you turn this on at the start of advent and it will blight another light by each week passes. Dont think so…

  4. Rudolph says:

    And why not qqqq?

    A tiny13 in sleep mode should run for months on a little battery, and the advent state is stored in eeprom.

  5. I was expecting 3 purple and a pink LEDs but w-pedia says it depends.

    Good to see someone say “dead bug” again. I was afraid there was a new name. I haven’t etched anything in years since I figured out how to do it dead bug style.

    One thing I like to do is to superglue my DIPs to a blank piece of copper and then write the chip name on the underside with a paint pen. Then you need to mark pin 1 on the IC and remember everything is upside down

    The other thing I like to do is to make my chip to chip connects with wire wrap wire and tool. I give it a few wraps around the upside down pin and then double check my wiring. Only after it’s been checked do I come back an do a quick dab of solder to keep it all together.

  6. Doug says:

    kinda expensive…

    also, soldering paperclips is hell!

  7. Drone says:

    I tried the previous circuit with the ATtiny and LEDs as both lamps and light sensor. Real buggy, could never get the light sensing to work satisfactorily (yes I know how to calibrate it and the author’s original post called out the wrong reset pin). I tried six or seven different types and colors of LEDs. Toyed with the source code and could not improve the performance – but didn’t really try too hard. It seems to me you are going to get a lot better performance with some sort of dedicated light sensor. Where something like this makes sense IMHO is when you use a micro with more pins that doesn’t cost much more than the now obsolete ATtiny13 (e.g., ATMega168/328) and control one LED per pin for better effect.

  8. LeJupp says:

    Thanks for posting this on Dec. 20 ;-)

  9. WA5ZNU says:

    This is cool looking. I like projects with minimal structure. I got inspired by some of the firefly bug projects I saw at the Maker Faire a couple of years ago and did one, a wreath with nothing but LEDs and wire: http://www.instructables.com/id/101_Led_Wreath/

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