ASync-Firefly

[dev_dsp] wanted to try his hand at creating a purely analog implementation of multiple synchronizing fireflies powered by a single battery and built from off-the shelf, through-hole components on inexpensive protoboard. In theory, even your local Radio Shack should still carry all of this stuff. He was obviously inspired by [alex]‘s fireflies that we’ve covered in the past, but he wanted to see how far it could be taken without the use of a microprocessor.

In the end, [dev_dsp] relied on one crucial piece of digital ware, the ever-popular 555 timer IC, but he’s using analog discrete components to do the grunt work of adjusting the phase of each firefly by feeding a little extra current to the trigger capacitor whenever the flash of a nearby firefly is detected. After the jump, you’ll find schematics and a video demo of three ASync-Firefly modules in various stages of assembly playing with one another while [dev_dsp] discusses their operation.

8 thoughts on “ASync-Firefly

  1. Yeah I know eh? A 555 is definatly analog electronics. Just because it tends to have a discrete response doesn’t make it digital.

  2. Just an aside… This was a project in Scientific American’s Amature Scientist column back 15ish years ago. You don’t see a lot of love for that column on hack/make sites. I’m not that old, but if you look at the projects from the 60s/70s there’s some amazing stuff: CO2 laser, NMR, electro staticparticle accelerator…

  3. The 555 isnt really a digital chip… yeah it outputs square waves but that doesnt make it “digital.” its a completely analog circuit inside

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