LED menorahs

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We’re barely past Halloween and people are already working on their next LED based holiday decorations. For Hanukkah, Gizmodo pointed out the PCB menorah pictured above. It uses a set of DIP switches to control which LEDs are lit. A couple years ago, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories put together a tutorial for building a more minimal LED menorah. Each of the nine LEDs are soldered directly to the legs of an ATtiny2313 microcontroller. Every time you power up the device an additional LED is lit. [Ori] liked the project and decided to take a slightly different approach. He used an LM3914 DIP18 LED bar driver. A potentiometer controls how many of the LEDs are illuminated.

Tennis for Two resurrected


The first video game every created is attributed to physicist William Higinbotham. Tennis for Two is played on an oscilloscope using two controllers. Each one has a knob that controls the trajectory and a button to hit the ball. The fine folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have recreated the game so you can play it on any oscilloscope. An ATmega168 is used to control everything. It takes user input from the paddles and outputs an the X and Y analog signals for the scope. An R-2R style DAC is used for the output stage which gives a 256×256 resolution. Everything is built on top of one of their business card sized project boards-which really shows how useful such a simple board can be. The source code is free and the write up includes plenty of detail. We’d love to see what modifications people come up with since the base game doesn’t even have scoring. There’s a video of EMSL’s system embedded below.

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Live full motion video on a Peggy

[Windell] was stoked enough to send us [Jay]‘s sweet hack on [Windell]‘s Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Peggy 2.0 kit. [Jay] added serial input and hacked quartz composer on his mac to light up all 625 LEDs with live motion video. If you were jealous of the Metalab’s giant LED display, now you can have your own – smaller and cheaper.

EMSL has recently supplemented this awesome device with their Arduino Library for Peggy 2.0. It is a program library that contains various animations and demonstrations of how to draw on a Peggy. Download and enjoy them as they are or tweak them to test out some of Peggy 2.0’s capabilities.

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk


UPDATE: EMSL has four more boxes ready to go. If you are in the silicon valley area, pick one up.

The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronics Junk is essentially a virtual swap meet. A mysterious USPS flatrate box arrives on your door step filled to the brim with random electronics. You remove some pieces that you find interesting or useful. Write about them. Add some items from your own collection, and then ship it off to a recipient you deem worthy. [John Park] was kind enough to send us the box code named Rangoon and here’s what we found inside:

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Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories turns 2


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is celebrating their second anniversary. They say they’re now 20 millicenturies old. To celebrate, they put together their greatest hits from the last year. We enjoyed their bristlebots, candyfabbing, and AVR business cards and hope to see their work for many more years to come.

HP Color LaserJet 2600n teardown


In the ongoing quest to find parts for new projects by scavenging old devices, the curiously sane and benevolent team at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories took apart an HP Color LaserJet 2600n. They wanted to see what makes it tick and what parts can be culled from it for later use.

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Maker Faire 2008: Schwag


As our final Maker Faire post, we thought we’d talk about some of the curious items that were handed us during the event.

While checking out Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories‘ latest generation CandyFab were given their AVR business card breakout board.

[Garrett] gave us a handful of ShiftBrites to play with in a future project.

We donated to the EFF, as we’re wont to do, and received a super bright blue flashlight for spotting the yellow tracking dots on color laser printouts. If you’re not familiar with this topic, you should check out bunnie’s blue light scanner.

Our final stop was at ifixit to pick up a free set of spatulas (spudgers?) for popping open iPods. All around a decent haul.

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