A spinning beachball of doom that you can carry in your pocket


Need a way to tell the world that you’re mentally ‘out to lunch’? Or what about a subtle hint to others that your current thought process is more important than whatever they are saying? [Caleb Kraft] — who earlier this year bid farewell to Hackaday for a position with EETimes — is heading to the World Maker Faire in New York this weekend, and he decided to build just that device. If you’re heading to Maker Faire too, keep an eye out for his eye-catching Spinning Beachball of Doom. He was inspired by iCufflinks from Adafruit, and ended up with a great little device that is small enough to be worn, or just thrown around for fun.

A couple of weeks ago, we linked you to the Adafruit announcement of their new Trinket product line. [Caleb] wasted no time in finding a use for the tiny microcontroller board. He paired it with the Neopixel LED ring, and had it working with just a tiny tweak to the test code. He then used DesignSpark Mechanical to design a 3D-printed case… the most complicated part of the project. It’s too bad his original plan to power the whole thing with button cells didn’t work out, because it could have been a neat (albeit expensive) upgrade to LED throwies. That said, [Caleb] mentions that a small LiPo battery would be a good alternative.

This is a fun little project that most anyone could throw together in an afternoon. Don’t be surprised if we start seeing these show up more and more.

To see what it looks like in action, check out the video after the break.

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A really, really tiny microcontroller board


Here’s something very cool from the wonderful world of Adafruit: The Trinket, an Arduino compatible microcontroller platform that’s not only small enough to fit in your pocket, it’s small enough to lose in your pocket.

Like the similarly specced Digispark, the Trinket features an ATTiny85 microcontroller with 5 IO pins. Unlike the Digispark, the Trinket is a bit more substantial, featuring 3.3 and 5 Volt regulators along with a real USB port and mounting holes. As this is based on the ‘tiny85, it’s possible to connect this up to I2C and SPI sensors and peripherals

One thing to note about the Trinket is the fact that it’s so cheap. Either version of the Trinket goes for about $8, inexpensive enough to simply leave in a project when you’re done with it. Given the cool stuff we’ve already seen created with the Digispark, including a homebrew stepper motor and an Internet meme and lame pun assessment tool, we can’t wait to see what’s made with the Trinket,