Giving us a chance to break out the TLAs, [Blair] sent in his latest hack where he embedded an RGB LED into his EeePC to display twitter, pidgin, and email notifications. It is based around the ATtiny45, and requires very few additional parts. He based the project on a foundation of work laid by [Dennis Schulze] on notifications and the work of [Dave Hillier] that used V-USB, a library for implementing USB on AVRs. The entire circuit was done freehand and crammed inside the netbook. He says that it is a lot easier to see notifications, even when the laptop is shut.

Related: Email notification via RGB LED

37 thoughts on “DIY AVR USB RGB LED Notifier

  1. Hey wait,

    I’m not sure if Blairs notfier would work like is without my scripts.

    Ah anyway I already submitted my notifier time ago, repeatedly, and got no response. This although I mentioned I’d written python scripts polling twitter,ICQ and email. No reply, no postr on hackaday, no nothing.

    Then I went over to forum, posted about it there, got nice response, blair chimed in, convinced me to use Dave’s USB hardware and firmware (instead of the serial device I had made initially) and initially was my idea to build it into an eeepc, too. Even designed a PCB with all smd parts to make it fit inside my eeePC (which has less space than blairs 901, mind you).

    Have I done something bad to hackaday without realizing it, or why am I ignored, my work denied?


    Can anyone tell me,
    WHAT A HECK AM I PUBLiSHING OPEN SOURCE IF NOONE RECKONS MY AMOUNT OF WORK I PUT INTO IT; may it even be as small as a short “made possible through some software written by dennis” or sumthing..

    But why publish open source at all if I get no credit?

  2. Its not that I want attention or claim this my sole work or anything, its just that I also included the name of the person I copied stuff from, everytime I did, to give the person his/her due credit.
    And so I think its only fair if I demand the same for my work, when/if someone uses it to base his own, further developed idea upon it (which generally makes me happy).

    C’mon, its even part of the GNU GPL, its nothing special to give credit. Blair gives me lots of credit on his site – I wonder how this hackaday entry ended up without a trace of it..

    ..makes you think doesn’t it?

  3. thanks man, now I feel better. I wish that you’ll soon spend many hours for something that is not acknowledged as your own work later, although you would maybe even deserve it. Now THAT was whining.

  4. @dennis,
    Don’t stress. We generally write the stories based on the information supplied, mainly focusing on whomever did that specific project. If we had to follow the chain down the line for all contributors, even major ones, each article would get quite ridiculous fast. On reviewing the story it looks like you should have a mention, We’ll get Zach to add it in.

    As far as your comments, that’s all automated. Your comment was probably blocked for some reason by the spam filter. I need to go in and fix some issues with this post, I”ll see if your comments are still waiting for approval.

  5. @dennis,
    yup, multiple links caused it to get caught by the spam blocker. Your comment has been approved and you have been added to the post.

    Keep submitting your hacks. Sometimes things just slip through the cracks.

  6. Other simple (expensive?) solution ready for noobs?

    Check the comments for mod instructions.

    “I bought the one Dream Cheeky makes (it looks the same as this one) and controlling the 3 LEDs (RGB) that are inside is quite easy… they each have 64 levels of brightness and the colors mix quite nicely due. Use an USB sniffer application e.g. USBlyzer to get the commands…

    My example:


    hidDevice.Write(new byte[9] { 0x00, 0x1F, 0x01, 0x29, 0x00, 0xB8, 0x54, 0x2C, 0x03 });
    hidDevice.Write(new byte[9] { 0x00, 0x00, 0x01, 0x29, 0x00, 0xB8, 0x54, 0x2C, 0x04 });
    hidDevice.Write(new byte[9] { 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x54, 0x2C, 0x05 });

    To change LED state:

    hidDevice.Write(new byte[9] { 0x00, Byte.Parse(r), Byte.Parse(g), Byte.Parse(b), 0x00, 0x00, 0x54, 0x2C, 0x05 });

    I used this library to do it:

  7. @Dennis — from my point of view (and I’ve submitted and had one of my projects reviewed a couple years back, so I do know the work level) the whining and multiple comments like that very much works against your credibility.

    I’d assume the editors at Hackaday pick projects based on their opinion of those projects they have time to review on any given day. Surely some truly awesome hack-fu has been missed, and we can all site posts here that we personally think qualify only for the lame-o bucket —

    HOWEVER: none of that means anyone’s hack is entitled to anything. If it doesn’t get picked up, it doesn’t get picked up. The End. If you act is if you’re entitled it can’t help. I know if I was an editor, my silent response to this kind of childish whining would be to set the bar much higher on those things you submit that I’d be likely to want to post about.

  8. @dennis: You have a very valid point about not getting recognition, but lots of people will ignore that because you had several posts in quick succession, which made it seem like you were whining, coupled with the fact that many of your comments were referencing non-posted comments, which were later posted.

  9. thanks folks,

    Since credibility is shot anyways here’s my thoughts once more: :)

    @ st.jimmy: thats true, I wish it hadn’t turned that direction. But I guess thats just how I am.. slightly choleric person I guess.

    @andrew: you miss my point entirely. I really like Blairs hack and the fact that hes on hackaday with it! I just dislike me doing the work and others getting the props for “twitter,pidgin,thunderbird”, thats all – which most definitely is NOT blairs fault if you look @his site, btw.

    @mem.namefix: OK that uzebox really IS a cool mod! Be lucky they didn’t write about it as if it was entirely someone else’s work.. ;)

    @JustBlair: sorry for the load of comments on my behalf! Your hack alone wouldn’t deserve such kind of bad publicity..

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