Super Brite LED Sneakers

[i am jen] needed to spice up some shoes, and what better way to do that, than to spike them out in LEDs controlled by a micro controller. In order to make the LED strips, an inventive use of Velcro is applied. One half of the strip is secured to the shoes, while the other half gets a sheet of electrical tape on the sticky side. Small holes are then punched though the strip and the LEDs are then soldered.

Electronicswise the shoes are using a pair of 6 volt batteries, with no readily available holder, a “AA” battery holder is chopped to size and glued back together. Patterns are controlled by a Really Bare Bones Board Arduino, (which, even if your not an Arduino fan, is a cool little AVR breakout board for 28 pin chips) and cycles through different patterns using magnets and reed switches on the inside edges of the shoes.

Even if its not your style, check it out for a few good hacks and join us after the break for a short video.

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IR-controlled Musical Alarm Clock


Forum user [Frank] shared with us his recent project, a musical alarm clock. More than just a simple alarm clock, his creation allows the user to load music onto a micro SD card, has alarm settings for each day of the week, and best of all, can be controlled using an IR remote. He uses a Teensy++ to control most of the clock’s functions including the display, delegating the time keeping to a DS1307 real-time clock. All of the audio playback is handled by a separate music decoder mounted on a breakout board.

His Instructables writeup is extremely detailed, with tons of annotations, pictures, diagrams, and source code available. He walks through each step in detail, making this a great learning guide for others looking to start in on AVR programming.

His final presentation is a great lesson in recycling, though unfortunately a bit lackluster, as the clock is packaged in an old SparkFun cardboard box. He does mention that there were some time constraints towards the end, which may explain this choice – it would be nice to see a revised version of this clock packaged in a nice plexi case.


Shockingly Fun Quiz Game

Gather your friends round the living room for a head-to-head quiz game. This one’s not quite as nice as you might think. Get an answer wrong and you’re going to get the Venkman treatment thanks to the stored electricity in a disposable camera flash circuit. [Israel] runs the game questions from a Windows machine, and uses a set of four USB joystick buzzers that let each contestant ring in. They all wear a cuff that houses electrodes for negative-reinforcement upon an incorrect answer. Since every contestant answers each question it won’t be long before you hear the uncomfortable yelp of failure from your guests. This seems a little bit more fair than shocking people for not calming their minds, but the video from that hack is still one of our all-time favorites.