Incredibly Heavy Ornament Likely Inappropriate To Hang On Tree

It’s that time of year again, and the Christmas hacks are flooding in thick and fast. To get into the Christmas spirit,  the FoxGuard team wanted a custom ornament to hang from the tree. They may have gotten more than they bargained for.

It’s a simple build that demonstrates the basic techniques of working with DACs and scopes in a charming holiday fashion. A Tektronix T932A analog oscilloscope is pressed into service as a display, by operating in XY mode. A Teensy 3.5 was then chosen for its onboard digital to analog converters, and used to output signals to draw a Christmas tree and star on the screen.

Old-school coders will appreciate the effort taken to plot the graphics out on graph paper. While the hack doesn’t do anything cutting edge or wild, it’s impressive how quick and easy this is thanks to modern development methods. While the technology to do this has existed for decades, a hacker in 1998 would have spent hours breadboarding a PIC microcontroller with DACs, let alone the coding required. We’ve come a long way.

It’s a bit of fun, but we highly recommend you don’t try and hang an analog scope off your tree at home. These WiFi-controlled ornaments are perhaps more suitable. Video after the break.


6 thoughts on “Incredibly Heavy Ornament Likely Inappropriate To Hang On Tree

  1. A “hacker” on 1998 would do it faster, with less parts, less code on a much less capable uc.
    He would then share it on a forum, and carry on. He would not be called a hacker because he is using all the parts as intended.

  2. If said 1968 then maybe.We had something called a computer in the 70s that could make prettier graphics and some in color with animation. “Jimgle Bells” being played on 8inch floppy stepper/servos fun too. Not that I wouldnt use scope for vector display Christmas tree but Tektronix 546 barely fit under tree and not on it. Room would be toasty warm though. Tektronix T932A – is a late 70s field scope btw.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.