January 13, 2013

A-Door-Aborable Wreath: Tech Edition, Part 2

    Hello again! Just wanted to give the second half of the LED jingle bells wreath project. The first half of the project covered the creation of the wreath itself, using cardboard, a craft knife, glue, and a few other materials. The video is the conclusion of the second part of the wreath project: adding song and lights!

    Though I liked the wreath when I first made it, it is much more interesting now that my brother incorporated LED lights and an arduino code to make it play "Jingle Bells." To get the code he wrote as well as some read through instructions on how to get started, click here. Some basic info on the project, in his words:

"To make a similar project, on your breadboard, wire two LEDs in series on each Arduino out pin called in the "LED PIN" array, and include a 330 Ohm resistor on each pin circuit to ensure that you stay under the maximum current draw for each pin.  The piezobuzzer is wired as usual, and the pushbutton has a pull up resistor to prevent any erroneous 'low' signals. "
  Though I am not entirely sure what all that techno-speak means, I do know that this project required quite a bit of soldering and technical know-how. *A disclaimer to all those who try this project: I know very little of the tech details, but if you comment with a question about the arduino/code process, we will try to help. There are quite a few wires, which feed to the LED lights in series. All of these are attached to the breadboard on the back of the wreath.

  • Wreath
  • Drill
  • LED Lights for arduino
  • Arduino
  • Wires for Arduino
  • Code for "Jingle Bells"

How To:

1.     Drill holes into the wreath at random, but evenly spaced intervals throughout the wreath, using a drill bit slightly larger than the LED lights.

2.     Now that you have the holes drilled, decide which color of LED lights to put in each hole.  Chris intentionally mismatched the colors (so a white triangle would have a green or red LED, a red triangle a green LED, etc.)

3.     Solder the LED's to wires, solder wires to circuit board (sorry, I can't be more specific about this  because I was at work when my brother did this part and therefore, didn't see it happen.) Here is the jumbled wire mess that was is back part of the wreath.

4.     Then it was hooked up a 9 volt battery to make the light and sound work. And that is all I know. He ran into some soldering issues when putting the wires on the actual wreath, so there was a jump in the sound that doesn't exist in the actual code. The video below shows the light and sound coming from the breadboard.

And to end the post, I wanted to let you know how excited I am about next weekend- there is going to be a Mini Maker's Faire in Houston!  I am sure to be inspired by all the amazing projects that will be showcased at the event as well as hopefully get some more know-how about the tech aspects behind projects like this one. Can't wait to let you know what I find and learn there!

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