ISTE Standards & NGSS Science & Engineering Practies

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blinking Alien Spaceship Book Using Neopixels & an ATtiny85

Solder the neopixels before removing the adhesive from the copper tape.
In the process of prototyping, to see if I could get individually addressable neopixels (surface mounted RGB LEDs) to work in a paper circuit, I've learned a couple of tricks.
The most important one is to solder the LEDs to the copper tape before creating the rest of the circuit. Compared to my first botched attempt, in which I tried to solder neopixels to copper that was already adhered to paper, soldering the LEDs to the copper first was far less fiddly.
Although I had to use a multimeter to isolate a wonky joint (the result to too many cross-overs) I was eventually able to get three LEDs to work the way I'd intended.  Each light changes colors!

In this project, I've added a LilyPad button board in addition to a LilyPad slide switch.

Something else that I've done differently is add two layers of watercolor paper to the binder's board, with notches cut out for the LEDs, button, and switch.  Neopixels are thicker than other SMD LEDs, so the extra paper helps smooth out the surface of the book covers.  I added one layer of watercolor paper to the inside covers as well, hoping to increase the surface tension on the battery. 

Rough sketch
I painted the design and sealed it with acrylic gel medium.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Alien Paper Circuit with Neopixels & an ATtiny85

Chainable, surface mounted RGB LEDs work in paper circuits! 

After spending a couple of days prototyping, I've completed my first paper circuit using individually addressable neopixels, otherwise known as surface mounted RGB LEDs! Soldering them was trickier than I'd anticipated, however!  I'd originally planned to use three lights in this model, but a soldering mishap resulted in my using only two.  I love the way that the lights change colors at the press of a button!  (See video below).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Video: Programming an ATtiny85 Microprocessor with a Chromebook

Updated 30 October 2016:  Codebender is closing.  

Programming an ATtiny85 with a Chromebook

I recently completed a video tutorial to teach others how I program the ATtiny85 using a Chromebook.
I'm cross-posting it to this blog as a resource for budding notebook hackers.