DIY Friday: Close Encounters Altoid Tin


Fantastic entry in the Instructables "Get The LED Out" contest: How To Communicate With An Alien Artifact or . . .Close Encounters of the Curiously Minty Kind.

Most LEDs are VERY bright over a very small viewing angle. Here I’ve used wide-angle flat top LEDs which give the same light but spread over a much wider range which will allow this to be appreciated from all angles. The video really doesn’t do justice to the brightness and clarity of the LEDs. They are bright even in daylight. Also the initial flashing is an artifact. The LEDs are pulsing smoothly.

The 12 LEDs are arranged as three banks of 4, which gives 7 possible patterns of illumination. It would have been good to have more but I wanted to keep this simple and specifically use the PicAxe 08m chip. The spreadsheet shows the way the LED colours and banks are arranged.

For the LED array you will need :-

    * 3 x red LEDs, 3 x blue LEDs, 3 x green LEDs, 3 x yellow LEDs.
    * 6 x 180R resistors (brown, grey, brown) for the red and yellow LEDs.
    * 3 x 220R resistors (red, red, brown) for the blue LEDs.
    * 3 x 330R resistors (orange, orange, brown) for the green LEDs.
    * 18 x 15 hole copper strip veroboard.
    * Spot face cutter ( or a 5mm drill bit or craft knife).
    * Scraps of plain board and link wire.


Love the video clip…