Tiny Programable board for 2 LEDs?


I'm looking for advice on how to make and get and effect on a project I'm working on. Basically what I'm wanting is to have 2 LEDs (which will be a set of eyes) that will have random sequences of blinking and change at random intervals. Something that isnt constant and overly repetitive, more natural and subtle.

I've never done something like this to this level quite before so I'm looking for something intuitive and simple if possible. The space I have to work in is extremely small too, like less then 2 inches squared. It also needs to be run by battery, however that part doesn't have to be within the small space if need be, although it would be preferred.

Would raspberry Pi, work/be a good option? I've NEVER used it before. I've also heard about "Arduino". Would that possible work? Are their better options/suggestions? I really dont know what I'm doing here. Hhahaha



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wesm41 year ago

i second the attiny85 chip its amazing and use an uno to program it. It would fit your project perfectly

JXZ (author)  wesm41 year ago

Why would I need one board (uno) to program another board(attiny85)?

You essentially need something to handle the communication between the bare chip, that attiny85 and the computer to load the code on. You can either get a dedicated chip programmer unit or use that arduino and its user-friendlier interface to load the code when the chip is wired to the arduino. You then detach the chip from the arduino to use.

the bonus is that you can also prototype your circuits on the full size arduino and adapt the code for a smaller attiny85 chip. Useful in situations where you want to lower the cost of a finished product when you pass it on or duplicate it for mass production.

JXZ (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

Haha, I barely understand alot of this but I think I get the point. The attiny85 is not what I thought it look like. I like what you're saying tho about prototyping as I may mass produce what I'm creating later on a bit more and whatever I can do to lower the price and whatnot would be good.

For now tho I'm thinking the Trinket (or something similar, like this digispark PKM suggests) is more then small enough. More then enough. Seems like anyways programming a attiny right now is probably too complex for me at a beginner stage anyways. Plus, the trinket is pretty flat and has the usb to program directly from the computer. I can use the Arduino program to program it right?

The Trinket is really small. It's really an attiny85 chip with the extras. Look at the Adafruit tutorial to download the software(arduino IDE) to program it. You can actually install all that before you get a trinket and grab sample code and compile it. A few drivers to load and little things to watch out for when you actually use it(use good usb cable, usb2.0 ports, press the reset button if not loading, signs that it is connected to the PC - check their Trinket forums for help). Have fun.

JXZ (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

I also want a tiny standard on/off switch and a small LiPo battery pack; Adafruit's LiPo 3.7v 500mAh battery seems the perfect size for this. Apparently I'll have to solder a JST connector for this from what I can tell? Would a Gemma v2 perhaps work better?

Again, I really just want 2 LED "eyes". They gotta be red diffused 10mm. I might want 2-3 more little 3mm ones, but their option at this point or might be just powered by a button battery. Like an LED throwie.

Later down the round I might, -MIGHT-, want to throw a small speaker on the play some short sound bits. Obviously the trinket couldn't hold the files for that. I'm already curious how much "space" the coding would take up. And if it could even fit that many things on it. Is there a another trinket sized board that has alot of space or might be able to fit like a micro SD card and would work for this project?

I know I ask alot of questions haha, but thanks so much already for your help, seriously, its really been a HUUUUGE help.

JXZ (author)  JXZ1 year ago

Also, if I go with a trinket would I want the 3v or 5v one?

Since it sounds like you can/will be soldering stuff up, either one will do. The 3 volt version is for hooking up to more advanced sensors later that work at 3 volt signal levels. You might want to get the 3v Trinket to run with that lipo pack and you can also drive neopixels with it too.

You can get beeps and tones out of a basic arduino but need an add on board for sound playback/sd card storage and the whole amp/speaker thing for sound bytes. Look at adafruit's FX audio board all in one unit for sound effects.

JXZ (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

Well unless I am missing something...I think I'm going with this one.


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