Arduino Charliplexed Heart, just in time for Valentines Day.

Picture of Arduino Charliplexed Heart, just in time for Valentines Day.
Here is an Arduino controlled Charliplexed LED heart just in time for Valentine's Day. It uses a total of 6 wires to controll the 27 LEDs. A PIC or AVR could easily be used for this, but I have Arduinos lying around and they are easy to program. Plus I want to be able to have input options later when I have time to write them.

Go here for a great explination of Charliplexing.

Update 5/20/08:
I've actually made a kit for this, and I'm now taking pre-orders on my website. I also created a flash-based animation programmer. Check them out and let me know what you think. The programmer generates the newest version of the code, so it will still be a useful tool if you make your own heart. You will just need to change out the LED array with one that maps to your own.

Update 2/12/08:
I've updated the software to v 1.3. I found a function called PROGMEM in the avr/pgmspace.h library (included with Arduino software) that allows you to write directly to the Flash ROM. That now gives about 500+ frames of animation, and is an extremely easy thing to implement. You can check out the new software here.

Two of my friends are currently working on getting a bitmath version that should increase this even further (to around 4,500 frames), but while working, it is not very easy to work with in creating animations. I'll release that once I have my Processing program up and generating the animation codes.

Update 2/11/08:
I've put the schematic on step 1. There is a direct link to it on my flickr as well.

First Animation

Second Animation

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RenalsH10 days ago

Ok so on the schematic- that is "viewed from the top" so I am assuming that is meaning from the side where the LED light shines from? So when I am on the back side soldering leads the image should be mirrored so that all connections match up correclty?

monroe071 month ago

Hey could you mark on the schematic where you connected the wires respectively? your pictures of the wires are not very clear. Thanks

zamanm3 months ago

nice job! do you have a regular schematic for this project that has the arduino and the leds together.

nickdudego36 months ago

What size LEDs did you use?

I can buy a pack of 5mm LED's but I want it to fit

dgs4 years ago

dgs4 years ago
Made one of my own on PIC12F675 (coz i'm into PIC mcu world :] ). Driving 16 LEDs on 5 pins. Take a look here:
mertaxoy4 years ago
hello jaypee 4227 are you sure that your schemantic is correct ?? i have built the same and something is wrong :-/
moosebumps6 years ago
Fun project! I built this for my valentine and it dazzled her so. Turns out she's a demanding ladyfriend and wanted to see the project go further. So as per her request it now pulses along to the music. Soon it will all get stuffed into a yo gabba gabba plex doll. Your polished code was quite an asset. Thank you! flickr vid: www.➡.ws/念
jaypee4227 (author)  moosebumps6 years ago
Wow, that's really cool. Your link was broken, so I had to look you up. Here is the link:
I'm going to do a writeup of this on my blog. Do you have a copy of the code online?

Great build!
Wow! thanks for the blog feature and fixing my poor link. I will get the code posted this evening and drop you a comment. Thanks again.
(removed by author or community request)
and for your answer i used his improved program he has listed above with a breadbord so i can put as many leds as a want hope that answers your question
akatsuki6666 years ago
finaly i found a program that works with no errors ty vm!
Maniacy6 years ago
Great project. I don't really see the C shapes, could you mark the positions somehow on the schematic or give the numbers of the LEDs with pin to which to solder?
jchord6 years ago
what size are the leds you used?
randName6 years ago
I suggest using the I/O port registers for setting the state of the pin. It uses less cycles and would be faster, thus improving the quality of animation.
Really cool Instructable! Very nicely done, it's really cool. And awesome job winning the random prize! :P
Bongmaster7 years ago
looks kool.. got a schematic? the photos are a little confusing on thier own :)
jaypee4227 (author)  Bongmaster7 years ago
Just added it to step 1. Here is a direct link:
craig37 years ago
you could add this to a nice box with an on/off switch as well, instead of the normal gray project box, why not try to put it inside of a jewelry box lid
jaypee4227 (author)  craig37 years ago
I've actually got a plan to make a PBC for this, so that it could function as a broach, or be pined onto a bag easily enough. I'll update my project blog once that stuff is done, but between school and work, my time is limited. This is just the prototype, and I uploaded it early because of the "Get the LED out" contest.
I've actually got a plan to make a PBC for this, so that it could function as a broach, or be pined onto a bag easily enough.

Avoid Logan Airport here in Boston. The natives are a simple and ignorant people, easily frightened by glowing lights on one's clothing.

jaypee4227 (author)  Chris Tucker7 years ago
I actually live in Somerville, where that whole ATHF thing happened (1-31-07 nevar forgit!), and I remember when the whole Logan thing happened as well. Somerville is actually generally pretty cool about such things, and the thing about the city being paralyzed for a while isn't really true. They closed the Sullivan T stop for about 2 hours while they tried to determine what the device was, and then the media took hold of the story and ran with it. I guess it's more sensational when people are "paralyzed with fear". As for Star Simpson, the stories I've read seem to convey that it wasn't as much the device, but her confronting officials asking her basic questions. However, I've not spoken with her directly, so I'm not going to pass any kind of judgement. Once I get this thing finished, I'll be sporting it around town, and I doubt I'll get anything other than "wow, where can I get one of those?"
I'm in Mattapan myself. I was listening to the police scanner, and I heard the following on one of the media feedback channels: "Aqua Teen Hunger Force? What the hell is that?" I then knew instantly what was going on. My only regret was that the weather had been so filthy for a while, that I wasn't doing my usual walking about the city. My usual routes lead me past two or three of the sites where these things were. It would have been easy to snag one!. BTW, nice job with the thing! The videos are impressive.
cr0ybot7 years ago
Added to the Arduino Group! ;D
jaypee4227 (author)  cr0ybot7 years ago