Dot matrix intelligent hand/bike light. "the matrix"

Picture of Dot matrix intelligent hand/bike light.
2013-10-23 07.36.03.jpg
This idea was in my mind for a time and one night two weeks ago with a short inspiration, I've started working on it. The LEDS nowadays are quite powerful and can do lots of lighting jobs. Well, they are fast and easily driveable by small electronics & microcontrollers. So I've planned to design and build an intelligent light, not only capable of lighting but also conveying messages, displaying animations and also do some more useful things like displaying temperature and doing timing etc.

Here is the product being powered on and switched to demo mode in which it displays all available running modes in sequence. There are additional videos also at the 7th step of the article.

Below is a video of all 4 prototypes singing together.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Circuit Design

Picture of Circuit Design
The system is powered by a pic 16F88 microcontroller. 5x5 dot matrix display is made from narrow beam 3mm leds.

it has 30 different modes, 14 continuous lighting with different power settings, 12 animations, 1 temperature measuring,1 timing modes and two audio modes

I started designing it on a simulation program first then made the real circuit on breadboards

Step 2: Deciding on the design

Picture of Deciding on the design

Later I've worked on the design of the product itself. Made some 20+ sketches before starting to 3d model.
The blue one was my first model, on the sketch it was nice but I didn't like the looks of the model then tried the black one and went on trying, at last I've settled on the gray coloured design. Being long and slender with a small volume can be helpful for the product to be used for multi prposes.

Step 3: First Prototype

Picture of First Prototype
2013-10-21 09.07.12.jpg
2013-10-14 12.13.55.jpg
2013-10-14 12.32.11.jpg
2013-10-14 12.35.36.jpg
2013-10-14 12.33.16.jpg
2013-10-14 12.37.48.jpg
2013-10-14 16.00.35.jpg
2013-10-14 16.05.43.jpg
2013-10-14 12.42.48.jpg
2013-10-14 16.12.27.jpg
2013-10-15 10.24.02.jpg
2013-10-14 16.12.47.jpg
I have printed the design by using an UP printer. I have cut proper sized pcb prototype boards and assembled the circuit.
installed the circuit into the printed plastic case and started testing.

While working I continusly updated and improved the code with new ideas coming. Showing temperature was one of them. Drilled a hole at the bottom of the printed case to install the 18B20 temperature sensor. Later I have added a hole to the 3D model as well.
amazing project! I love it!
hobbyman (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago

Thanks Andrea, I also like your projects a lot.


Tetris11 year ago
Make a kickstarter campaign or an indiegogo. I can really see this getting backed
hobbyman (author)  Tetris11 year ago
Thanks for the idea. I've started one. Added its link to the last step of the instructable.
ssamc1 year ago
Great work. Very professional product development.
HarlyHunk1 year ago
Very nice. How about a binary clock feature?
hobbyman (author)  HarlyHunk1 year ago
I'm on %97 of code space now but one of the modes can be converted to a binary clock or I can start a totally new model with different functions + the binary clock. thanks ;)
You have a fair amount of light patterns in it. Instead of starting an entirely new model, I would suggest picking some of the more fun patterns and delete the others, to create some space.
I like it. I agree with HarlyHunk about the clock feature. It would be a nice touch. I suspect a Kickstarter would bring in enough cash to start production.
Zibri1 year ago
This is a great project and great prototyping skills.
That's very very cool. If I had money I'd back. I'd buy one if I saw it on a shelf for sure.