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Old computer peripherals. They're everywhere. Most simply consist of a box, a few wires & a few connectors. Instead of trashing that old box of peripherals in the attic, consider turning them into Retro Modules.

This Instructable details how to create a NeoPixel "flower dome" Retro Module, similar to the one seen in Beauty and the Beast. If you prefer, the "flower" pictured can be decorated to more closely resemble a real flower.

Step 1: Gather Parts From the Recycle & Junk Bins

Most of the parts used in this build are -- or were sourced from -- old devices. These older devices can usually withstand tough conditions in stride. They feature larger, easily hack-able components. The old parts are likely on their way to the landfill. You can rescue them.

The modern parts can be attained for about $20. Ask your local hackerspace if they have any spares.

What you'll need:

  • 1x Arduino or similar microcontroller
  • 1x "Jewel" "NeoPixel" board
  • 1x "Ring" "NeoPixel" board
  • 1x cheap rechargeable USB-friendly battery pack
  • 1x potentiometer
  • 1-4x DE-9 connectors
    • These may be found within a DE-9 A/B switch or in old PCs.
    • Crimp-on connectors are preferable as they reduce clutter & soldering time.
  • 1x Male RJ-11 connector
  • 1x Female Panel-Mount RJ-11 connector
  • 1x prototype board
  • 1x 5VDC-coil relay
  • 1x diode
  • 1x UBEC 5V regulator
  • wire
  • wire stripper
  • drill
  • 1x DE-9 A/B switch box
  • 1x glass jar
<p>Very cool. I have been working on ideas for a series of electronic flower installations and this gives me some good inspiration. Thanks for sharing. </p>
<p>Thanks Jason! Happy to help! More to come :)</p>

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Bio: Breadboards are meant for the workbench. Bummer. You should be able to throw your prototypes in a backpack. You should be able to tweak their ... More »
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