Bored of blinky lights that blink in response to time?
Make them blink with space instead!
This instructable shows a quick method for connecting LED tree decorations to a Geiger counter via arduino, so that the lights blink between different strings each time radiation is detected.
It's nicer to think of this as "cosmic rays" than some of the other possibilities...
What you'll need:
- A Geiger counter with pulse output (I'm using the Gieger counter from MightyOhm)
- A few strings of battery-operated LED decorations (I'm using stars and snowflake decorations from Poundland, 'cos you gotta love dem luminous spheres of plasma and dem frozen supercooled cloud droplets)
- Arduino-based microcontroller (either a proper development board, or I'm using a stripboard bare bones version)
- Female header (two or three sockets' worth)
- Batteries/alternative power supply for your Geiger counter and Arduino
- Assortment of connecting wires (either jumper leads or multi-core stuff to solder)
- Soldering equipment, wire cutters, wire strippers etc.
- Maybe a spare LED for testing, insulation tape...
Step 1: The Geiger counter
The PULSE connector (J6) has the following pinout:
1. VCC (nominally 3V)
2. pulse output – a short (100us) active high pulse every time the geiger tube fires
We need to connect the GND pin (the one on the right) with a ground pin on our arduino and the pulse output (middle) with a pin on the arduino so we can detect the detections.
Cut 3 sockets' worth of female header. (You can get away with two if you have to.)
Cut yourself two lengths of wire long enough to reach between your Geiger counter and your arduino. It's helpful to have two different colours, but not essential. I'm something of a traditionalist and have used black for ground and red for the pulse output...
Solder the ground wire to one of the outer pins and the pulse wire to the middle pin.
This assembly should fit nicely onto the male pins on the Geiger counter: