Picture of Holiday Dreidel Light Display for Roof
This Instructable details how to build a holiday dreidel display for your roof. It uses coat hanger wire, rope light, and an Arduino controller to control a fading demo mode and a "spin" mode. In the demo mode, the symbols fade in and out, going from one to another. In "spin" mode, the symbols flash in sequence with an increasing delay between symbols until the dreidel "stops" on one and flashes. The spin function is activated by a remote push button.

NOTE: This project involves the use of 120V AC line voltage outside and in possibly bad weather. THERE IS A DANGER OF ELECTROCUTION AND DEATH if you are not careful. If you are not comfortable with this, either do not attempt this or seek professional advice from an electrician or other adequately trained person. I expressly disavow any guarantees, promises, warranties, or claims regarding the safety of this project. You undertake it at your own risk.

If you've decided to continue on, great! This project can be adapted to something besides a dreidel; it could be any interactive light display you want.

The project consists of the following major steps:

1) Constructing the symbols from coat hanger wire and attaching rope lights.
2) Constructing the Arduino controller box along with wiring for the lights.
3) Programming the Arduino.
4) Putting it all together.

This Instructable includes the schematics (Eagle files) and code for this project. I assume that you have the ability/knowledge/comfort to do the following:

1) Etch your own circuit board and solder components.
2) Conduct basic wiring (connect an extension cord cable to a plug, strip wire, etc.)
3) Work with basic hand tools.

If you're new to working with circuit boards, there are numerous tutorials out there on Instructables and at places like YouTube.

Check out the video below to see it in action. (And, yes, I know, shin means put one in the pot, not lose everything.)
wirenut19804 years ago
Great instructable!! I was wondering if you have or can make an instructable on the " Santa Land here " sign with bullseye? That would be great.
restifo (author)  wirenut19804 years ago
I'm glad you like it.

I could probably make one for the Santa lights, but that'd have to wait until I take my lights down so I can take pictures......;^)

That one uses a PLC that I just happened to have laying around. It's rather involved (and expensive).