Halloween is only a few days away. We're getting into the spirit by building a remote control color changing pumpkin. Channel buttons 0-8 on the remote toggle the colors of the rainbow. Button 9 activates an 'angry pumpkin' mode that flashes a scary red strobe for a few seconds.

It uses a minimal PIC 18F2550 circuit that decodes the remote control signals and drives a ShiftBrite color changing LED module. The F2550 is a USB PIC with a USB bootloader, so it's technically a USB upgradable pumpkin too.

Happy Halloween from Dangerous Prototypes!

Step 1: IR Receiver

A PIC 18F2550 microcontroller decodes RC5 infrared remote control signals, and sends instructions to a ShiftBrite color-changing LED module. We used a PIC development board with SMD parts, but you could also build this on a breadboard or perf-board with through-hole parts.

The IR receiver converts infrared light from the remote control into a signal that the PIC microcontroller can decode. The receiver is connected to PORTB pin 2 (RB2) of the PIC. RB2 has an external interrupt with edge select that we used to trigger the IR decoder. RB2 also has a Schmitt buffer that cleans the incoming signal and helps prevents false triggers. All PORTB pins on the 18F2550 have internal pull-up resistors if your receiver is an old type that doesn’t have it’s own pull-up.

Or you could just put one of those lights you can get at wal-mart for a buck.
But then where would the fun and excitement of being creative be! Nice job!

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