Instructables

The Cylon - Larson Scanner Kit - with Charlieplexing!

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Picture of The Cylon - Larson Scanner Kit - with Charlieplexing!
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This instructable covers building the kit that is the result of several builds, and many iterations. If you want to learn more about previous attempts and or the design process comment below and I'll dig out the older (and much much smaller) versions and also go through the design and manufacture process too. But this is really a kit build but of a kit I've built.

I've always wanted a Larson scanner. Growing up watching shows like Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and even the A-Team (there was a gold Cylon in it, Face does a double take at it which was a nice touch!) it's hard not to have fallen in love with the hypnotic bouncing light invention of Glen A. Larson.
 
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rondust11 months ago
All this guff about - "Commercial" WHAT UTTER RUBBISH!
This is a great little project for kids to begin with and I for one would like to see more of it.
Everything is available to us and you developed a kit for those that need it because of time restraints or access or simplicity.
GOOD JOB I say, purists are invading this site like a plague.
What about the 3D printer kits etc from this site??
Some people have nothing better to do than criticize others.

AAA++++ from me, and my kids who will build this one. :-)
phenoptix (author)  rondust11 months ago
Thanks so much for your comment. We'll be adding some more explanation of our design choices to help builders understand why they're doing what they're doing.
jensenr3011 months ago
this looks very neat!
phenoptix (author)  jensenr3011 months ago
Thanks! It's probably our 5 or 6th iteration of the board so there's been a lot gone into getting it to look so neat.
-A-N-D-Y-11 months ago
I've seen many circuits over the years to reproduce this. Does anyone know the actual original circuit used in the car?
I can tell you one thing. It used light bulbs, not LEDs. Back then LEDs were not bright enough, and there were 8 of them.
I can tell you one thing. It used light bulbs, not LEDs. Back then LEDs were not bright enough.
phenoptix (author)  -A-N-D-Y-11 months ago
The original would have been an analogue circuit http://www.100randomtasks.com/knight-rider
rusky11 months ago
Cool! Unfortunately for me, I noticed that you are in the UK so my credit card is going to take a battering!
phenoptix (author)  rusky11 months ago
Our shipping is pretty cheap, but also you can get the PCB made from OSHPark or similar locally, the rest of the components are easy enough to source ;)
omega656 months ago
The kit makes it easy but I built one on a PC board and parts from Radio Shack. Just follow the instruction and use good construction skills. It's not hard. So he's not just marketing the kit.
sgalligan6 months ago
thanks for this kit I have to say for someone who has never held a soldering iron I found the instructable very useful!
phenoptix (author)  sgalligan6 months ago
so glad you liked it! I love soldering, it's such an empowering skill. Would love to see some pictures of your handiwork!
it doesnt let me post pics here unless you guys know how?
duncan_a6 months ago

Now, as for me, I have no problem with any commercial company sharing their designs and methods by means of an Instructable (providing they are making it all available, as you do)b - it's how some of us learn!!!

If I could open the schematic and board files from the zip, I'd be even happier...!!!

I'm using Eagle 6.4 and the message I'm getting on either is:

Loading /home/duncan/Projects/Larson-master/Larson.sch ...

Error:

line 1, column 1: Start tag expected.

Any ideas???

phenoptix (author)  duncan_a6 months ago
Hi Duncan,
We design in KiCad! Let me know how you get on.
sgalligan8 months ago
little help I have put this kit together but its not lighting up at all?
phenoptix (author)  sgalligan8 months ago
Head over to our forums at forums.phenoptix.com and we'll get you sorted!
pglasspoole11 months ago
This Is simply a sales pitch to buy their kit to build. Nothing more.

Shame on you.

I wonder if Betty Crocker will list an advert to buy their cake box so you can make a chocolate cake. It is the equivalent to this "instructable".

Step 1: buy our kit.
Step 2: follow instructions on box.
Step 3: learn nothing more than how to read

phenoptix (author)  pglasspoole11 months ago
This is a build of one of our kits. You'll also notice we provide the schematics and PCB designs on our GitHub - so if you wish you can make and even sell your own. I've also said that if anyone want to know more about any part of the design process please ask and we'll document all that too. You'll know that we've previously posted schematics to help people understand charlieplexing more easily. It would seem our posts have been the only things to make you interact with instructables, so we can't be all that bad.
i can bet there are a lot of people here using instructables as a marketing tool , if you have a design for instructables great should be no links to your company ,i can bet all your designs has links to your company
robotmaker11 months ago
also this is a sales pitch,people like you should be removed from instructables
first i would if you got the rights from GLEN LARSON and second his is much cheaper
phenoptix (author)  robotmaker11 months ago
It's not a sales pitch, its a build of one of our kits. The inspiration was from Glen A. Larson but the circuit schematic is original as is the PCB, which we've open sourced, so anyone can make it, remix it, sell it - whatever they want. I wasn't aware that Glen Larson had made a kit, but I'd be interested to see it if you have a link to it.
it is sales pitch just like others said,it has links to your company second did you get glen larson permission to use his name second ,,opensource projects are not to resale without permission
phenoptix (author)  robotmaker11 months ago
It has links to our company products as it's a build of one of our products, built with our products. Yup it's a marketing exercise in a lot of ways.

To address your points. It's a Larson Scanner, we've not had permission to use the name Larson - but that's a description of what it is - which is shorthand for a cool bouncing light thing as popularised by Glen Larson. A name which isn't trademarked. There are a great number of them on instructables and all over the web.

Secondly. I think you might be missing the point that the circuit board is our design and we've open sourced it - we're not making someone elses. You're also mistaken that open source projects can be resold without permission. That's part of the point of them being open. Please look it up. The OSHWA website is a good place to start. http://www.oshwa.org/definition/
marketing exercise is a sales pitch ,
robotmaker11 months ago
to puts think straight i was the very very designer of the larson project i made it for work about 15 years ago as a marketing tool for a leak detector for A/C field only i didnt use 8 pin micro, i used 4017 and for the timer circuit 4011 i see the first one made by evil mad scientist they use first 4017 and 555 timer and then used a 8 pin micro attiny my design was before knight rider movie even came out,so i guess somehow my circuit leaked out,since when i work for a company and design circuits i cant use them