Today we are going to build the beta version of the Ognite digital candle. If you have the version that was distributed at the 2013 MakerFaire in NYC these instructions will still work except that you wont get the fancy debug screen in the last step.
The Ognite is an experiment in using the *least* technology possible to solve a problem- in this case replicating the visual essence of a candle flame. It does this using only 40 LEDs and a single chip (and the box those come in). That's it- no circuit board, no resistors, not even wire. The total parts cost is $1.17
You can find out more about the Ognite at... http://ognite.com
Before you start, I want to warn you about a few things...
1) The Ognite is currently a work in progress and not a finished product. Please do not attempt to build this version unless you are looking forward to working though some of the rough spots and sharing your ideas on how to make everything better. Otherwise, sign up for updates on the Ognite.com website so I can let you know when the final version is ready for public consumption!
2) In the rush to get everything ready in time for MakerFaire, I totally screwed up a pile of chips with corrupted software. About half of the kits distributed at MakerFaire had these sad chips, and if you got your kit on Saturday then your chip is definitely one of them. You can still go ahead and build with the sad chips and things will sort of work, but the flame doesn't look nearly as good as with the proper software. You can always piggyback a good chip onto your built Ognite at anytime to upgrade to the latest software.
3) This is project is hard. There are lots of tiny and fiddly bits that have to get aligned and soldered. This is not a good project to try if you are just learning to solder or you get easily frustrated. That said, if like a good challenge than please read on!