LED Cylon Scooter - 80s Larson Scanner

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Introduction: LED Cylon Scooter - 80s Larson Scanner

About: Making and sharing are my two biggest passions! In total I've published hundreds of tutorials about everything from microcontrollers to knitting. I'm a New York City motorcyclist and unrepentant dog mom. My wo…

This project is a very 80s upgrade to a very 80s scooter-- I'm putting an LED strip in the grille of my boyfriend Smokey's Honda Elite to create a larson scanner animation effect while teaching him how to solder.

The circuit and code are remixed from Phil B's Larson Scanner Shades project.

Supplies:

For this project I used a strip of WS2812b LED strip, also known as NeoPixels. I chose the densest variety to pack as many LEDs in as possible for a nice smooth animation effect.

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Step 1: Attach Power and Ground Wires

The board is powered directly from the scooter's 12v power, so we attached wires to the power and ground pads on the back of the board.

Step 2: Attach LED Strip

Since the pixels can't handle 12v, they're being powered by the Trinket's voltage regulator, which isn't generally a good idea. But since there are so few LEDs lit up at once in this circuit, we can sneak in under the regulator's max current output.

Step 3: Arduino Code

I used Phil B.'s larson scanner code, modifying only the number of LEDs in the strip:

// Larson Scanner by Phil Burgess: 
// https://learn.adafruit.com/larson-scanner-shades?view=all

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>

#define N_LEDS 31
#define PIN     4

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(N_LEDS, PIN, NEO_GRBW + NEO_KHZ800);

void setup() {
  strip.begin();
}

int pos = 0, dir = 1; // Position, direction of "eye"

void loop() {
  int j;

  // Draw 5 pixels centered on pos.  setPixelColor() will clip any
  // pixels off the ends of the strip, we don't need to watch for that.
  strip.setPixelColor(pos - 2, 0x100000); // Dark red
  strip.setPixelColor(pos - 1, 0x800000); // Medium red
  strip.setPixelColor(pos    , 0xFF3000); // Center pixel is brightest
  strip.setPixelColor(pos + 1, 0x800000); // Medium red
  strip.setPixelColor(pos + 2, 0x100000); // Dark red

  strip.show();
  delay(30);

  // Rather than being sneaky and erasing just the tail pixel,
  // it's easier to erase it all and draw a new one next time.
  for(j=-2; j<= 2; j++) strip.setPixelColor(pos+j, 0);

  // Bounce off ends of strip
  pos += dir;
  if(pos < 0) {
    pos = 1;
    dir = -dir;
  } else if(pos >= strip.numPixels()) {
    pos = strip.numPixels() - 2;
    dir = -dir;
  }
}

Step 4: Glue It Up

I used Permatex silicone adhesive to fill in the open ends of the LED strip's silicone sheathing as well as to glue the LED strip to the inside of the grille. I used tape to hold the strip in place while the glue dried.

Step 5: Install and Enjoy!

Smokey installed the grille into his scooter and wired the trinket's power and ground wires to the bike's 12v power, with a switch under the seat.

I hope to see you build one of these for your own purposes. I'd love to see your versions posted in the "I Made It" section below.

If you like this project, you may be interested in some of my others:

Thanks for following along! To keep up with what I'm working on, follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter.

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    12 Discussions

    0
    ecuatoriano322
    ecuatoriano322

    5 days ago

    Usa neopixel solo para eso? Por que no lo aprovecha con mas efectos, existe un sin fin de posibilidades y usos en un scooter, la imaginación es el limite, del 1 al 10 le doy un 3

    0
    fstedie
    fstedie

    Reply 3 days ago

    Pero si es todo lo queria hacer y lo logro - pues le doy un 8.

    0
    Andropov
    Andropov

    4 days ago

    In Europe these scooters went under the name Honda Spacy 125. Fun to drive. Have got great memories: like Hungarian schoolchildren going bezirk when I greeted them back with putting the headlamp down and up again on a holiday to Budapest. That was before the Berlin wall came down. We were like extraterrestials to them, I think. They had only Trabant and Lada in those days. The 9,8 horsepower was a bit of a drag though. If I'd could buy one now, I'd seriously put some time and effort in putting a turbo on it. :)

    0
    BakerBoy7
    BakerBoy7

    4 days ago

    very cool. made me think of Knight-Rider but that might be showing my age.

    2
    DLMarcum
    DLMarcum

    5 days ago

    That's cool but in most states (US) red lights can not be facing forward. Nor white lights in the rear. As they are NeoPixel LEDs, you can edit the program for a different color. Verify your state allows the color. Most states also don't allow blue if the vehicle is in motion. Alabama also doesn't allow green. I love lighting up my bike. NeoPixel is the only way to go.

    1
    darknight7777777
    darknight7777777

    5 days ago

    I see the scanning light but in my head I hear KITT’s swooshing also.

    Great project!

    2
    Lorax98
    Lorax98

    5 days ago

    I like it!
    I considered the same effect for the front of my truck (actually, more Knight Rider-esque), but the Highway Traffic Laws in Canada forbid red lights on the front of a vehicle unless it is police/fire/ambulance/etc. There is a similar statute regarding "flashing" or "moving" lights on vehicles.
    So, if you are a Canadian, take care.......

    0
    JG49
    JG49

    Reply 5 days ago

    Same laws apply here in the UK, alhtough I suppose you could park it and then switch it on...

    1
    KNERD_UNO
    KNERD_UNO

    7 days ago on Step 5

    This is not a Cyclon scanner, it's KNERD


    318_14.jpg
    0
    myxjr1300
    myxjr1300

    9 days ago

    That's great a blast from the past, keep up the great work .