Hi! We are Arduino Novosibirsk Community from deep frozen Siberia. To warm up ourselves a little we decided to make a beautiful shining&blinking Christmas stars. Be sure to watch the demo video!
Step 1: Parts, Materials and Tools
To make a Christmas star you need:
- Arduino Nano with NO soldered pinheaders
- PLS-40R corner pinheaders
- Chained RGB LEDs with separated channels and a Common Anode
- 3 mm thick plywood
- White Craft Glue
- Wood stain
- Laser cutter
- Paint brush
- Soldering iron
- Soldering alloy
- PC or Mac to program the Arduino
Step 2: Design
Basically, the design of our Christmas star consists of three plywood plates: front, middle, back:
- Back plate is for holding the Arduino Nano board.
- Middle plate is for holding LEDs heads.
- Front plate is for beauty. :)
Alse there are interconnecting parts. Narrow parts are for interconnecting middle and back plates. Wide parts are for interconnectiong front and back plates.
There are .cdr and .dxf drawings attached for laser cutter. Feel free to use it.
So, cut the parts from plywood! Then cover it with wood stain, to reveal their texture and make them look more "wooden". Wait till they dry out.
Step 3: Soldering and Assembly
First, insert pinheaders into the small holes in the back plate and attach Arduino Nano to them, then solder on the back side.
Second, take five LEDs and cut yellow wire (Common Anode) from each of them. This is for controlling on\off state of each LED separately. Solder LEDs' wires to Arduino pins as depicted on scheme. For those, who are familliar with Fritzing software, there is .fzz file attached.
Third, insert LEDs heads into holes of middle plate (they fit very tightly). Glue narrow interconnecting parts first to middle plate, then to back plate. Hold them strong for a while until glue forms a bond.
Fourth, glue wide interconnestors to front and back plate.
The design is ready!
Step 4: Code
Connect the Arduino Nano board to your PC or Mac and start the Arduino IDE (or alternative editor\uploader you use).
I wrote some demo code. Check out this github page
The visual composition consists of six different modes of light changing. You can add (almoust) any number of your modes and run them on the star.
Copy the code into the editor and hit the "Upload" button. Wait for a while till upload complete and get fascinated by the game of lights.
Step 5: Done
You're done! Make a gift to your family or friends.
They can reprogram the gift as they wish.