LED Throwie Talkie




Maker Fair Mashup: G.R.L. LED Throwie + Cybords = Throwie Talkie

During the 2006 Maker Fair the Graffiti Research Lab was demoing their LED Throwies and Pat & Ward Cunningham were demonstrating Cybords. While talking someone made a comment about wanting to give the Throwies a voice. Ward & Pat took a simple ATtiny45 chip and added it to the mix to give the LED a voice. Computerized Throwie Demo

Step 1: Get the Supplies

You will need:
<ul><li>10mm Diffused LED
<li>Programed ATtiny45 Computer
<li>CR2032 3V Lithium Battery
<li>1/2" Dia x 1/8" Thick NdFeB Disc Magnet, Ni-Cu-Ni plated
<li>1-inch wide Strapping Tape

For a more complete parts list see: LED Throwies instructables page

Step 2: How We Program the Chip

We program the ATtiny45 chip using this and Atmel Avr Tools.

Step 3: Bend the Leads

Bend the chip and LED leads to match.

We bent off the middle leads so that they wouldent get in the way.

Step 4: Solder the Leads

The chip is programed in a way that we can solder the LED leads right across the chip. The best way to solder them together is to hold one side with nedle nosed plyers and tap the other side with some solder.

The longer LED lead should be soldered to the 'vcc' (power) and 'rst' pins of the chip. This shorts the chip reset and gives it a more secure conection. Make sure to reference the wiring diagram in this step to get the pins correct.

Step 5: Snip the Ground

Next you have to snip the LED lead betwen the ground and control pin so the chip can compleet the conection and make a message.

Step 6: Conect Battery

wedge it inbetwen the two leads.

Step 7: Stick It!

This is the easiest and most fun.



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    126 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I try to program the attiny85 with a arduinoboard. (https://www.instructables.com/id/Program-an-ATtiny-...

    but when compiling the code I get a lot of errors.. how can I convert this code to be used with the arduino board?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    why they used this ATtiny45 in between led and cell can any buddy explain that for me. please.


    8 years ago on Step 7

    can i use audio amplifier?? it is the same..


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Here is my modified version of the Throwie Talkie actually sending Morse code over the air waves on ham radio. This project has been a lot of fun and I am still coming up with ideas for it's use. It's not just for decorating a bus and it's not expensive trash. Some people just don't have an imagination. :)

    Image 1:

    Image 2:

    See the video:

    4 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Agreed. And I don't even know why I said what I did above. I guess I was high on sugar.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    How do I get the ATtiny13v programmed? Not sure I understand that step. Can anyone help? I have a son who is learning Mores Code and this would be a fun way to either drive him crazy or help speed up the learning process.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    easiest is (for me it is) a ghetto programmer, u can make one cheap and u will probably (if ur hobby is electronics) have the stuff (except maybe the Dsub connector)

    all you really need is a computer with a paralel (printer) port.
    check this instructable, its what i based mine on:
    and mine, wich is basically a cradle that i can change the connections on:


    9 years ago on Step 7

    this is wicked ill make one right away


    9 years ago on Introduction

    interesting project for further analysis. You see that makes me to think about to built a led flasher that sending SOS with a bright LED that blinks with the appropriate rate and u can see for far away. Now if you pack this in a water proof kit then this is life saving project and anyone will have it when travels with any surface vessel. Think about it!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting throwies. I have a question/comment/propousal.... Having seen the throwies, and this talkies... I understand there is a sound frecuency that only people under age 24 can hear, I have a mean idea, that is to make many throwies that emit a sound in this frecuency, and hence clean areas of young people. Is this possible? Any one knows how to do so? anyone intested in teaming up if this is possible? martin

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I know exactly what your talking about. I'm in my late twenties and apparently haven't lost that part of my hearing yet. In fact, my dentist uses a new high-frequency sonic drill now for cleaning teeth. Every time I go, I get this painful very high frequency squeal in my ears. I asked him about it and he said that a few of his younger patients have complained about it too. If there really is a young person sonic "deflector" or whatever, it would drive me insane, and I would avoid that place like the plague. In fact, I wouldn't mind loosing that ultrasonic part of my hearing. The only time I notice it, it's either really annoying or just flat out painful. Although, maybe it is useful and I just don't know it because I've always had it and don't know what it's like without it. Oh well.


    actually i rememeber reading somewhere that some shops in some countries do do that and i do think its a bit rude but unfortunately i can understand y u would want ppl my age out some places...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    it's sending it out in morse code, so the led turns on and off.(in morse code language) The whole "let the led throwies be heard" Just means allow some way of sending a message.