Minimal Larson Scanner/cyclon

Introduction: Minimal Larson Scanner/cyclon

Undoubtedly you have seen many an instructable on how to make a larson scanner.  There are also a lot of kits available out there too.  I just made one from scrap parts, and I think it uses the fewest parts of any one I have seen.

Step 1: Parts

9 Leds, I had green ones on hand.
1 tiny2313
battery holder for 2xAA

Yeah, that is all I used.

Step 2: The Circuit

First things first, flash the tiny 2313 with the firmware provided by evilmad.  Then assemble this circuit on a breadboard first.  Then, once you have it working, transfer it to something more permanent, in this case perfboard.

I got my firmware from evilmad

You could always make your own, but the one from evilmad is opensource, and has some nice pwm-ing on it... and I say if it aint broke, don't fix it.

Once you have the circuit working on a breadboard, and you understand how to wire it, move the leds to the perfboard.  I spaced them out the way I wanted, and connected all the gnd pins across the top.  When I clipped the gnd pins I save the leads, they are needed to extend some of the vcc pins on the leds, because some of them are too short to reach the tiny2313

Put the tiny2313 in the perfboard, pay close attention to the orientation of the chip, and wether you put it on the top of bottom of your target board. 

I soldered the leds right to the pins if the tiny2313, the perf board to aligns the leds nice and flat.  I used the chip orientation you see in the pictures to make it easier to solder it all together.

2AA batteries = 3V my leds can handle it, and I don't need any resistors.

Last just solder on the battery

Step 3: Video

Here it is working nicely.

Some additions would be to add a button, I believe the firmware supports changing the brightness of the leds, but this worked fine for me.

You could also solder in a socket for the chip, so the chip is less permanent, but that is an additional part.

Now go jam this baby in a pumpkin or something!

If you find the instructable is too difficult for you go buy a larson scanner kit from evilmad!!!

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    How many leds can it power the attiny?
    ex: 4 rows of 18 LEDs

    Dietrick K.
    Dietrick K.

    8 years ago on Introduction

    i can only find attiny2313's is that the same as a tiny2313?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    DU you need resistors so it dont burn out?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No resistors necessary. I'm running it on 2x AA batteries, they are nimh rechargables, so 1.2v each means I'm running on 2.4v I think you can get away with 3v, thanks to the pwm-ing code, but I make no promises, it will depend on your leds really.