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Picture of Arduinoflake - PCB Version

A few weeks ago I made a freeform Arduinoflake. Lot of you loved it. But its magic is not only being freeform but also in the pattern of the LEDs. So I decided to create a PCB version which would be really easy and cheap to make for everyone! It's the same beauty in a different coat. This tutorial will show you how I designed my Arduinoflake and what it can do!

What is the Arduinoflake?

Arduinoflake is a beautiful frozen-looking snowflake. It has 18 wide-angle flat-top LEDs uniquely mounted on sides of PCB and 12 SMD LEDs mounted in the center of PCB. In total there are 30 LEDs grouped into 18 independently controllable segments. They can be used to create whatever crazy animation or pattern you like, and what more you can program it on your own using Arduino IDE. With an integrated touchpad, you can interact with it to switch between animations. A bit boring, isn't? But what if I told you that you can play a game on it? I hacked mine to play a simple classic snake, see video at the end.

If you would like to have your own Arduinoflake you can consider buying a kit or fully assembled one my tindie store.

Step 1: Electronics Design

Picture of Electronics Design

Arduinoflake consists of 30 LEDs grouped into 18 segments, that can be controlled independently. To control these I am using ATmega8 which has up to 22 I/0 pins. Furthermore, I picked a low power version of it (ATmega8L) which can run even on 2.7V which is great for a 3V coin cell battery. Each group of LEDs is connected to one of the ATmega's I/O pin via a 68R current limiting resistor. Another great feature of Arduinoflake is touch button to interact with it. ATmega does not provide a built-in hardware capacitive touch feature, thus I've decided to go with a TTP223 IC. TTP223 is connected to one of the ATmega's input pin and will drive it high when touch is detected on the touchpad. Another option is to emulate capacitive touch in software but I found out that it takes too much power and computation time.

leoo135 months ago
I have a problem. what could be?
how to fix ?
jiripraus (author)  leoo135 months ago
Seems like you have two INO files in your project. arduinoflake.ino and snowflake.ino. Is ther any reason? If you are using data from repository you should have only arduinoflake.ino. Delete snowflake.ino.
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