PCB design extravaganza – three new kits in the works!

Posted on December 22, 2011 in Hardware

Last week, I took a crack at Eagle’s PCB layout tool and ended up getting much more interested in it than I expected. As a result, I am nearly ready to create prototypes of three new boards, some of which may actually be turned into full kits and sold in a store! This post isn’t meant to be much more than a teaser, but if you’d like any more info about any of these designs, feel free to leave a comment or otherwise contact me through the social network of your choice.


A flexible, open-source, Bluetooth-enabled, sensor-driven RGB LED lamp controller meant to be sold with a laser-cut acrylic + MDF enclosure. The kit can function as a simple multi-colored lamp (with manual red/green/blue controls), or be controlled via smartphone, tablet or PC using Bluetooth and custom app. The kit will also include an external sensor board with an ambient light sensor, a temperature sensor and a microphone, so that you can ‘program’ your lamp to react to changes in your environment. For example, pulse to music, turn red when the room is hot, or automatically dim when the room lights are on.

Auduino Synthesizer

Based on the great, though abandoned, Arduino project Auduino, this PCB gives full access to all of the functionality made possible by the original Auduino project, and more! Auduino is a 2-channel FM synthesizer that can produce a wide range of interesting noises, given the right input, and this board is meant to make it easy to experiment with these noises. It allows you to control the “grain” and pitch of both channels (using four trimpots), as well as the overall frequency. What makes this board cool is that I have integrated a simple class-A amplifier with volume, so that you can output to a 5W speaker directly, or plug this board into a speaker system using a 3.5mm audio jack. Furthermore, this board allows users to connect a sensor of their choice and map it to various functions in the software. For example, you could connect an infrared range finder and map the Frequency of the synth to the sensor, so that it produces different sounds based on how far away you are from it.

Jar of Fireflies

A kit-ified version of the Jar of Fireflies project I did for the Artist in Residence show in October of 2011. While there does exist a kit of this project that has come out recently, I found it to be somewhat lacking, or at least I thought I might be able to do better. This kit should be the cheapest of all the kits I am working on, as it really only includes an ATTiny85, six LEDs and two resistors. I am currently trying to figure out a novel power solution to make it more interesting, though I am going to try hard to integrate a solar cell, a rechargeable battery and a USB plug for charging. You’ll just have to wait and see!