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by Joshua


Stop using weak, organic, pumpkins for your Halloween decorations! Instead create a cold, robotic pumpkin that will never let you down.

This project creates a simple Larson Scanner out of four LEDs. The Larson Scanner effect was seen in such classic TV shows as Battlestar Galactica and Knight Ridder. Since we don't have a talking car we're putting our scanner into a pumpkin body made out of LEGOs.

Video Overview

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  1. Use an 8x16 sized base plate as your build platform.
    • Use an 8x16 sized base plate as your build platform.

    • We used a wide variety of orange and black pieces.

    • The most important are some 1x2 or 1x4 sized clear bricks for the "eyes."

    • The second most important brick is a right angle brick, so we can stick our LEDs on vertically.

    • If you need to buy specific bricks in specific colors, try BrickLink or BrickOwl.

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  2. Build your Pumpkin.
    • Build your Pumpkin.

    • Notice how we use 2 wide bricks on the bottom half, and 1 wide bricks on the upper half.

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    • Use a right angle LEGO piece and a 2x8 plate to create the LED holder.

    • Use standard bricks to build the tower that holds everything.

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    • Stick your tower to the base plate.

    • Stick on the LEDs and Robotics Board.

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    • Connect the Grounds between each of the LEDs.

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    • Run a long line of tape from the far left LED to Pin 2 on the Robotics Board.

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    • Run a line of tape from the 2nd LED back around the LED holder.

    • Connect to Pin 3 on the Robotics Board.

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    • Do the same thing with the 3rd and 4th LEDs.

    • They connect to Pins 4 and 5 on the Robotics Board.

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    • Run a long line of tape from your 4th LED to the Ground hole on your Robotics Board.

    • Put on the LEDs when finished.

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    • Pop on the Robotics Board.

    • Double check your connections to make sure you're using Pin 2-5, and that you're also hooked up to Ground.

    • If your board isn't popping on check to make sure your tape ends are not too long.

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    • If you've never used our Robotics board before, STOP! Read the Robotics Board User Guide. You'll need it to download all the right software and drivers.

    • Open up the Arduino software and open up a new project window. Copy and Paste this code into the project window.

    • Upload the code.

    • You can add more LEDs to your project by changing just a couple of lines of code. On line 2 you can change the number of LEDs you're using. Then on line 6 add the other LED Pins that you're using.

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    • Once the code is uploaded it will run every time it is powered on.

    • Use a USB wall adaptor to power it independently from a computer.

    • You can use a 4 AA or AAA battery holder and attach it to the 5V and Ground on the board. This can be done with the help of a Screw Terminal chip.

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Finish Line

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Member since: 11/16/2017

47 Guides authored


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