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Part of The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009

Blinky projects – Open source hardware tends to have a lot of projects that blinky, pulse, and light up. It’s a hard category to define exactly, so I’m calling it blinky projects. From a “Larsen scanner” (cylon) to making your bicycle spell words in the air, all of these projects are filled with LEDs.

MiniPOV
Makezinepov
The 3rd generation MiniPOV is perfect for beginners who are looking to learn how to solder, how to program microcontrollers, or make LED blinky toys. Because the programmer is built into the kit, you don’t need a special “microcontroller programmer”. This version can be used with PCs (Linux/Unix or Windows) and Macs (running MacOS X and with a USB/serial converter).
Price: $17.99
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed

SpokePOV
Spokepov Med-1
Spoke POV is an easy-to-make electronic kit toy that turns your bicycle wheel into a customized display! The project includes a free schematic design, open software for uploading and editing stored bitmap images, and a high-quality kit with all the parts necessary to build your own.
Price: $37.50 and up
Visit the project page


Peggy, Peggy 2
Mkems3-2
A versatile, high-brightness LED display, Peggy 2 is an updated version of the Peggy light-emitting pegboard display. Version 2 adds simple animation capability and Arduino compatibility.
Price: $94.95
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Buy one @ Maker Shed


LED Micro-Readerboard Kit
Mkems1-2
This fun little open source soldering kit provides an introduction to the capabilities of microcontrollers.The readerboard spells out preprogrammed messages such as “MAKE” one letter at a time on its alphanumeric LED display.
Price: $15.00
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed


USB 7 – 6 Digit LED Display Kit
 Mkfl1-2
The USB7 expands most computers with a USB connected 6-digit, seven-segment display. Supporting letters, numbers, and a range of punctuation, the USB7 benefits any project requiring highly visible information. Using common a USB cable for both communication and power, the USB7 requires no special or bulky cables and with a simple virtual-serial port protocol, sending regular ASCII characters is all that’s required to control the USB7s full output capacity. Based on the AVR-CDC project, the USB7 is supported by Windows XP, Windows 2000, OS X, and many Linux variants.
Price: $25.99
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed


Trippy RGB Waves Kit
Mkce4-2
Imagine a bunch of little lights on a table, each about the size of a chess piece, each independent of the others. Arrange them any way you want. Each one continually, slowly changes colors on its own — but when you wave your hand over them, they create waves of colors that follow your hand. Trippy! Another awesome and affordable kit from the creator of the TV-B-Gone and the Brain Machine, Mitch Altman.
Price: $10.00
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Buy one @ Maker Shed


Larson Scanner Kit
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The Larson Scanner is named after Glen A. Larson, the man responsible for producing the original Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider television shows. The kit is very easy to build, and includes a preprogrammed microcontroller, battery holder, and nine ultrabright red LEDs. Once you’ve built it, you’ll have a beautiful back-and-forth scanning red light, ready for incorporation into various sci-fi props, costumes, and pumpkins.
Price: $13.00
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed


Wee Blinky
Mkdw3-2
The Wee Blinky is a simple LED flasher kit that you can build.
Price: $8.00
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed


Lux Spectralis
Mkdw2-2
The Lux Spectralis is a deluxe RGB (red, green and blue) LED (light emitting diode) blinky that you can build.
Price: $10.00
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Buy one @ Maker Shed


TinyCylon
Mkdw1-2
The original Cylons are from TV’s Battlestar Galactica. They are humanoid robots with a scanning red visor where their eyes should be.
Price: $10.00
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Buy one @ Maker Shed


Open heart kit
2578471958 602107D036 B
The Open Heart is an LED matrix of individually addressable LEDs. It can be used to create a brooch or bag light with highly customizable animations. It can be configured so that you can temporarily attach it to fabrics with headers that you simply push through, or you can configure it to be sewn into a project using conductive fabric for a more permanent setup
Price: $18.00
Visit the project page
Buy one @ Maker Shed

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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