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Dino Segovis has posted his plans for making an Arduino-based New Year Mini Ball Drop LED Timer. You activate it with one minute left in the year and five LEDs inside ping pong balls simulate the dropping ball. At the stroke of midnight, a 2012 sign lights up as the trusty tone library plays Auld Lang Syne. So if you want to recreate the Times Square ball drop this New Year’s Eve without standing in the freezing cold among throngs of inebriated revelers, check out Dino’s latest creation!

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.



  1. Scott McCain says:

    Gah, what is with the trend of not putting current limiting resistors on LED’s?  Is that a common hobbyist mistake?  This is the third post I’ve made regarding this mistake in the last week.  Your LED’s will last a LOT longer if you slap a small (470R) resistor in series with each LED.  FYI.  Use Ohms law to figure out the proper r value with no more than 20ma of current through the LED (common value, check your datasheet for the max current of the LED’s you have, aim for less than max current to increase lifetime).

  2. Nice and simple, but I agree the adding resistors to the LEDs will help this thing last longer.