Beating Heart LED Pendant

Education Technology
Beating Heart LED Pendant

We got an email a few days ago from Charles Platt, MAKE contributor editor and author of our best-selling book, Make: Electronics. He was tickled because he’d gotten an email from Quinn Dunki. She had read his book and used his “Pulsing Glow” circuit (experiment 14) to create this “beating heart” pendant jewelry. She writes:

While reading through Charles Platt’s excellent book Make: Electronics, I came across this nice little circuit for making a gentle pulsing LED. I built it for fun, and was struck by the “humanness” of the pulse, but couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Later I found a heart-shaped tag on some pants I had bought, and well, this is the result. I opted to use mainly scrap parts salvaged from various sources. I liked the hacky recycled feel that gave it.

I took Charles’ circuit, and added a second LED for some symmetry. The bob under the pendant is the power source. The pendant’s chain is part of the circuit, so the clasp becomes the on-off switch.

Nice work, Quinn! MAKE readers may be familiar with Quinn’s work. She’s the chief geek behind the iPhone games Trucks & Skulls and Beam Chess (it’s chess… with lasers!). She’s a programmer, an electronics geek, AND a race car driver? I think I’m in love!



In the Maker Shed:

Make: Electronics
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun and experiential way? Start working on some excellent projects as soon as you crack open this unique, hands-on book. Build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them! With Make: Electronics, you’ll learn all of the basic components and important principles through a series of “learn by discovery” experiments. And you don’t need to know a thing about electricity to get started.

2 thoughts on “Beating Heart LED Pendant

  1. steve says:

    can this be made with the addition of reading the actual heartbeat of the wearer?

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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