Larson Scanner Kit

Larson Scanner Kit


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, pioneers of the Cylon Jack-O-Lantern, just released a new Larson Scanner kit!

Today we’re releasing a new open-source project and kit, which is an updated approach to the “Larson Scanner.” The Larson scanner is named in honor of Glen A. Larson, the man responsible for producing both the original Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider television shows, and consists of a set of red LEDs that scan back and forth.

Three years ago, we showed how to make a Cylon Jack-O-Lantern, in what has become one of our all-time most popular tutorials. The circuit for that project was based on a 555 timer, driving a 4017 decade counter, and has 6 pixels of resolution. To create the incandescent fading effect, we added low-pass transistor drivers. We also wrote up a version of that article for the 2007 MAKE Magazine Halloween special, which included a slightly nicer version of that same circuit.

And while it’s been popular, we’ve always had some nagging reservations about it, and in particular its battery life. This year, we decided to do something about it and made a much better version of the Larson Scanner, and so here it is!

The kit is open source and designed to be hackable. Read more about the kit in their announcement.


From MAKE magazine:

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DIY HALLOWEEN from the editors of MAKE and CRAFT brings you 40-plus DIY projects for the holiday that’s made for makers. From the craftiest costumes to amazing animated props and the latest in computer-controlled haunted house effects.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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