64 Synchronizing Fireflies

Last week I invested some time to solder 64 Firefly boards. Only 2.432 solder joints later I was ready for some videos.

Every firefly acts completely autonomously, it has its own tiny controller, eye and luminary. They are all connected for power supply only.

Here are some different configurations.


18 thoughts on “64 Synchronizing Fireflies

  1. Pingback: Daily DIY Network - Science Projects Plans Guides » Blog Archive » 64 synchronizing fireflies

  2. Completely amazing. I still disagree that all those power cables are a good idea. But I bow before your results and soldering patience ;)


  3. w00t! inspirational!

    after seeing jeri ellsworth’s NES purse at the maker faire this year, i had a dream about making a NES clone, but using an array of 256 x 224 ping pong balls for the display. i had been thinking about using MSP430′s for the job, but it’s good to see there are proven alternatives.


  4. Hi,

    I’ll need a few (about 100) TT balls as LED diffusors for an Ikea lamp mod. The cheapest ones I could find were 25€ for 120, but they all had a logo printed on them. What’s your source ?


  5. Hi Robert,
    I bought mine at ebay, around 25 € for 120 white and without any printing on them.


  6. Simply Awesome! After setting up two fireflies, using the code available on the page, I realized that the flashes are a bit slow. Any tips?


  7. What do you use for the breakaway power sockets? I’m having trouble finding a suitable part on Mouser (I have everything else set up in my cart, just can’t seem to find a good one for that…)


  8. Thanks for the quick answer! Mouser doesn’t carry that supplier, nor do they have a suitable replacement in stock. However, it looks like I can pick up most of the stuff from Digikey, except the photo-transistor… minimum order of 4,000. Do you pick it up from a different distributor?


  9. A photodiode should work as well. You may have to adapt the resistor in series with the diode to form a voltage divider.


  10. Can you explain a bit more about adapting the resistor value. How should I calculate the correct value?


  11. Choose a resistor that matches the “resistance” of the diode in the lighting conditions you want to use.
    The voltage divider (resistor and diode) should divide the voltage in equal parts (optimum), e.g. 5V over the voltage divider, 2.5V over the resistor and 2.5V over the diode. That way you get the most range out of your sensor. Remember to do the measurement in the lighting condition you want to use (probably in the evening or at night).


  12. Pingback: Inspirace pro vaše projekty | ?Art.cz

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