10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2012 5:59 PM by Drew Fustini

    LED Christmas card

    Drew Fustini

      Howdy,

       

      Earlier this week I was looking for Christmas electronic kits and came across this cool LED card on Dangerous Prototypes from 2009:

       

      http://dangerousprototypes.com/2009/11/16/prototype-christmas-card-ornament/

       

      http://dangerousprototypes.com/wp-content/media/2009/11/cover-450.jpg

       

      Seeed Studios no longer sells the kit, but thanks the project being Open Source Hardware, the schematic, layout and source code are all available.  I thought this board was pretty promising, so I decided to have it fabricated.

       

      I tried using Seeed Studio's Fusion PCB service which gives me 10 boards for $30 total.  Pretty good deal.  Since the Christmas card layout is in EAGLE, I downloaded Seeed's EAGLE DRC & CAM job files and generated the gerbers.  They state it only takes 5 days to fabricate, but shipping from Asia will likely take some time.

       

      http://dangerousprototypes.com/wp-content/media/2009/11/place.png

       

      I'll post pics when the boards come in.  The parts look pretty widely available, so I'll get them ordered, too.  Fingers crossed, I'll have them assembled in time for Christmas.

       

       

      Cheers,

      Drew

      http://twitter.com/pdp7

        • Re: LED Christmas card
          Drew Fustini

          BTW, I was impressed that all RadioShack stores I've visited now have a stand with a featured project flyer in the electronics section.  The current one is a LED christmas card mod.  Basically you would take a normal card and add a couple LEDs, a tact switch and coin cell.  Pretty simple but cool to see accessible projects like this promoted to the public.

           

          Cheers,

          Drew

            • Re: LED Christmas card
              Cabe Atwell

              Odd that you posted about this, as I was throwing away Christmas cards from years ago today.

               

              Do you think this is just more wasteful that ever? It seems excessive.

               

              Unless they are cards made from recycled e-waste, forced to light up little trees. (Now that is a cool idea... I will have to look into this.)

               

              Cabe

              http://twitter.com/Cabe_e14

                • Re: LED Christmas card
                  Drew Fustini

                  I don't think it is wasteful at all.  It's a decoration that you could reasonably mail as a card.  So I think it is actually less wasteful than a regular card, as I would expect the recipients to keep them for years... but I do have admit coin cell is probably the most wasteful way to power a device.

                   

                  Cheers,

                  Drew

                    • Re: LED Christmas card
                      R_Phoenix

                      Me and my family has placed a ban on all types of "e-cards". I received one of those talking cards for my birthday this year. I ripped it apart to find 3 coin cell batteries and a small board. I asked my wife how many of these cards end up in the land fill each year? I contacted the manufacture and they said the same thing - "We expect the recipient to keep them..." I'm sure some do but I'm more positive that the vast majority don't.

                       

                      I would suggest you make the board in the actual shape of a tree, globe, reindeer or Santa. This will make it mush more appealing, when NOT lit, hanging on a Christmas tree rather than just a square card. I feel more would then be used as a decoration rather than just a "oh that's cute" object.

                       

                      Another suggestion would be to give it a connector that you can plug into the christmas tree light string. Almost all tree lights use the same bulb base, so instead of batteries (that probably won't be replaced when dead) they can simply remove a blub from the tree lights and plug in their new ornament.