Presented here is a novelty LED "flare". It's loosely fashioned from automotive LED safety flares but with a eye toward fun.The combination of display patterns is limited only by your imagination. Our source code provides a minimal base of patterns you can build from. This project was deigned to be low cost, have a low part count and also be easily made at home.
Download our LED flare HEX file and burn it to a PIC16F627A Microcontroller.
Calculate the value of your LED current limiting resistors and solder one to every pin except pins 3-5 and 14. Solder the final resistor between pin 14(Vdd) and 3(RA4), this must be done because RA4 is open collector.
On our example flare a spare CD was used as a project base,choose anything you'd like. You're not limited to a circle either. Be creative. If however you choose to use a CD/DVD also, make 15 equal divisions around the rim, this is where you'll place your LEDs.
Mount all of the LEDs on your division lines using tape, glue or the wire that will be used as a ground bus.
Make a ring of wire that goes around your project base, this will be the LED ground bus. Solder the cathode lead of each LED to this ground wire.
Glue the PIC16F627A in the center of the CD and solder the anode of each LED to the free lead of the current limiting resistors. Note: The pins don't go in order. If you want a sequential ring of LEDs you must wire the LEDs starting with RB0-RB7 (pins 6-13 respectively) followed by RA0, RA1, RA3, RA4, RA6, RA7 (pins 17, 18, 1, 2, 3, 15, 16 respectively).
Solder power leads to the microcontroller, pin 5 is ground and pin 14 goes to your positive supply.
You can now glue on a second CD to cover the workings of the flare.
At this point you can mask off the LEDs and paint the discs or if you're not concerned with scratching the paint during assembly paint them in the beginning.
All that's left is to power on your new flare. You can use anything between 2V and 5.5V. Choose your voltage carefully with respect to your LEDs, don't go lower than your chosen LED's forward voltage.
Don't stare in to bright LEDs, they can damage your eyes. Seemingly dim LEDs can be damaging too, be careful.
Don't use this in a way that's distracting to motorists, this project should not actually be used on or near roadways, it's best enjoyed indoors.
- D1-D15 = Choose any LED up to 25mA and 5v
- R1-R15 = Choose to match your LEDs*
- U1 = PIC16F627A (Can also use PIC16F628)
- *Don't know how to select LED resistors? Use this online calculator