Aloha! Will trade Tiki Mugs/Tiles for coding help


I'm a hawaii based artist who crafts tiki mugs, hand pressed tiles, and assorted curiosities in my home studio. You can see my work here:

I enjoy pushing the boundaries of what is expected from a ceramic tiki mug, and have been working on a few larger pieces that are designed to take advantage of an arduino. I am very comfortable soldering and assembling electronics - but my coding skills are at the beginner level. I'm looking for a creative thinker to help me with the coding for a few projects I am currently building - and in exchange I can provide pendants, had-pressed tiles, or possibly a mug (depending on the scope of the coding involved).

What type of coding am I looking for? 3 project setups involving a series of flickering LEDs. One is driven by a PIR Motion Sensor, one is driven by a pulse sensor from, and one is driven by a PING ultrasonic distance sensor.

For the PIR sensor project, I'd like to wire up this large wall hanging piece I'm working on. A small tiki mug rests in the upper most chamber. User places his/her hand in the mouth of the wall hanging, triggering (via the PIR) a set of candle flicker LEDs in the eyes and mouth, and an ominous pulsing set of blue LEDs in the top mug chamber. I have some arduino sketches for candle flicker that work great - I just don't know how to string them together and have them driven by the motion sensor.

I have all the hardware on my end and can assemble everything - I just need help stringing together the code. If you are interested, I'd be happy to provide more details on the projects and lighting setups.

Thank you so much! Henrik "VanTiki"

Maximum number of flickering LEDs per piece?

Battery powered?

Is physical size a concern?

Great questions! I wasn't sure how detailed I should get in the initial post. Here are 2 rough diagrams of the first 2 projects I'd like to implement.

First up: the large ceramic wall hanging mug shelf:

LED clusters B and C in the eyes and mouth will flicker like fire using a sketch like this one:

when motion is detected (by someone sticking their hand in the mouth) at C, the flame effect brightens and the blue LEDs in A begin to glow. After a period of time the blue glow fades and the flame effect returns to normal in the eyes and mouth.

I see this being plugged into a wall. I have both a full size arduino board, as well as a pro-micro arduino from SparkFun - whichever is easer to code/setup. I can make either one fit.

Project 2 needs to be smaller and battery powered - I see this requireing the use of the SparkFun pro-micro

Here is a rough sketch:

2 RGB eyes flicker red/orange like fire. When user places finger on the pulse sensor, the RGB LEDs pulse in relation to the user's heartbeat - with the color being determined by the pulse rate (perhaps blue for lower pulse ranging to yellow for high pulse). When user removes finger, LEDs revert to fire flicker. power switch is on bottom of arduino/battery enclosure. I'd love to have the option of powering this setup via the micro USB as well (if possible)

Let me know if anyone has any more questions!

Henrik "VanTiki"

Which PIR do you have?

The PIR is from Sparkfun (SEN-08630):

And the pulsesensor is v1 of the 5v sensors. I can upgrade to their newest version (pulse sensor amped) if necessary. I also can list all the LED info for interested coders.

Thanks again! Henrik "VanTiki"

One potential hitch-in-your-get-along is the number of available PWM pins. The Instructables tutorial uses three of the six 1 PWM pins for one flame. PWM is also used to brighten / dim an LED; an effect you may want for the blue LEDs.

This hitch can be overcome with software. But, potentially, the more independent dimming and flickering LEDs, the more complicated the software becomes.

From your description, I gather that you want three independent flames (eyes and mouth) and a set of LEDs (the blue ones) to brighten and dim. Correct?

I have both a full size arduino board

Which one?

1 Assuming you have a Uno or similar Arduino.

These might simplify things:

One option to overcome the shortage of PWM pins is to use the soft PWM library

I use this for LED driving where timing is not critical.

Wow! Those flicker LEDs from Mad Science look great! I just ordered a few to test. Thank you for the heads up!

Henrik "VanTiki"

VanTiki: Wow! Those flicker LEDs from Mad Science look great! I just ordered a few to test. Thank you for the heads up!

Henrik "VanTiki"

You bet. I've used the 10mm yellow ones to make Christmas window candles, they work quite well.