Summertime means being outdoors, looking at the stars, and spending time with friends and family. Traditionally, a camp fire or backyard fire has been a place to gather and relax after a hard day's hike.
Many campsites don't allow individual fires -- and in my world, it's just not true camping without a campfire. Nothing can replace a real fire, but this surprisingly realistic LED fire comes really close. Guaranteed to confuse and annoy your kids.
This is a great beginner project -- you can keep it really simple and build it in one afternoon, or get more complicated with onboard chargers and fiber optics. Marshmallows not included.
- Pro Trinket 5v microcontroller
- Around 20 Dotstar LEDs -- the 30/m spacing works great
- Driftwood or fire-sized logs
- Deck screws
- Silicone Glue
There are two different options for battery power, depending on your preference and budget…
Wiring option 1 (lower cost):
- Male JST Connector
- 3-cell AAA battery holder with switch -or-
- Instead of the 3x AAA holder, you can substitute a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery, but it won’t charge over USB with this configuration — you’ll need a separate LiPoly charger for this.
Wiring option 2 (allows USB charging):
Optional: to add fiber optic sparks:
- 1-2 Glowbys in red or orange
- 1-2 100 ohm resistors
You'll also need a good soldering iron and some solder.