Build an interactive tombstone for Halloween with Adafruit's RP2040 PropMaker Feather.

This ghoulish prop features lights and sounds but also an RGB LED matrix and a servo controlled Raven.

The servo, sound effects, and NeoPixels are triggered whenever a time of flight sensor detects something nearby.

The RGB LED matrix displays scrolling text messages to warn or welcome would-be trick-or-treaters. 

 

The tombstone is an off-the-shelf styrofoam prop. It's easy to work with so we were able to cut out channels and recesses for the electronics and wiring.

 

The RP2040 PropMaker Feather does most of the work and the Matrix FeatherWing makes it easy to plug in an RGB LED matrix.

 

CircuitPython has great support for RGB matrices and the time of flight sensor. It's got adjustable parameters so you can customize just about every attribute of this project.

Parts

Video of a white hand pressing a button to briefly turn an LED strip into white lights. Also wired up to the microcontroller are a servo motor and a speaker.
The Adafruit Feather series gives you lots of options for a small, portable, rechargeable microcontroller board. By picking a feather and stacking on a FeatherWing you can create...
$19.95
In Stock
Video of a woman with a turquoise manicure attaching a driver board to the back of a LED matrix panel. She flips the matrix panel around reveal it lit up text in rainbow colors: "Ada
fruit
32x32
*RGB*
Ahoy! It's time to create a dazzling light up project with our new RGB Matrix FeatherWing. Now you can quickly and easily create...
$7.50
In Stock
Vide of assembled and powered on 64x32 RGB LED Matrix Panel - 4mm pitch. The matrix displays "Black Lives Matter" alongside the Raised Fist.
Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this sweet 64 x 32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them...
$39.95
In Stock
Video of a hand hovering over a Adafruit VL53L4CD Time of Flight Distance Sensor thats connected to a white breadboard reading the range of motion of the hand.
The Adafruit VL53L4CD Time of Flight Sensor is another great Time of Flight distance sensor from ST in the VL5 series of chips, this one is great for...
$14.95
In Stock
Angled Shot of the Speaker - 40mm Diameter - 4 Ohm 3 Watt.
Hear the good news! This speaker is a great addition to any audio project where you need a 4 Ohm impedance and 3W or less of power.At 40mm diameter it...
$4.95
In Stock
Glowing NeoPixel Mini Button PCB wired up to a microcontroller
These are the smallest NeoPixel breakouts around! Tiny, bright RGB+White pixels to your project. These little PCBs are only 9.1mm x 9.1mm and have two sets of three pads on the back...
$4.95
In Stock
1 x 5V 4A (4000mA) switching power supply
5V 4A (4000mA) switching power supply
1 x Black LED Diffusion Acrylic Panel
Black LED Diffusion Acrylic Panel
1 x Micro servo - TowerPro SG92R
Micro servo - TowerPro SG92R
2 x JST PH 2-Pin Cable – Plug Header 200mm
JST PH 2-Pin Cable – Plug Header 200mm
2 x JST PH 2-Pin Cable - Socket Connector 100mm
JST PH 2-Pin Cable - Socket Connector 100mm
1 x JST PH 2mm 3-Pin Socket
JST PH 2mm 3-Pin Socket
1 x STEMMA JST PH 2mm 3-Pin Plug
STEMMA JST PH 2mm 3-Pin Plug
1 x Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable
Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable
1 x Split Wire Loom Tubing Wire Conduit
Split Wire Loom Tubing Wire Conduit

This is the foam tombstone we used - feel free to buy one of your choice or make one with materials at hand.

1 x 3.5 Ft Gargoyle Tombstone
3.5 Ft Gargoyle Tombstone

This guide was first published on Sep 12, 2023. It was last updated on Jul 12, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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