Working with electronics, LED's, and making original props.

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Tsunemori

New Member
I'm trying to create a prop similar to a Next Generation era tricorder with LED lights inside a handheld device, but I have no idea where to begin. I know that some circuit boards have LED's and you can use light pipes to send light out, but I have no idea how to make that work? Can you buy boards with LED's on them already? Do I have to make my own light pipes? What about powering the device? Do I have to program the lights if I want different lights to blink and flash differently?
 

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masterjedi322

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The TNG-era tricorders used some basic LED chaser circuits:


You can buy pre-made chasers or make them yourself.

If you want to get into different flashing patterns, you can build different chaser circuits. Alternatively, you can jump into some microcontroller programming like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

And yes, you will need a power source. Most folks use rechargeable batteries these days. But the battery capacity will depend on the needs of the circuit you end up with.

Hope that helps get you started!

Sean
 

Tsunemori

New Member
The TNG-era tricorders used some basic LED chaser circuits:


You can buy pre-made chasers or make them yourself.

If you want to get into different flashing patterns, you can build different chaser circuits. Alternatively, you can jump into some microcontroller programming like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

And yes, you will need a power source. Most folks use rechargeable batteries these days. But the battery capacity will depend on the needs of the circuit you end up with.

Hope that helps get you started!

Sean
Yes, it does. I don't think I've ever even heard the term chaser circuit before. So, thank you for your help!
 

ID10T

Well-Known Member
I’m not sure if these are suitable, but I found LEDs that flash and change color randomly. Just attach to 3 volts DC (two AA or AAA batteries) and go.

 

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Tsunemori

New Member
I always advocate the simple microcontrollers sold as children’s educational toys. Remarkably powerful and perfect for simple automation of flashing lights without complex analogue circuits.

Wow, there is a wealth of information on that one page. Thanks for sharing that.
 

ID10T

Well-Known Member
I agree! And so simple an ID10T 'droid can figure it out!

I might have to get me one to play with (and ask my 6 yr. old son to help me with)
 

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