Okuboheavyindustries' Solar Blinkenlights Encase an ATtiny85 in Resin for Energy-Harvesting Art

An experiment in direct solar power for an ATtiny microcontroller, this piece of desk art shines bright — in sunlight, at least.

Gareth Halfacree
14 days agoLights / Art / Sustainability

Pseudonymous maker "Okuboheavyindustries" has shared the results of an experiment that combines freeform circuitry, energy harvesting, and desk ornamentation: the Solar Blinkenlights.

"ATtiny85, IXYS SM400K10L solar panel, five white SMD LEDs, one decoupling capacitor, 0.8mm copper wire, all embedded in resin," Okuboheavyindustries writes of the project's bill of materials. "[The] ATtiny is blinking the LEDs randomly."

While the resulting transparent block of resin is an attractive enough piece of artwork by itself, it serves a practical purpose too — as a proof-of-concept.

"[My] aim was to drive the ATtiny directly from the solar cell without a battery or super-capacitor," Okuboheavyindustries explains of the experiment. "Works well! I'm happy with how this came out!"

This isn't the maker's first experiment with transparent enclosures, though it's certainly the most polished: Earlier this year Okuboheavyindustries unveiled the Mini Mobile Mission Control, a portable tracker for the International Space Station (ISS) driven by an Adafruit QT Py.

Additional details are available in Okuboheavyindustries' Reddit thread, though the project has not yet appeared on the maker's GitHub repository.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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