Solar 8 Ball
Shake the Solar 8 Ball to reveal the answers to your deepest questions!
When you shake and wake the unit, the eight LEDs around the edge of the PCB will glow in sequence and slowly stop on one of eight ‘answers’ to your questions. These are taken from the classic 8 ball, but we have added a solar power twist to this DIY electronics kit.
It’s solar powered, so will never need batteries! It uses an ultra-capacitor to store the solar energy, so will work even if left uncharged for a long time. But it will need to be left in sun to recharge and the capacitor stores enough energy to give you in the region of 10-20 ‘rolls’ of the 8 ball!
This is a relatively simple solar powered DIY electronics kit and is good for beginners learning to solder. It should take in the region of one to two hours to make.
Once built, it should look great on a bright bit of desk or a windowsill and will be ready for you to ask your most existential questions!
It’s designed as a fun and interactive way introduce solar photovoltaics as a power source for low power circuits.
It also has a programming port for the ATTiny85 microcontroller and full access to the code which can be programmed via the Arduino IDE, if that’s your thing (Note: no programming is needed – the microcontrollers are already programmed!).
The LEDs are ‘charlieplexed’ which is an interesting way of running lots of LEDs from a small number of micro-controller pins. The unit automatically goes into sleep mode and is woken up by a vibration switch.
What is included?
A pdf of the instructions is available here.
All the parts needed to make this fully working kit are supplied.
- High quality PCB (we think it’s pretty nice, anyway!)
- Solar photovoltaic panel
- Programmed microcontroller
- LEDs, resistors, diode and capacitors to make it all work
- Rubber feet for the PCB
To build this kit you will need: a soldering iron and solder and some side cutters.
Please find the "Soldering is Easy" guide available here.
Design files, Code and Instructions are all kept here on GITHUB.
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