Halloween Singing Skulls

Rob Reynolds over at SparkFun whipped up some singing skulls just in time for Halloween.

Inspired by a recent trip to Disney World and seeing animatronic magic, Rob grabbed a Teensy 3.6, an audio shield, and some plastic skulls and got to making. He created 4 solenoid circuits using mosfets to trigger the singing skulls.  To top it all off, googly eyes were added to the skulls, because googly eyes make everything better.

QWERTY Keyboard

Pete Prodoehl built a custom QWERTY keyboard in homage to the typewriters of old.


The inspiration for the project came from Pete’s interest in keyboards and typewriters as well as as a fascination with machines, and how people interact with technology .  He grew up in Milwakee, the birthplace of the first successful typewriter.  Coincidentally, he also lives near a street named fro Christopher Latham Scholes, the primary inventor of the QWERTY keyboard.

His QWERTY keyboard is made of wood, just like the early prototype of the Sholes, Glidden, & Soule typewriter.  While Pete feels that he doesn’t quite have the woodworking skills of his father, he is good at creating thing digitally.  He asks a compelling questions – are we losing the ability to craft real-world objects in exchange for creating digital objects?  He suggests that maybe digital fabrication is the answer and perhaps it can bridge the gab between the two.

Some additional information can be found here and here

Turnado MIDI Controller

Liam Lacey created an incredible custom MIDI controller for Turnado, a powerful audio effects software program.

This custom controller provides a sleek interface to the Turnado audio FX software giving a performer easy access to the software during live performances.   Not only are all the controls optimally mapped to the software, but a TFT display provides the real time value of the knobs as well as displays a menu for configuring the controller’s MIDI settings.

Liam has a great write of the project as well as a build log (complete with schematics) on his HackaDay project page.   Code for the project is available on GitHub.





Tom Boyd made the ArduServer, a web server built in a Teensy that allows for remote control and the reading of sensors over the web.

The ArduServer uses a Teensy and a WIZ820 ethernet module.  The Teensy connects to an LED and light sensor.  Users can turn the LED on or off by using a web page.  The web page also displays reading from the light sensor and the state of the LED.    The LED and light sensor can be interchanged to other input/output devises such as temperature, photo sensor, etc.

The source code for the project can be found here.

Psychedelic LED Fur Coat

Janet Hansen made an amazing psychedelic fur coat with animated LEDs.


This mesmerizing coat is made with 1,000 individual addressable LEDs (picture Edna Mode using her “No Capes” voice to say “No Strips!”) and whit shaggy fur that is not only fashionable, but acts as a diffuser.  The individual LED pixels are joined together by flexible wires with spacing of about 2″.  Janet doesn’t like to use strips on flexible surfaces because as she puts it,  she prefer to never do repairs

The LEDs are controlled by a Teensy using custom hardware and software. The control switches are mounted behind the collar, and multiple battery packs are stored in pockets in the lining, in the back of the coat.

Crazy Circuits Lego Compatible Touch Board

Brown Dog Gadgets has developed Crazy Circuits, an awesome circuit building system that work with Legos.

They feature several different projects including Lego based, interactive wearables, and conductive materials such as paint, thread, and clay.  Several different components are available with many of them ready to fit onto a Lego board.  They have many project tutorials published to get you going and code for the projects is published on GitHub.


Teensy Polyphonic Synth

Otemrellik made a nifty polyphonic synthesizer with a custom 3D printed case.

This portable, compact, synth includes a portable speaker and can run off 2 AA batteries or use USB for power.  It features 8 note polyphony with each note having 2 voices.  This little synth is packed with features.   Oh, and the LEDs on the buttons respond to the speed and shape of the low frequency oscillator (LFO)

Code for the project can be found on GitHub

Plans for the 3D printed case can be found on Thingverse

Burning Man Art – Ethereal Fleeting

Lukas Truniger, Itamar Bergfreund and Bruce Yoder along with a team of artists and makers created Etheral Fleeting, a beautiful art installation at Burning Man this year.

This beautiful installation generates a series of clouds that are held in place by a machine-like sculpture, lit up with different colors, then released into the desert at the whim of the winds.


The code and lighting team included Sophi Kravitz, Adelle Lin, and Matt Pinner.  Each of the 4 towers had 6 strips of addressable LEDs, controlled by 2 Teensy 3.2s with Octo boards.  They also used the Megapixel Contoller board (featured on our blog back in August).  Cat5 cable connected everything to a central computer (Intel Nuc) and communicated using art-net.

Code for the project can be found on GitHub.

DIY DSP audio filter for Radio Hams

Forum user gi1mic has released a DIY DSP audio project for radio hams.  It takes advantage of the processing power of the Teensy and implements finite impulse response (FIR) filters that are configurable in software and default to an impressive 200 taps.

For this project a Teensy 3.2 was added to a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver and is powered from the FT817.

Some of the other features include:

  • Act as multiple DSP filters based on hi pass, lo pass, band pass or band stop (filter points can be defined in Hz within the code)
  • It uses voice messages to describe which filter has been selected
  • It is a USB to CAT interface
  • It emulates a USB sound card for receiving rig audio on a computer
  • Performs Morse to voice decode and Morse to USB serial decode
  • It can speak the radio config to assist the visually impaired (FT817 only)

More details about the project as well as the open source code can be found here.