Persistence of Vision with Teensy 3.2

Greg Valvo made a persistence of vision (POV) project using a inexpensive box fan and 36 DotStar LEDs (APA102).

Greg wrote the library for the POV display using Teensy 3.2 board and Adafuit DotStar LEDs (APA102).  The library is configured to support up to 48 LEDs in the string and up to 512 angular positions (~0.7 degree resolution).

Code and schematics for the project can be found on GitHub.




Pinball Tribute to “A Place to Bury Strangers” Band

The Death By Audio Arcade group took a vintage, non-functioning pinball table and turned it into a working game in tribute to the band A Place to Bury Strangers.

This impressive table features  a small video screen that plays video of the band, blacklights, a glow-in-the-dark ball, and a VFD score display. There’s even a fog machine and brightly flashing strobe lights to truly show off the table’s rock and roll lifestyle.

The build required extensive retrofitting – gutting most of the mechanical relays, replacing the coils and other parts, and designing new PCBs to add microcontrollers.  They ended up using 4 controllers – 2 Teensys and 2 Arduino boards, as well as a Raspberry Pi.

The Death by Audio Arcade blog has a great write up of the project.



DIY USB MIDI Controller

Liam Lacey made a DIY MIDI controller that looks to be a really good introductory project for those wanting to get started building their own controller.

The controller features 8 arcade style push buttons and a switch to toggle between sending note or CC messages.  While it may seem limited in capability, it serves as a good introduction to MIDI controllers.

Liam’s tutorial gives a good description of the build process and only requires soldering to connect wires to the push buttons and switch.  Connections to the Teensy can be made using a breadboard or a strip board if you’re up for more soldering.

Any MIDI software can be used.  In the demo video Liam uses Abelton Live and the Sugar Bytes Turnado plugin.





Matthew Fries, Jeanette Degollado, and Julian Luna created TréPhonos – payphones that have been turned into sculptures that play snippets of spoken history, music, and ambient field recordings captured at significant locations in the neighborhood.

This incredible project was done with Project Row Houses, a Houston arts organization.  Each of the TréPhonos uses a Teensy 3.6, an Audio Adapter Board, and a 20W audio amplifier. They run on solar power and  have custom 3D printed parts for the Teensy and other components to mount to the interior of the payphones. Whenever you pick up the handset the phone begins playing instructions. Whenever you press one of the buttons #1-9 the phones will play either a song, story, or sound form the neighborhood Third Ward where they are installed. When you hold * whatever you say is recorded into the handset and can be played back by pressing 0. # plays information about the project. The Change Return slot conceals an Easter Egg switch.

Hut’s Anti-Hug Hat

Rolf Hut made an awesome Anti-Hug Hat, or personal space protector, for Burning Man this year.

The Dutch scientist wanted to explore working with Teensys and APA102 LEDs – and wanted a way to try to avoid the typical American hug at Burning Man, so he came up with the Anti-Hug Hat.  The hat has acoustic distance sensors around it an when an object (like a person) gets too close, the ring of LEDs around the hat change from green to orange to red.

DIY MIDI foot controller

Rattus_Metallum made a cool DIY MIDI foot controller.

He needed something to control scripted chord progressions in Dreamfoot, an app for free-floating synth pad accompaniment and was inspired by the iRig BlueBoard, but wanted to dumb it down a bit.  He made use of a Teensy 3.2 microcontroller to interpret the switches and send MIDI data over USB. The code for the Teensy was posted by Liam Lacey at Ask.Aduio.

Burning Man Art – Squidartha

Alexander “Wolf” Griffen designed and built Squidartha, a beautiful interactive burn-bot for Burning Man.

In response to Burning Man Arts request for proposals for Burn-bots to be displayed in The Man Pavillion, Wolf came up with the oceanic themed Squidartha.  He was inspired by the intelligence and curiosity of the squid he’s seen while scuba diving.

The 6’6″ tall sculpture features strips of programable LEDs with nine animation patterns driven by a Teensy 3.2 and the OctoWS2811 library.  It included a control panel of 6 buttons for people to interact with the art with each of the buttons activating a different programming sequence.