posts tagged with the keyword ‘attiny’



I’ve been messing around with NeoPixels quite a bit lately, and I wanted a small portable light I could use to show off a few “makery” things. So the Brinn Labs Hexalight was created.


It consists of a 3D printed base made from black PLA filament. It was close to a ten hour print, one of the longest I’ve done on my Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D printer. It turned out well. There’s also a piece of laser cut Acrylic for the top…




I only had clear Acrylic handy, and I experimented with a few ideas for light diffusion (including sanding the backside of the Acrylic, and using some HDPE from a milk jug) but in the end I just left the protective backing sheet that comes on the Acrylic in place. (There’s one small tear in it, though next time if I do this I’ll be more careful ahead of time since I’ll have a plan in place.)


Some slotted pan head screws hold the top in place. I would have preferred some nice hex hardware (obviously!) but didn’t have any on hand, and wanted to complete this build quickly. (Maybe I’ll change it out in the future.)


There’s a piece of scrap wood inside that holds the NeoPixels in place. The wood is not laser cut, but hacked up using a band saw. It’s “good enough” for a hidden piece. (Sometimes I work on projects in multiple places and have to use whatever tools are available at the time.)

The three strips of three NeoPixels each is about what I could fit inside. The strips run in parallel, so there’s not a lot pixels to work with. It also makes the transitions not super-smooth, though I still need to play with the code a bit more.


Here’s a shot of the inside from the back/bottom. It’s messy. There’s an ATtiny85 on a board I’ve used before. This allows for the chip to be removed and reprogrammed. Yes, you can skip an Arduino and use an ATtiny85 for small simple NeoPixel projects. (And still program them with the Arduino IDE.)


There’s a pair of wires that lead out a channel in the back/bottom and go to a barrel jack connector. I can then power it with a 5 volt power supply, either from a wall wart or a USB battery.


BLHexalight v01C

I modeled the 3D printed part in OpenSCAD. It’s easy to make hexagons, and I just added a large squarish hole in the middle for the electronics.

BLHexalight v01B

The red piece is a block I used to do the boolean difference for the main piece. This allowed me to slice the hexagon at a specific angle so I could just end up with the part I wanted.

BLHexalight v01A

Here’s a view of the final piece viewed from the front. You can also see the little “shelf” I made for the piece of wood holding the NeoPixels to fit onto.

BLHexalight v01D

Here’s the model from the bottom. There’s the channel for the power wires to run out of. This was just another boolean difference with a cylinder this time to create a half circle channel.


I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut a piece of black vinyl to put on the front so the logo could light up. Getting the vinyl perfectly aligned was a little tricky, so next time I might try another method. (Or just do a better job.)



NoiseMaster V

We’re moving along in the series with yet another noisemaker. This one features a control interface! Which is to say, there’s a potentiometer involved to alter the sound. This one is mainly wood with some pieces of HDPE added in. Originally I had the speaker mounted to the front, and it sort of looked like a radio, but for some reason I can’t remember, I moved the speaker to the back of the unit.

NoiseMaster V

Besides just having a button to activate the sound we’ve added a slide potentiometer. I grabbed a big pile of them from eBay years ago to have on hand, and I still have a lot of them around so I figured an audio project would be a good use for one. You may notice that the green button I used is a pretty close match to the green filament I used for 3D printing the potentiometer mounting plate. That worked out well.

NoiseMaster V

I designed the mounting plate so it could hold the potentiometer in place using two #4-40 bolts, which screw directly into the potentiometer to hold it to the plate. I then added four more mounting holes so the plate could mount to the enclosure. I kept those #4-40 for consistency. Again I’ve gone with the green PLA for the plastic parts, creating some interesting contrast between 3D printing with plastic and wood working. (And yes, there’s also blue HDPE pieces on this noisemaker.)

NoiseMaster V

Because the slide potentiometer needs to mount fairly close to the surface, and I’m using wood that is well over a 1/4″ thick, I had to chew out a bunch of the wood to make a big hole for things to work properly. I used some Forstner bits to make a rough slot in the top. Since the plate will cover it the beauty (or lack of beauty) of the slot didn’t matter much. (I’ve never really used Forstner bits in the past, but they’ve become a favorite of mine in recent years.)

NoiseMaster V

Our control interface, a button to activate the sound, and a slide potentiometer to alter the sound. I tried to position them for comfort when using two hands, though you can sort of operate it with one hand. The handle (knob?) for the potentiometer is also 3D printed, though it is covered in black Plasti Dip which gives it a nice feel when touched. I thought about making spares in case one “disappeared” during the show, but I never made more, and it did not disappear.

NoiseMaster V

The knob model had some rounded edges, and once again I’ll have to say I was pretty impressed with the Maker Select Plus at being able to handle it. It did take me a few iterations to get a knob that I liked, but this one turned out pretty well for a quick ‘n dirty project. It slid onto the potentiometer shaft very well as a press fit, and I felt pretty good that it would not have been easy to remove without some effort.

NoiseMaster V

And of course, one last hack… The screws I had were a bit too long for mounting the speaker as I did for some other noisemakers so I ended up hot gluing a white plastic puck behind the speaker to increase the distance so the screws would work. The puck was another thing I grabbed from the junk pile at work, because you never know when you’ll need some small white plastic pucks.

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:


NoiseMaster IV

The next noisemaker in our series is a bit more sophisticated in its construction and finish. This is the first one that features painted wood, and as a nod to what one of my design instructors used to call the “El KaBong” I added a large arrow pointing towards the button that the user is meant to press.

NoiseMaster IV

This one is also a “standoff enclosure” (is there another name for it?) where there is a top and bottom surface, separated by legs (or standoffs.) The standoffs were 3D printed, and I do have to say that the MSP did a good job. The standoffs for the speakers were also printed, and those required a bit more detail to work properly…

NoiseMaster IV

You can see in the model the small indent needed for the speaker to mount. This is due to the metal from the speaker mounting holes being present, and not providing a flush surface for mounting. There’s also countersink holes designed into the bottom of the legs, to allow the screws to sit flush. I do enjoy being able to model parts that fit exact, with the holes for screws the perfect dimension. As this whole project moved forward I found myself combining wood working with 3D printing, and I liked it.

NoiseMaster IV

I think it turned out well. I didn’t really plan for the “Xmas” colors, but I had green filament loaded up, so I just went with it. The speaker is from a weird set of car speakers I got from the Hack Rack at Milwaukee Makerspace. They were encased in a plastic enclosure that was not fun to tear open, but the speakers were nice, and worth the time…


Speaking of time, while the first few noisemakers I built were quick ‘n dirty, this one looks like it took a lot more time. At this point I was working on multiple noisemakers, so I’d still have plenty to do while paint or glue was drying, or I was waiting for parts to 3D print. Once again, this one just has an ATtiny85 making the noise. At this point I still had a pile of ATtiny boards and kept stuffing them into noisemakers. (I did branch out a bit later, though.)

NoiseMaster IV

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:


The NoiseMakers (Part II)

In our introduction post I mentioned NoiseMaster 3000 and all of the noisemaking devices we built. We’re now up to number three!

This one has a more unique look, due to the material I used. I believe the “wood” is actually Bamboo, as this was an old cutting board that we replaced years ago. I didn’t toss it because I knew at some point I’d use it for a project. (See, I do have plans for those things most people just throw away!)

The NoiseMakers (Part II)

I also used some square dowels and a very small red momentary push button. Again, pretty much everything is exposed, though I did at least countersink the screws. The large hole was there when it was a cutting board, and I drilled speaker holes. and then used a countersink bit to give them an angle. (I think the rough edges are due to it being Bamboo.)

The NoiseMakers (Part II)

This one also features 3D printed parts. Little green standoffs were used for the PCB, and also for the speaker, so the screws could be the appropriate length. And once again an ATtiny85 powers the noisy noise. (This one is even more annoying than the previous!)

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:



In our introduction post I mentioned NoiseMaster 3000 and all of the noisemaking devices we built. Well, here’s another one in the series.

While I used wood for the first one, I chose MDF for this one. MDF has some nice qualities, like being smooth and consistent in surface and size, but besides all that, it’s terrible. Actually, I should say that I’m terrible when it comes to working with it. It’s not like wood, which is forgiving, and I seem to split MDF whenever I use it. I find it annoying, so why not work with it for a project that doesn’t matter that much, so I can try to improve my skills a bit. Good idea, right?


This one again makes use of an ATtiny (I have like 20 of them) and I sort of liked this design when I built it. You’ll notice in the photo above that the screws holding the speaker in place are at a weird angle. That happened in transport, and was not planned. They were actually straight when I built it, but being piled in a bin with a dozen other noisemakers and other things caused a little damage.


You can barely see it, but this one introduces something that will show up in future posts… 3D printed parts. It’s just the standoffs in this case, since I used all the laser-cut standoffs for the last one. Again, all electronics and wiring are exposed, by choice.


I used a lot of screw terminal blocks, typically for power input (though sometimes for speaker output.) Like anything you make, if there’s a chance someone besides you might use it (or if you forget things) add labels! I did not add the ‘+’ and ‘-’ to this, as I know that when I use two wire colors the darker one is always ground and the lighter one is always positive. Maks and Dustin didn’t know that, so they traced the symbols from the PCB and added the labels.


This one once again remained pretty raw. I left the MDF as-is, and did not paint it or otherwise do anything to the surface. I was still just focused on building things quickly. (Don’t worry, that changed a bit as I built more of them.)

This is just one post in a series about noisemakers. Check out the other posts as well:

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