It’s that time again to retrieve the Christmas decorations from the attic and to start looking for a (real or artificial) Christmas tree. Fortunately it is now rare for such a tree to be decorated with real candles. These were replaced long ago by miniature light bulbs or even LEDs. While in the past we usually had to make do with a string of tiny, fragile light bulbs, which would flash at the most, now we can choose from many different types of LED lights with built-in light effects. But as a real electronics enthusiast you can, of course, make one that is much better and more elaborate, such as Elektor’s Hyperactive Xmas Tree which, with 56 LEDs can display an extensive light show lasting more than three-quarters of an hour.
The intelligence is – as is usual with this type of circuit — in the software! This ensures that the microcontroller will light up the Christmas tree in the most interesting patterns. It is even possible to join two of these trees together, after which the patterns that are produced will run back and forth between the two trees. The result is an amazingly effective eye-catcher when it is placed on the window sill.
The software can be downloaded free from the Elektor website (see link below). There are separate versions for the left and right tree, keep that in mind when programming. If you are going to build only one tree then it doesn’t matter which version you program into the PIC.
Special Xmas Offer
You can order this Hyperactive LED Xmas Tree directly from our partner Eurocircuits. It’s available as a kit of parts but also, in a limited quantity, as a ready built module. If you order before 31 December you benefit of no less than 10% discount. Merry Christmas from us all at Elektor!
Don't miss out. Elektor's Hyperactive Xmas Tree is only available as long as stocks last.