A Very Digilent Fourth of July!

Hello and happy Fourth of July!

We hope you are all as bursting with excitement as we are to celebrate this wonderful holiday, so in honor of the festive spirit we bring you a Digilent Guide to Fourth of July!

Why do you need this guide you may ask? Well as you may know, any holiday famous for fireworks and other explosives can usually benefit from some helpful tips and tricks to keep the celebration visually appealing without it being at the expense of long-term fingertip healing.

Additionally if you have some free time today and happen to be looking for a way to impress your friends or neighborhood this evening that does not involve making another ambrosia salad, look no further. We will be counting down some awesome fourth-themed projects that you can make and bring to the evening gathering or backyard this year.

So without further ado, let us jump into Awesome Fourth of July Projects:

(Alternatively titled Top Ways to Look Impressive Today Without Endangering Limbs or Other Extremities)

DIY Fourth of July Sparkler

Fourth of July Sparkler (outside)

This festive project by Nate takes a unique angle at the traditional sparkler, utilizing six LED strips and a chipKIT uC32 to take this conventionally outdoor effect right onto your dining room table.

Fourth of July Sparkler (inside)

The LEDs are capable of various color patterns including red, white and blue, however we settled on white for the most realistic “sparkler” effect.

Light Painting with WS2812 LEDs

Another aesthetic-focused project, these visually breathtaking photos are courtesy of Sam L. and his D.I.Y Light Painting rig. His design also utilizes a chipKIT uC32 and an LED strip to make some truly astonishing nighttime visuals.

In the "Zen Staircase".
Light Painting in Action
The stick.
The rig at rest.

This is a holiday known for bright and visually appealing colors (namely red white and blue) and fortunately thanks to the modern magic of RGB LED strips you can have a nice range of colors at your disposal. If you are intrigued by these last two projects or have an LED-idea of your own, these guides are a good place to start to learn more about how to work with this awesome technology.

Homemade Tentacle Lauchpad

Picture of Tentacle Launchpad

Admittedly while tentacles may not fit into the holiday theme, launching things most certainly does! This project uses a another chipKIT uC32ultrasonic rangefinder and a mousetrap to detect moving objects and subsequently throw disembodied sea-creature arms at them. This design could be modified to throw any small object however, as you can see in the video below!

We hope these projects can serve to inspire you this year! Have a great, safe holiday, and make sure to tell us all about your Fourth of July experiences and projects in the comments below!

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About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

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