Folio Red
January 29th, 2024

Build Indicators

AKA: Das Blinkenlights

Date: 2017 — now

Status: Steady Green

I sometimes envy those that work in hardware. To be able to build something that one can hold and touch. It's something you really cannot do with software. And yeah, I dabbled a little with Arduino, setting up sketches that would run on prebuilt shields, but I never went beyond the point of building something that, however trivial or crappy, I could call my own.

Except for this one time.

And I admit that this thing is pretty trivial and crappy: little more than some controllable LEDs. But the ultimate irony is that it turned out to be quite useful for a bunch of software projects. 

The Hardware

The build indicator light shield, on top of an Arduino.
The build indicator light shield, on top of an Arduino.

I built this Arduino shield a while ago, probably something like 2013. It's really not that complicated: just a bunch of LEDs wired up in series to a bunch of resistors atop an Arduino prototyping shield. The LEDs can be divided up into two groups of three, with each group having a red, amber, and green LED, arrange much like two sets of traffic lights. I'm using the analogue pins of the Arduino, making it possible to dim the LEDs (well, "dimmed": the analogue pins are little more than a square pulse with an adjustable duty cycle).