Mad scientist control panel

My grandson is getting this for Christmas. A little imagination and it could be almost anything. space ship controls, rocket launch controls, remote control for ill tempered sea bass (with laser on forehead) … It is a work in process but I have enough of it in place to invite you along for the rest of the build.

The GF has been vital to making this. I had a lot of these parts in stock (mostly leftover components from past projects) including:

Non illuminated switches:
3 fighter plane covered on/off switches
2 black rubber on/off switches
1 silver on/off switch
18 colored button switches
2 rotary encoders with push button

Illuminated switches (led inside switch):
5 arcade style buttons
2 metallic ring lit buttons
1 adafruit trellis illuminated keypad (4 x 4)

Programmable LEDS
neopixel ring (under one of the encoders)
8 x 8 neopixel matrix
two 8 x 32 neopixel matrix (in wormhole)

3 LED volt meters
2 servos with control board
2 mirrors (one of them a 2-way mirror) for the wormhole

Guts:
Teensy 3.6 (arduino style brain)
Audio board for teensy
level switchers for getting teensy to talk to leds
rechargeable power supply with 5 volt output
small usb powered speakers

The hardware assembly is mostly done (installation of powersupply, speakers, and led matrix remains). Now i move to the wiring and coding phase. The plan is to include sound effects and flashing LEDs in response to botton pushes. More advanced button pushing sequences could yield hidden effects. The electronics will also include a microphone to record sounds and play them back with effects (filters, delays and what not). Some images.

The entire thing (with spinning discs covered)

early on, from below

buttons, encoder and volt meters. there is a ring of LEDs under that white circle

8 x 8 matrix with 16 buttons, similar matrix to the ones I use in my small clocks. There is a recess which will accept different letter grids. I hope to use hall effect sensors and magnets in the grids to let the box know which letters are on top (and thus control what is written there).

two spinning discs (servo motors underneath) and a rotary encoder, covers not in place

the wormhole (will have leds along the sides for a more sci-fi effect (thus far it works well in low lighting conditions but I am hopeful) Video of wormhole

61 Likes

That is amazing!

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What a cool thing for a kid!! Oh the places he will go with that.

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This is amazing! I want one for myself.

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If this isn’t the best grandson gift ever I don’t know what is.

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Oh - how very much fun and unique!!!

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I want one!

< mumbles > Bet I can steal it from him…

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How cool is that! (Insert maniacal mad scientist laugh here)

the parents wanted a doll house…

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exactly how big can the grandson be? I think you can take him. :slight_smile:

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That wormhole is fabulous, I mean the rest is cool - but I can’t stop looking into the end of time and space!

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I think you just stirred up the child in all of us…What a fantastic creation!

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Follow-up videos required! Such a great project.

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Your grandson will be channeling Danny Dunn with this thing for sure.

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You mean this kid…?

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Yes. He is way cooler than Tom Swift or Jonny Quest.

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What about Tom Corbett?

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I confess I have never heard of Danny Dunn, but I am off to the used book store…

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For me it was Encyclopedia Brown :stuck_out_tongue:

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Wowsers! That is a fantastic gift/make! Pretty sure any kid any age would love it, including those that are, in theory, adult-aged ;p