Back to the Future Time Circuits

The goal of this project is to build my own personal replica of the DeLorean’s “Time Circuits”, as featured in the Back to the Future movie trilogy. I’ll need to build custom time circuit displays, a custom keypad for changing the date, and screen-accurate enclosures. To make everything function, I’ll need to design and program some embedded circuits to control it all.

Building Musical Floppy Drive Breakout Boards

With power taken care of, the next step is to connect the data lines (step, direction, and drive select) to the Arduino. The easy way to do this is to carefully count the pin numbers, attach a female header cable to each pin, connect the step / direction pins to the correct Arduino numbers, and join the grounded connections on a breadboard.

That’s the quick and easy way. But it’s also:

A.) Tedious to set up / take down
B.) Possible to make a wiring mistake
C.) Prone to disconnects

How do we fix all three of these problems? We build a breakout board!


DIY Ambilight: Prepping the WS2812B Strip

The first step in taking the Arduino-based ‘ambilight’ from concept to completion is to modify the LED strip so it fits nicely around the monitor.  Like most addressable LEDs, the 5m roll I’m using has cut lines where you can trim it.  Because each pixel is its own self-contained circuit, you can arrange them in any shape or number you can think of so long as you connect the three wires: power, ground, and data.