A Larson Scanner can best be described as a set of red LEDs that scan back and forth, recreating the left and right blinking motion of those formidable Cylon ships and Knight Rider’s AI KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). The scanner is named after Glen A. Larson, the man responsible for producing both the original Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider television shows.
Recently, a Maker by the name of DJJules created the “Ultimate Larson Scanner” which was posted to Instructables and subsequently featured on HackADay.
DJJules’s iteration of the popular scanner consists of sixteen 10W LEDs, each mounted on a heat sink which bolt on to a 6′ long piece of angle aluminum sourced from a local hardware store.
“He used a basic MOSFET constant current driver for each LED, attaching the MOSFETS to the heat sink with 4-40 screws,” explained HackADay’s John Marsh. “Each LED module then connects to a TLC5940 LED driver breakout board from Sparkfun, which plugs into an Arduino Pro Mini (Atmel ATmega168).”
Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here. Previous Larson Scanner articles posted to Bits & Pieces include “These Slick Shades Are Also a Larson Scanner” and “This Larson Scanner is Controlled by an Arduino Uno.”