Tag Archives: Pro Trinket

Maker builds a Pro Trinket-powered GPS watch

Hey, watch-a got there?! 

Sure, you could always go buy a GPS watch like the TomTom Spark or Garmin Forerunner. Or, you could be like Shawn Cruise and build your own nifty, somewhat Steampunkish wearable device.


The Arduino GPS Watch, which is made up of two leather cuffs, consists of a 128×32 OLED display, a 3V Pro Trinket (ATmega328) with a battery pack, and an Adafruit Ultimate GPS breakout board. There are two tactile buttons and an RGB LED on the outside, as well as a temperature sensor, three 220 Ohm resistors and a 4.7K Ohm resistor mounted to a perfboard. The wires and battery are all hidden between the two straps.


Admittedly, the watch came out a bit thicker and bulkier than Cruise had originally intended, but is pretty sweet nevertheless! It boasts a wide range of features, including the ability to show time, read temperature, reveal GPS coordinates, and even packs a flashlight that can illuminate a dark space.

Beyond that, wearers can use the device to find and mark a coordinate, and then return to it as they move around. The OLED screen shares direction and speed, too. You can watch the video below as Cruise takes you through some more of the watch’s other core elements.

Netflix Socks pause shows when you fall asleep

Netflix Socks detect when you’ve dozed off and send a signal to your TV, automatically pausing your show. 

How many times have you turned on a movie or prepared to binge-watch a TV series, only to doze off halfway through? Good news: that may be a thing of the past, thanks to Netflix.


The company has created a pair of knitted socks that will automatically pause whatever you’re watching once you fall sleep. An accelerometer detects when you’ve stopped moving for a prolonged period of time and triggers an IR signal to your TV to stop Netflix. When it senses that you’ve begun to snooze, an indicator LED (a Flora NeoPixel) flashes red, alerting you that it’ll soon hit pause — any motion will stop it from firing. An Adafruit Pro Trinket (ATmega328) serves as the brains of the operation.


Aside from a little sewing experience, the socks call for some soldering and programming skills. The electronics are embedded in felt and sewn to the cuff of the sock. Netflix has even provided 17 pattern templates inspired by its most popular shows, including Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtMaster of None and House of Cards.

This isn’t the first guide the company has released for Makers looking to enhance their viewing experience. If you recall, they introduced the infamous Netflix and Chill switch back in September. Never miss a moment again and head over to the Netflix Socks’ page here.

Pro Trinket powers this brilliant bike POV display

Light up your nighttime bike ride with this persistence of vision display from Adafruit.

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen numerous Maker projects focused around bicycles. To recount just a few, there’s been a smart helmet with turn signals and automatic brake lights, a smartphone-controlled handlebar lighting system, and most recently added to the list of bright ideas (no pun intended), Adafruit’s persistence of vision (POV) for your wheels.


The brainchild of Becky Stern, this POV display allows riders to illuminate the night as they pedal their way along the road or sidewalk. As the tires rotate, a series of embedded lights flash, ultimately conjuring up an image in the viewers’ minds. The project is comprised of two DotStar LED strips attached to a wheel spoke — one facing in each direction — driven by a 5V Pro Trinket (ATmega328) and powered by a 3xAA battery pack affixed near its hub.

To get started, Stern cut a half-meter strip of LEDs, leaving 36 pixels on both halves. She then tinned the solder pads and silicone coated wires to the input end of the freshly cut piece, alternating sides for each wire to help prevent a short circuit.


“If you have a 5V Pro Trinket to spare, we strongly encourage you to build a prototype of your circuit on a solderless breadboard. Not only will you get a chance to test out your solder joints connecting the LED strips, but you can have a duplicate system for programming where you can easily make changes,” she advises.

In terms of coding, the POV uses the same program as Phillip Burgess’ Genesis Poi project. Adafruit not only lays out the installation process on their page, but has made the sketches for the bike wheel available on GitHub. The bike POV requires the Adafruit DotStar library for Arduino as well.


From there, Stern trimmed off the header pins, and tinned the wires attached to the LED strips. These four wires are soldered to the Pro Trinket. After testing the circuit, it’s imperative to waterproof it before sticking it onto the bike. Those wishing to save power can also employ an optional switch and/or vibration sensor, which will only trigger the lights when in motion.

How do the electronic stay on, you ask? As challenging as it may be, the battery pack is anchored near the hub by steel zip ties, while plastic zip ties keep the LED strip and Pro Trinket tightly onto the spokes of the wheel.

Pretty cool, right? Head over to Adafruit’s official step-by-step tutorial, and watch Stern’s latest work in action below!

This fiber optic dress is amplified by a wearer’s thoughts

This EEG-powered dress shines red when alert and green when relaxed.

Rain Ashford has been tinkering around with EEG-enabled wearable devices for quite some time now. In fact, she is in the midst of wrapping up her doctoral thesis. As part the process, the Maker has created a rather slick, interactive dress as a fun way to display engagement and moods in crowded situations, particularly those so noisy that hearing someone speak is virtually impossible.


The aptly named ThinkerBelle EEG Amplifying Dress uses a NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile EEG headset to collect brain information and relay that data to her garment to non-verbally communicate with those nearby. Ultimately, this leaves it up to observers to make their own interpretations from the brilliant spectacle.

“I created this dress in response to a subsection of feedback data from my field trials and focus groups, which investigated the functionality, aesthetics and user experience of wearables and in particular wearer and observer feedback on experiences with my EEG Visualising Pendant,” Ashford writes.


The dress was constructed out of satin fabric and fiber optic filament woven into an organza. The EEG headset collects and amplifies data in the form of two separate streams — attention and meditation — which are sent over via Bluetooth and visualized on the top layer of the dress through a series of LEDs. The illumination is controlled by an Adafruit Pro Trinket (ATmega328): red light signifies attention while green denotes a state of relaxation.

“The dress is constructed so the two streams of data light overlap and interweave. The fiber optic filament is repositionable allowing the wearer to make their own lighting arrangements and dress design,” she adds.

What’s more, the wearable project features a variety of modes, one in which lets the user record and playback the data. This means someone can design a combination of color and lights on the dress, then replay it after taking off the EEG headpiece. This enables the wearer to come across as though he or she is concentrating or relaxed to those around.


“Why would someone want to do that? Think of this much like a lie detector test. Sometimes you want people to know how you feel, and other times you would rather keep your thoughts to yourself. So, in this case if you want to appear calm even though you are really agitated, you can just have the dress display a previous calm time period,” the Adafruit crew explains.

Pretty cool, right? Check the project out in its entirety on Ashford’s page here. Not for nothing, the blend of these two colors makes for one heck of Christmas attire!

A Pro Trinket-based movement alarm for your bag

A portable, battery-powered device that sounds an alarm when your bag is moved. 

Your pocketbook. Your backpack. Your gym bag. Each of which hold a number of expensive, personal belongings. And, as you know from walking around the mall, through campus, into the gym, or throughout an event like Maker Faire, lugging around a hefty bag can be a burden. Wouldn’t it be much easier to set it down, give your shoulders a rest and have a peace of mind that no one will take it? Well, a Maker by the name of “MakerSelf” has devised a solution that will allow us to do so: a motion sensing bag alarm.


Based on a Pro Trinket (ATmega328), the Movement Alarm is a portable, battery-powered device that sounds an alarm when your bag is moved. Once armed, it can only be turned off by your secret code.

For those who may not know, the Pro Trinket is a sort of break out board for the fan-favorite ATmega328 MCU. A “big” sister to the original, uber-mini Trinket (ATtiny85), the board offers the familiarity of an Arduino Pro Mini with more pins and a USB thrown in the mix. With the Pro, Makers have the choice of either programming with the Arduino IDE, using AVRdude with the “-c usbtiny” programmer flag, or flashing the chip directly with an AVR programmer like the AVR Dragon.


In this case, MakerSelf hooked the Trinket to a GY-521 accelerometer to enable the detection of movement. Therefore, when the Trinket senses that the device has been set into motion, such as picked up or removed from its resting place, it emits a high-pitched alarm from its built-in piezo speaker.

“It is 9V battery operated, but without an on/off switch, otherwise the potential thief could just hit the off button. As a result, I have an ‘arm’ button, and then you have 20 second to but the bag + device stationary,” MakerSelf adds.


Once armed, if the bag/device is moved for more than 5 seconds and above a certain threshold level, it sounds an annoyingly loud alarm until the correct code is entered. The secret code uses a four-button interface, but the code itself can be any length and easily modified in the Trinket software. After the passcode is entered, the status LED will turn solid indicating to the user that the device must be placed stationary. The status LED will turn off after the designated time period, advising that the alarm is now armed and listening to the accelerometer.

If the bag is moved for more than five seconds at a time, the alarm will sound. Just in case that someone needs a piece of gum, phone or some other item from their bag, entering the secret code after or during the settling time, the status LED will blink once long, followed by three short, and then the device will turn itself off without turning the alarm on.

Intrigued? Head over to the alarm device’s official Hackaday.io project page here.

Building a Pro Trinket smartwatch

Don’t feeling like buying a smartwatch or waiting around for Apple’s launch in April? You can make your timepiece instead! 

Maker James Chin has recently been working on a new watch, controlled by a Pro Trinket (ATmega328) and a real-time clock. The DIY wearable is equipped with a potentiometer under the OLED screen and a momentary button to control the watch.


“But what I think is the best part is on the right. There are female headers that allow me to connect multiple ‘modules’ to it, like the LED shown in the picture.”

At the moment, the Maker has included a white LED, a black light LED, as well as with a switch along the side that he used to play Pong. Moving ahead, Chin also plans on adding a TV-Be-Gone, an XBee, an accelerometer, and some analog sensors. Sounds pretty awesome to us!

We look forward to seeing future iterations of this build. Great find, Adafruit!