Tag Archives: props

ATxmega Wolverine board controls light and sound



Powered by Atmel’s ATxmega128A3U microcontroller (MCU), the Wolverine is a programmable light, sound and motion controller board.

“[Simply] plug it into your computer (via the micro USB port), write some code (in C/C++) using the Arduino IDE and upload it,” Wolverine creator Shawn Swift wrote in a recent Indiegogo post.

“Then you can attach a constant-current LED driver (no resistors needed that way), or an LCD/OLED display, and maybe a servo controller or a sensor (for example, an accelerometer) using the SPI and I2C ports, place some sound effects (in 44khz mono or stereo .WAV format) on a microSD card, connect an amplifier to the line out, attach a power source (which can be 4 AA batteries or a LiPo – the board accepts a wide range of input voltages), and then connect some buttons or switches, a potentiometer, or even a keypad to the DIGITAL and ANALOG ports.”

Aside from Atmel’s MCU, key project specs and features include:

  • 8K of RAM and 128K of flash memory.
  • Programmable via microUSB using Arduino IDE or Atmel Studio.
  • PDI port for advanced programming/debugging in Atmel Studio.
  • MicroSD slot with support for SD and SDHC cards up to 32 GB.
  • Stereo line-out via 3.5mm jack or adjacent pads.
  • 5V 3A buck regulator supplies power to 3.3V regulator, LED  and servos.
  • 3.3V linear regulator provides low noise supply for MCU, MicroSD and audio circuitry, with plenty of power to spare (over 800mA typically) for I2C and SPI devices.
  • Power connector is rated for 3A continuous current and has reverse voltage and short protection via the combination of a PFET and PTC fuse.
  • 16MHz crystal on board provides a stable reference for the system clock, while leaving the internal resonator free for USB communications.
  • PWM port features four NFETs rated for up to 3A continuous current.

So, what can Wolverine be used for? Well, according to Swift, the board is the perfect choice for helping to make costume props come to life.

“For example, let’s say you have a toy Star Wars blaster. With the addition of the Wolverine, a tiny amplifier, a speaker or two, a switch for the trigger, a button to select modes, a 3W RGB LED and a little paint, you’ve got yourself the makings of a high end prop that’s sure to impress,” he explained.

“In fact, the precursor to this board, which I designed a couple years ago after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, is currently being used by over a hundred fans of the movie Ghostbusters. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, so with this campaign I’m launching version 2.0 of my Proton Pack Kit. My Ghost Trap kit will finally be making it’s debut as well.”

Interested in learning more about the Atmel-powered Wolverine? You can check out the project’s official Indiegogo page here.