Star Trek Communicator Badge

Joe Crop is a creating a real life version of this famous sci-fi device:


Star Trek Communicator Badge

In the true spirit of Star Trek, this communicator badge is completely autonomous, while fitting in the form factor of an original badge

Star Trek was known for dreaming up technology that was deemed nearly impossible given the limitations of the technology for the day. Having a small badge that could send audio across vast distances seemed out of the realm of possibility during the late 1980’s. This project’s aim is to use modern technology to provide nearly all the features of visionary tech, namely:

– Tap to connect and communicate instantly
– Long range (from orbit to planet surface)
– Small form factor (of an original TNG badge)
– Fully autonomous (no cell phone or base station needed)
– No external power source (i.e. battery powered)

joecrop has shared the board on OSH Park:

Star Trek Communicator v2p1


Order from OSH Park

Star Trek Communicator Badge


Carlos Vadillo and Bx Dawes created the GlowSaber project to help kids in Alameda learn about physics, engineering and programming:


Building the GlowSaber main board

All the logic, sound and light effects of the GlowSaber are performed by a small microprocessor board. In this tutorial I will explain, step by step how to put together the main board of a GlowSaber.


Building the GlowSaber handle

One premise that I had while designing the GlowSaber was that I should be able to build all of it with tools that I already have. That limited the materials I could choose to those that I could cut, drill and glue with just the basic tools:


GlowSaber RGB LED assembly

The GlowSaber uses a Vollong 3 watts RGB LED. It is very bright and more than enough to light the length of the blade. When designing the GlowSaber I found that I needed a way to connect the LED to the main PCB and I designed a LED break out


How to use a potentiometer to change the behavior

The GlowSaber has a switch assembly, that controls the on/off functions. It also has a LED to show that the GlowSaber is ready to start, and finally has a small 1 kΩ potentiometer. The following is a schematic of the switch assembly:


cvadillo has shared the board on OSH Park:


Order from OSH Park


Building an ATmega328 uploader

Carlos of GlowSaber wrote a great blog post on how we built an AVR programmer shield:

Building an ATmega328 uploader

As I learned more about Arduino, I realized that it is possible to redesign the GlowSaber around the ATmega328 chip [..] I designed an Arduino Shield that can be used to burn the bootloader and upload programs to an ATmega328 chip.

Here’s a example of an ATmega328 in a custom board:

cvadillo shared the board on OSH Park:

Arduino ISP Breakout shared project

Order from OSH Park

Building an ATmega328 uploader