When I saw the Nove Bit on Hackaday last week, I was immediately charmed by it. The device is basically a box with 9 illuminated buttons on it. You can enter a pattern and it'll play it back with its softly fading lights. Quite mesmerizing, and I have to agree with Hackadays conclusion that the creator doesn't need an excuse to make a device that's 'just cool'.
What goes for the creator of the Nove Bit, goes for myself too: I decided I wanted a little something like the Nove Bit, and I didn't need any excuses to go ahead and build it. So I did. Completely copying the design wouldn't be any fun, though, and I don't think you as a reader would enjoy an article basically stating 'I just built what he designed'. That's why I decided to add my own twist.
So, what could be improved or changed to the design of the Nove Bit that would suit my taste a bit more? First of all, the original design has both an Arduino as well as a specialized PWM-IC. I didn't have both, but I was sure that if I could send grayscales to 512 leds from 1 AVR, a specialized IC to do 9 of them would be a bit overkill.
The second issue I had with the design is that it's somewhat big and... well, while I'm good with electronics, as soon as I try to do something mechanically, ducttape is usually involved, and for a device that tries to look its very best, ducttape usually isn't a big plus. So any way I could simplify the design of the housing would be nice. Probably, that would mean the device becomes a lot smaller to, so I decided to name it the NoveMini.
With these requirements for the NoveMini in mind, I got to work.
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