Using the ATtiny85 Chip to Control Halloween Props

The Graveyard

While wasting time one day I ran across a Google search item titled: "How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects". I was hooked. This little chip was incredible, and cheap. For under $2 you can get something that can have a pushbutton and control up to four things. This covers nearly 90% of everything we do at the haunted house. How could I not find many uses for these.

Of course like normal I went overboard building the PCB to go along with the tiny little chip. I think the first circuit board I built cost around twenty bucks. Since an Arduino Uno is only around $30, maybe $35 with S&H, not really a big savings there. It did include three transistor circuits to handle the higher current of multiple LEDs, built in programing pins, including the capacitor and a couple of diodes to prevent damaging various power sources. The programming pins are a nice touch though. Unless you perfect the program in a mock up it's kind of a pain to remove and re-insert the chip everytime you want to tweak the program.

I purchased ten of these chips from Mouser, after you calculate in the S&H they are around $1.80 each. I found some locally, they cost me $2.40 each, plus about $20 in gas to go get them. However, it was at a really cool electronics store, so I had fun looking through a lot of interesting stuff. For under $10 you can make a pretty cheap controller that at a push of a button will active a couple of LEDs and run a sound file from an audio player.

Milburn's Haunted Manor

If you find yourself in the Portland, Oregon area in October you can always make the trip out to Hubbard (about 20 miles) and check out this great haunted house I get to be a part of. Mike is a genius at creating an eerie atmophere to entertain you. Well worth the trip.

Visit the Webpage

Programming the ATtiny85

I have absolutely nothing new or insightful to add to what is already out there. If you want to program the chip from your Arduino I'd recommend the link to High-Low Tech below. Or you can go to various sites, like SparkFun and they have a USB programmer you can plug the chip into.

high-low tech