Microchip Technology

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  • PIC Based Message Wand

  • Created: Nov 24, 2014

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This PIC based message wand is an interesting project that entertains the user with its magical feature, which displays a message by swinging the wand. The message can also be changed as often as the user desires. It uses LEDs that work by flashing each column of pixels in rapid succession producing illusion of text in mid-air. In addition, it needs binary code to program the messages, which will be saved in Flash memory and will remain in the MCU's memory even when powered off. The device specifically uses PIC16F627-04/P microcontroller, an 8-bit CMOS device that has 16 I/O pins with individual direction control.

A Perfboard is used to construct the circuit that is powered by two-coin cells type CR2016. The power fluctuations from excessive load on the coin cells can be prevented using the electrolytic capacitor. A toothbrush holder can be used to make the message wand since swinging around the exposed sharp edges of circuit boards and batteries is dangerous. The message wand program features the method of table look-up in a PIC. Depending on the user requirements, the table that holds the message can be modified since it is in the form of pixel data. Synchronization is not used since the message is repeated at a fixed rate of about 3 times per second. Moreover, the message wand where one of its I/O lines is only capable of using a digital output and one is only capable of driving open drain uses the mid-range PIC16F627 microcontroller. To ensure the internal oscillator of the PIC is running at about 4MHz, a register bit is implemented and addressed by wand library file.

Message wand is a fascinating project that can be absolutely enjoyed by the kids and anyone who aspires cool devices. It incredibly displays the message that the user wished to show by simply swinging the device in the air. This can be used in costume parties and other special events, which undoubtedly caught anyone's attention.



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