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The tinyCylon kit

Parts I just put together a tinyCylon kit from Dale Wheat of The kit is very simple and goes together in a few minutes. A good kit for someone that likes flashy LEDs or wants a starter kit to put together. Dale does have a trick or two that makes this kit more interesting…

As you see in the picture, just a few parts, a PCB, 5 LEDs, button, PCB and battery holder.

This kit went together in minutes. I did not even look for instructions. It is easy to see where the parts go and there is plenty of space to solder. The picture below shows the completed kit cycling Cylon style the LEDs. The button selects several different flash modes. I especially like the random flashing.

The flashing is more sophisticated then just on/off for each LED. Dale has the intensity ramping and fading with PWM to add to the sweeping effect. It looks very good for just being 5 LEDs. There are some videos at


Another neat trick besides the PWM ramping is the way Dale did the battery connections. Anytime you connect a wire directly to a PCB it is prone to breaking. Solder makes the wire rigid and flexing causes stress at the point where the solder ends on the wire. Ultimately the wire will fail unless its strain relieved. The best strain relief is to couple the mechanical movement to the wire insulation. Dale does this by adding small holes to the PCB where you pass the battery leads. These holes fix the wires to the PCB so that the wire insulation can provide relief. Take a look at this in the last picture here. This is great idea, one that I am sure to copy.


Posted in Discovering, Ideas, Projects, Workshop Tips.

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4 Responses

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  1. Stefan says


    Why didn’t you tell us??


    A nice project for kids’ first soldering experiences: easy to make, doesn’t take too long to build, instant success (preprogrammed chip) and “very cool”.

  2. LJanardhan says

    A really nice working module

  3. Berni says

    I been using this method to prevent wires breaking for a long time now.

  4. Aaron Brady says

    That strain relief is genius! Can see that being applicable to veroboard as well.