Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Ghostbuster's Gigameter LED display

Thomas Lemieux (aka The Iron Man of Maine) asked me if I could help with the electronics for the Ghostbusters Gigameter. Video of it from the film is hard to come by, but it looks like this:

There is not much documentation about it on the web.There is a a 3D printable version at:

The electronics are pretty hard to come by though.

Thomas was a big help with my Proton Pack Design and helping him out was no problem.

I'm a Microchip PIC guy by trade. But these need access to limited compilers and proprietary programming hardware to make them work, and so I decided to go with a cheap (<$4) Arduino Nano clone. This is my first Arduino project.

I'm driving a pretty specific common anode display that I got from AliExpress. But the software is designed to make changing the pin drives very easy.

As it was a rush job, I never formally built it up, but tried it out on a breadboard:

The software picks a target value from 0-999 (unless its the same as the current value) and rapidly displays the current value as it seeks towards the target. As the current value approaches the target value, the count rate slows.

Here is a video of it in action:

And the software is available at: