SB-FireFly Hacks: Round 1

Dave Hrynkiw
July 3, 2012

Jeremie, our engineer and the brains behind the SB-FireFly, can't seem to put the thing down even though it's all done and released. He's been hard at work figuring out what it's capable of, and figures that the hardware and framework could be used for a Micro-TV-B-Gone broadcaster, IR code repeater, and even a tiny robot controller. This week, Jeremie turned the SB-FireFly into a countdown timer and even a 'Twinkle Grenade'. Check out the hack descriptions below for more information.

SB-FireFly Countdown Timer
The inspiration for this hack comes from a certain Solarbotics Head-Geek burning up too many Freeduinos in the re-flow oven... I mean, we had trouble cooking hardboiled eggs... yeah… that's it. A permanent 3 minute timer was needed to save the innocent PCBs... er... eggs.

Additional Hardware required: Needs a Piezo Buzzer soldered to the expansion port from S (PB3) to G (GND).

Code: Download here

What it does:
Turns an LED on then beeps at the 1 minute mark
Turns 2 LEDs on and beeps at the 2 minute mark
Turns 3 LEDs on then continuously beeps & flashes all LEDs at the 3 minute mark until the button is pressed.

Meanwhile, during the countdown mode if the button is pressed it will restart the countdown from the beginning. During the continuously flashing/beeping behaviour the button will put the SB-FireFly to sleep, and if pressed again it’ll restart the countdown.

Application: It can be modified to be a timer of any sort, reminding you at certain intervals to take action such as pulling PCBs out of the oven eggs out of the pot.

SB-FireFly Twinkle Grenade
The inspiration for this hack comes from either the desire for mischief or the need for chip tunes. One of the two. Okay, maybe both.

Additional Hardware required: Needs a Piezo Buzzer soldered to the expansion port from S (PB3) to G (GND)

Code: Download here

What it does: Continuously plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and flashes all the LEDs in time with the notes until the button gets pressed. Upon button press, the SB-FireFly goes to sleep (because, unfortunately, no amount of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star makes electronics fall asleep). Push the button again and the tune will start back up where it left off.

Application: Annoying your friends, family, and co-workers. Throw it in a colleague’s office and run away as they frantically search the floor trying to turn it off (we swear we haven't done this at all…). Or you could be sneaky and hide it in a vent or inside a drop ceiling. Magnets stick quite well to the back of the SB-FireFly, so it can then be temporarily attached to a metal surface quite easily.

With the sheer plethora of possibilities for the SB-FireFly (or 'hacklications', as Jeremie likes to call them), there'll probably be another one or two similar posts on the horizon for how to tweak this mini blinky platform extraordinaire, so stay tuned!


April 12, 2009
"Most Adorable Robot Experiment Ever"

Cute project in NYC with a friendly little cardboard robot that interacts with the "gruff" population of NYC ...And if you look closely, there's something about the wheels that look familiar!

June 6, 2012
Cool Link Wednesday: Yana Edition

About a million years ago (and by that, we mean 3-4) we had a crazy French intern called Jerome. He had a squiggly beard and liked to exclaim "SUPER COOL!" whenever he saw anything that caught his attention. But because he came up with neat stuff like the BeetleBot, we let him stick around. Even […]

February 18, 2010
Mark Tilden's 600 foot workbench

Well, it's more like a workbench 600 feet in the air. In his apartment. In Hong Kong. Nice view... Dig around the large image to see what cool stuff you can pick out. Gareth @ Make Magazine (where it was first posted last week) already found a "teacup Stirling Engine" at 10 o'clock (near the […]

June 15, 2012
New Product Friday: Vancouver Maker Fair...

So, as usual, we have some new product Friday goodness, but first we have a few questions for you to answer. Do you live in, around, or near Vancouver? Do you like weird and fantastical projects? Do you consider yourself a DIY type of person? Do you own a Space Armadillo named Norm, that you […]

1 2 3 253
Solarbotics Ltd Logo
Solarbotics has been operating for more than 25 years, bringing electronics know-how and supplies to both the electronics professional and hobbyist. We'll be happy to help you too!

Solarbotics, Ltd. is not responsible for misprints or errors on product prices or information. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Please visit for more information. This item was manufactured prior to August 31, 2018.

Copyright © 2024 Solarbotics Ltd. All Rights Reserved