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Project Overview


fnordlicht action shot

What is appropiate as a room light for a geek? Let's define a bit further, what should a room light be able to do:

I searched for a room light, but I was disappointed, so I created my own and called it "fnordlicht".

Technical Details

When I though about "creating light", LEDs came into my mind instantly.

LEDs are easily available, they are cheap and very bright. They can be dimmed using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) which I generated by using an Atml Atmega8 microcontroller. I chose this particular microcontroller for two reasons: First, I simply had a couple of them lying around and secondly, avr-gcc and avra offer you a completely OSS development environment. I was therefore able to do all the main work without using Windows (and AVRStudio by Atmel). :)

The fist version of the firmware was implemented in Atmel assembler, the second version in C. At the bottom of this website you'll find a third, alternate firmware which was developed by Chaostreff Paderborn


The fnordlicht is divided into three different PCBs. There's a fourth additional PCB for holding the max232 level shifter for rs232. You can buy all these in the Webshop run by de-SOLUTION. All PCBs are single-sided.

fnordlicht power fnordlicht control fnordlicht display serial level shifter
schematic power schematic control schematic display schematic level shifter schematic
top (with parts) power pcb top (with parts) control pcb top (with parts) display pcb top (with partst) level shifter pcb top (with parts)
top-pcb (with parts) power pcb top control pcb top display pcb top level shifter pcb top
etch layout power control display level shifter


First version of the firmware (in asm):

Second version, fnordlicht firmware next generation (in C):


There is some (german only, sorry) documentation on the fnordlicht wikipage.

Mailing list

The mailing list (mostly in German, but feel free to ask in english as well) can be found here, the archive here

Project Specific Links