Yoshizen's Blog


A while ago I was introduced to a guy who needs to have some helps for his electronic project.

This guy Richard has been running his shop-sign design business near the work shop of the

Open Wifi Networking people / OWN, and he was introduced me through this group.

As he wanted to expand his design to LED light sign-board, but without having enough knowledges of

electronics. ( —– good boy. I like this kind of people. Keen to study and challenge new field.)

(Any how, I myself started a hobby of electronics from scratch

without having any formal education or training)

He had started to make sign-board using a kit bought from China —– and having mountain of

problems, the power supply, heat-up, etc etc. (May be it worked in China though, this country got

much more strict Safety regulation and the customers are more fussy, and so on)

Basically, the Chinese design was rather cleverly simplified, using less components —– would work

just within the limit and under an ideal condition.

Though, the trouble of bespoke designs are, they are not always the same design, and the number

of LEDs on the board are not necessary the same number.

So, I suggested the modification and the change of the components, power supply etc etc,  in fact

quite a lots of works needed to make them perfect    🙂


On the beginning, he tried to pay for my help. I told him “My help is free. And even if he want to pay,

he can’t afford my formal charge”   “One day, if I need, I may need to ask your help”

“So, just glad to receive a help from others, and give a help when he saw if others needed”


——- Then, he found the Chinese toys using LEDs and showed me if they can be used to control the

electronic signal in the sign-board.

Modification or adaptation of electronic circuit is much easier than to make a tandem bicycle out of

two broken bicycles (which needs to have a lots of cutting and welding —– a messy business)

As a matter of fact, I’ve been doing many of those kind of adaptation.

A video clip of my rotating  LED disco costume in Youtube was made out of a Chinese toy too.

When I saw the complicated lighting pattern of 5 LEDs in the small toy, I’ve got the idea to utilize it

(then, I made more than 10 design and the prototypes —– and one end-up as a fancy disco gadget 😀 )

If I design and make the same from scratch, by using gate ICs or a micro-controller IC, it would become

quite a size and impossible to rotates, let alone to mount it on a disco costume.

Since Chinese manufacturer designed and made it as a cheap toy, expecting to sell millions, they made

all the controlling circuit and the memory in one custom IC, everything is in a thumb nail sized board

—– so that, I’ve bought 20 of them 50 pence each 🙂 —– what a bargain 😀

Most of those ICs in the toys which execute a pre-programmed

routine is having a digital memory and its execution speed is

clocked by an internal RC clock, and its frequency is

supply voltage dependent, its mean if we change it, it could

slow down the speed.

The toys, Richard found was rapidly flashing RGB LEDs disco

pendant kind.   Those electronic circuit can be modified to flash

the letters on a sign-board by adding higher current transistor,

and can have more effective speed or giving more interesting

random movement as well.

And by using much higher supply voltage, it can light up lot more number of LEDs —– the variations are

endless —– after all, they are so cheap,  try this and that —– any faliuer wouldn’t cost you much.

Try to analyse and modify the circuit is a kind of game and a fun. —– and I made user friendly, ready to

use small board for him (and his assistants) to make sign-board.

—– rest of work is for him / he is the designer.    I was just an adviser.

It was an interesting occasion to see a person rapidly learning and succeeding.

This is the Zen at work. (for me and for him)

Let the things to come and happen.—– In Buddhist’s view, it is not an accident. 

It’s happened as it should be.

Be flexible in the brain / in the way of thinking, and to the occurence in the life,

and above all,  just do what required there in its best.

Hence, I was happy and he was happy too.

The day and the life in total would be quite fruits-full. ( with a lots of fun as well 🙂 )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: