Some time ago I built an ambient orb to watch over the build process for the code at my office. Recently I used upgrading it to RGB leds as an excuse to get my first board cut by Advanced Circuits in Colorado (Why buy from China when you can buy from the U.S. at a lower cost?), and it’s turned out pretty well.

My first board, ain’t it pretty?

The new orb is substantially brighter, with colors that are visible (and even border on vivid) even in direct sunlight. I’m really quite happy with the results.

Here’s the board diagram and schematic:

You can grab the source and eagle files (All under the GPLv2 & CC Attribution/Share Alike licenses respectively). It’s got 3 sample apps now. The build warden for cruise control, a biff for email, and for tonight it’s got a electoral college meter that goes blue or red based on live results.

(Warning, everything is only tested under linux. The applications are written in python and ruby, and should work under windows and mac os, but I haven’t tested them)