Black Hole Disc Blinker LEDs

By KenH

January 18, 2023

This story got frontpaged on January 24, 2023

13 days ago

I chose to convert the 11 lamps under the spinning disc to controlled LED bulbs because:

  1.  The 455 blinker bulbs may not be available in the future.

  2.  LED versions the blinking bulb are available, but tend to 'sync up' and don't look random enough for 11 bulbs.

  3.  I created a disc motor control that can stop the disc when the game is over, or can stop the disc when the game has not been played for 10 minutes, so the heat generated from the 455 blinker bulbs could cause damage to the disc when it is not rotating. 

  4.  The clearance between the disc, the 455 bulbs, and the disc and the backglass, was not in my comfort zone to prevent the disc from scraping either the bulbs or the backglass.

Adding the modification:

First, isolate the connections to the 11 lamps under the disc so they can be controlled by an Atmega328PU microprocessor.

Second, build the add-on boards.

  1.  Controls lamp blinking.

  2.  (Optional)  Controls the disc spin motor.  Omit if disc motor control is not wanted.

Both boards are connected to a single Atmega328PU microprocessor.  The technical details of the project are documented at Github:

The boards are made using stripboards (available at

A video of the spinning disc with controlled blinking is available on Youtube:

If you have comments please contact me on Pinside. 

Thank you for checking out my project.

Story photos

blackhole_disc (resized).png
blink (resized).jpg
motor (resized).jpg


20 hours ago

Great project! Thanks for sharing. That is why this community is so great! :)

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