Upgraded Boba Fett Chest Displays

Dec 2020 brought new episodes of the Mandalorian which blessed fans with the reappearance of Boba Fett and his faithful armor.  The chest display refresh gets me excited.  Instead of a blocky bargraph lightshow, we get a fully animated larson scanner!  Remember larson scanners? Classic sci-fi light animation that sweeps back and forth, night rider, bsg cylons, etc.

My previous boba fett chest display circuit is not wired for a fully animated bargraph.  The ESB and ROTJ style animations both used 5 animated blocks above the character displays.  So I designed the bargraph to be run on 6 wires.  Five control wires from the chip and one common for ground.

Upgrade Paths:

  1. Low Res: New code for previous main pcb and bargraph pcb.  Add a 5 block larson scanner as a selectable programming option.
  2. Full Res: New bargraph pcb and code, same main pcb.
  3. USB C: New main and bargraph pcb.  Uses new chip to allow USB power and reprogramming.

Path 1: Low Resolution, Old Main PCB and Bargraph PCB

All we need to add a simple larson scanner animation to the old circuits is a code update. To upgrade we just need to reprogram the chip.

Upgrade: Firmware

To support this update, I added the code update to public github.  Needs an AVR-ISP programmer to update the chip. If you need help, just send me an email, thatdecade@gmail.com


Path 2: Full Resolution, Old Main PCB

The connection between the main pcb and bargraph pcb has 6 wires.  To make a fully animated bargraph, the bargraph pcb and code must be updated to individually address each LED.

Upgrade: Bargraph PCB and Firmware

The previous main pcb is unchanged.  To upgrade, you just need to reprogram the chip and swap the bargraph pcb. 

To see which bargraph you have, check the PCB. The new bargraph PCB will be marked as Full or High Resolution.

Path 3: Full Resolution, New Design:

With the previous PCB design I am pushing the attiny2313 chip to it’s limits. Jumping to a more modern chip will allow us to future proof with some really cool features. With 64x more memory to store all those new features.

There is no upgrade path here.  This is a whole new generation of the boba fett chest display. 

New: Main and Bargraph PCB and Firmware

The new smd chip will come pre-soldered and the USB C connector will allow for easy programming and power.  The onboard voltage regulator will allow for a range of battery packs too, up to 6 volts.