Peggy: Open source LED-based Mooninite kit

Peggy is an "open source lighted pegboard design" from Evil Mad Scientist Labs, released to coincide with the anniversary of the Great Boston Mooninite Scare of 2007, when law enforcement mistook lite-brites advertising a cartoon for terrorist paraphernalia and spent $2,000,000 running around, flapping their arms, screaming, and pulling their hair.

This is an easy way to drive a lot of LEDs-- up to 625-- in a big matrix. You can make an LED sign for your window, a geeky valentine for your sweetie, one bad-ass birthday card, or freak the holy bejesus out of Boston. Your call. It's a versatile, high-brightness display.

The display can run off an AC adapter or batteries (3 'D' cells), and is designed to run as many green/blue/white/violet LEDs as you care to solder into the holes, all with excellent brightness. The board can accommodate LEDs in several common sizes: 3mm, 5 mm (standard T-1 3/4 size), and 10 mm. A photosensor is provided that can automatically turn off the display in bright daylight or incandescent light.


See also:
Nevar Fergit! 1-31-07.
Deconstructing the Great ATHF Freak Out of 2007
Mooninite on the Haunted Mansion
Stickers: This is engineering, not bomb-making
State of Massachusetts insists on calling ATHF ads "hoax devices"
Boston LED terror scare: a message to the media
Mark on ABC news about Mooninite devices
Fake pipe bombs found in Boston
Video of Mooninite menaces
Boston Mooninite installer arrested
Boston Channel photoshops Mooninite LED signs
Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the Bomb T-Shirts
LED ad campaign ignites terrorism scare in Boston


  1. The only question I have is what is the cheapest source for LEDs? There has to be someone that gives a better price than digikey on quantity.

  2. check around for electronic suppliers that rely on China manufacturers. I’ve seen Luxeon knock-offs for a third of the usual price. Quality sucks of course

  3. Use IR LEDs in this and it would make an awesome light source for night vision or low light cameras.

    (Actually most video cameras can see into the IR a little bit. Try aiming your TV remote at your cell phone camera. See?) I love this stuff.

    An IR array of this size could be useful.

  4. Resistance is a measure of the degree to which an object opposes an electric current throu– I mean futile.

  5. I gotta defend Boston a a little bit. Who says that something that blinks and looks like a cartoon logo isn’t actually a bomb? Who knows what wacko sense of humor someone planning to bomb a bridge might have? Even if you’re 99% sure it’s just a prank, there’s a lot of lives to risk for that one percent.

    What was stupid was persisting in calling it a “hoax device” after it was found out to be no such thing.

  6. #8, not to mention that nobody seems to want to put themselves in the place of the Bomb Squad guys.
    What are they supposed to do when some old lady, who for some reason doesn’t watch Cartoon Network, phones in a suspicious object? They have no choice but to investigate, and they must do so using best practices. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and say they overreacted, but thier only concern when they go out on a call is they get home safely to their families (or cats) that night.
    I agree with you that the “hoax device” label was pure stupidity.

  7. The “hoax device” law in Boston is admittedly ridiculous, it strikes me as nothing more than embarrassed public officials putting the blame on others for their own over-reacting. I don’t have numbers to back it up, but I suspect a majority of Bostonians think the police are more at fault than Turner Media or the two artists they hired. Certainly nearly everyone I know thinks that way (including some weirdos who are very conservative).

    There was a quote in Boston’s Weekly Dig that gets to the heart of the matter: (I paraphrase from memory) “If you look out your window on a stormy night and mistake a large tree for a demon, that doesn’t mean it’s justifiable to go chop down the tree the next day.”

    I find myself defending Boston a lot lately, forgive me if I harp on about it here. I’ve recently met several people with odd notions about Boston that just weren’t true. I don’t want the silliness of Boston’s public officials to denigrate the city as a whole. In the other cities I’ve lived in there were public officials who were equally as hard-headed. Boston is still the capital of the “bluest” state in the nation, with gay-marriage on the books (despite repeated attempts by religious conservatives to overturn the law).

  8. …Man, talk about synchronicity! $80 for the kit, and the LEDs are fracking cheap by comparison. Makes one wonder why someone hasn’t actually done an LED-based official update to the Lite-Brite!

    …On a side note, a modeler buddy of mine passed on a tip on LEDs: a *lot* of Chrisnukkah light sets are cheap LED-based, and they usually get marked down to $2-$3 USD after the season ends, in strands of 100-150 lights. Just cut’em loose from the strand, and you’ve got LEDs out the wazoo!

  9. Sounds interesting, but computer geek that I am, there’s no computer interface. It would be absolutely fantastic if each led could be turned on/off individually. Perhaps controlled by a computer. :)

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