View Full Version : Restoring an Old Decoration

12-16-2020, 08:34 PM
I recently restored an old Christmas decoration back to working condition. The decoration is a Mr. Christmas "The Night Before Christmas House" and was manufactured around 1995. When working, the lights in the windows of the house would light up and go off at various times, which were synchronized to the narration of the story "The Night Before Christmas". The original audio was provided by a casette player which was started when an external button was pressed. This started the audio playback and the code on the processor internally which controlled the seventeen light bulbs in in the various rooms in the house.

Unfortunately, the cassette player was damaged along with some of the circuitry to the lights as it appears that someone had taken it apart before in an attempt to fix it. Since it didn't seem possible to get the previous internal components working again and the goal was to get it back to working order, it seemed like an ideal project for a Teensy. With more than enough pins to drive the LEDs (which would replace the bulbs and simplify the project); an SD card slot to hold the audio; an easy to use wav file player; and audio out which would be connected to a Prop Shield, the Teensy 3.6 I had available was a perfect match. A very basic led class to simulate the bulbs warming up and dimming down on a schedule gives the lighting a bit more of a light bulb feel and the decoration has been restored to working condition.


12-16-2020, 08:46 PM
Very nice.

12-17-2020, 07:15 PM
Amazing! I recall I used to have like this when I was a child, so sweet that you keep and take care of it...