Having seen Andrew was launching a new tree this Christmas with the added twist of a bit of surface mount soldering I thought, yes this is a must for the 2019 decorations.
Then I thought this is calling out for a bit of Raspberry Pi pimping.
As supplied all the led’s as connected in parallel with a simple on off switch / battery. First I isolated the track connections then connected them to individual GPIO lines on a PiZero, which I mounted with couple of stand-offs on the back of the PCB frame.
Next is was just down to a bit of Python. After some experimenting I arrived at a pleasing random flicking effect. The trick here is that slow fades do not work because the PWM routines in Gpiozero are all software controlled so you get annoying flashes when Linux decides to go off and do something else.
The initial consumer review was nice but, there was a compliant that the flicking could get annoying so I re-purposed the on-off switch to select between flicking and static in s/w. Finally I added a further push to allow the Pi to be shutdown cleanly.
The s/w can be downloaded from my github – it is not thing of beauty but it works !