Friday’s Tips & Tricks: Pulse Bit

How To Make Projects Using the Pulse Bit


The pulse Bit is like an electronic heartbeat. It sends out a stream of short ON signals, and you can make the speed of the pulses faster or slower using the included screwdriver. It’s great for making LEDs blink! We see and hear the effects of pulses everyday; for instance, that steady beat you hear playing in your favorite song or the steady blinking of a bike light is controlled by a pulse.

Build The Circuit

Place the pulse Bit before any output Bit to control it’s beating. A mini screwdriver is included with the Bit so that you can control the rate of the pulse. It’s important to keep in mind that the pulse outcome is the result of the rate and the outputs you place after it.


Here are some of our favorite projects that use the pulse to modify light, motion, and sound.


If you like to DIY and enjoy creating projects with found materials, consider the following:

1. Make Some Noise

Our output Bits make a variety of sounds and the pulse Bit is an excellent way to modify those sounds. The combination of sound Bits with everyday household items can create different pitches and rhythms.

Placing the vibration motor Bit inside of hollow plastic objects, like plastic eggs, creates an interesting noise that we enhanced by using pulse Bits. We placed a pulse before each motor so that we could carefully control the rate at which the motors activated.

Want to create something more elaborate? Here is some inspiration from our friends at Frog Design. They created an incredible Build-It Noise Band by using the method we mentioned above, and household items.

Build-It Noise Band from ThisThatLab on Vimeo.

2. Pull a Prank!

Sometimes the best projects only require a cleverly placed circuit. For April Fool’s Day, we pranked a co-worker by setting up a set of vibration motors that made everything on his desk vibrate. The pulse Bit allowed us to control the frequency of the vibrating motors, which maximized the irritation factor.



If you frequent the art supply store and don’t mind spending a few dollars on supplies, follow these tips:

3.  Get Flashy

For Maker Faire San Francisco we made projects using our limited edition San Francisco bundle, which includes a variety of bright Bits and the pulse. Using these Bits, you can make a model bridge, necklace, analog gif box, glowing Unicorn horn — and more!

Combining the pulse with an inverter Bit creates alternating flashing lights, which is how we created our analog GIF box and the lights in the Bay Bridge model.

Going to a rave? Combining the pulse Bit and lightwire will help you stand out.


Ride safely with the Unihorn Bike Helmet! Wrap the lightwire around the horn and add a pulse to create a flashing light, which makes you more visible (and awesome) when riding at night.

4. Illuminate Your Memories

This one is a throwback. We recreated our very own Ultraman (Taro)! The light in the center of his chest flashes on and off because of the pulse. This indicates how much power he has left to defeat the evil dragon!


Are you handy with tools? Try using the Servo Bit (coming soon!) with the pulse

5. Servo + Pulse

For this demo we went a little outside the box. Instead of focusing on how the pulse can modify other Bits, we found a way to have other Bits modify the pulse. Remix!


We attached the mini-screwdriver to our servo Bit (coming soon!), and then mounted the servo Bit above the pulse. As the servo motor rotates back and forth, it changes the rate of the pulse and the rate at which the pulse modifies the Bits that follow it.

More Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks
Arduino Bit Tutorial

If you’re curious about how the Arduino Bit works and would like to dive a little deeper into its features, check out the info bel...

Tips & Tricks
Introduction to Arduino Programming: The Tutorials

So you’ve just unboxed your new Arduino Coding Kit and would like to get into the fabulous world of Computer Programming, or...

Tips & Tricks
Friday’s Tips & Tricks: DC Motor

The DC (or “Direct Current”) motor Bit rotates a shaft when you send it an ON signal. It even has a switch to set the ...