Build Ball

Portable, glowing ball that gives on-call engineers a heads up when something breaks.


  • 24 hour battery life, charges with micro USB
  • Lightweight, weighs ~200 grams

Parts List

  • Particle Photon microcontroller
  • Flexible RGB LED strip
  • 100mm clear plastic ball; sanded down and sprayed with a matte finish for maximum light diffusion


  • Written in C++
  • On bootup: device establishes a connection to local wifi and enters main loop
  • Loop logic pings Jenkins build system and updates LED lights accordingly

Light sequences

Light sequences were programmed using the DAC (digital to analog converter) to drive the color-changing LEDs.

nominalslowly pulsing sine wavegreen
errorsharp pulsing saw wavered
low batteryperiodic double blipred
acquiring wifieven flashing square waveblue