Color Reader

Use a color sensor + hackaday trinket to read in a color, convert to hex, and send to a computer or mobile device.

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The circuit will detect the color of the object that it's pointed at and send wirelessly to a computer or mobile device the HTML hex code for the color. The device will display the hex code and example of the color. The idea is to allow web page designers to have a real life "water dropper" that they can point at real objects, or maybe give people the ability to record a color off an object and take it to a paint store to get a matching color.

The code will be written in either Java or AVR8 assembly using Java Grinder (

Video of it working here:

The code can be downloaded from:

  • 1 × SparkFun Color Sensor Breakout - HDJD-S822
  • 1 × Hack-A-Day Trinket
  • 1 × Bluetooth BLE or WiFi module

  • Cheap flashlights suck...

    Michael Kohn12/30/2014 at 00:22 0 comments

    I had a problem where when I point a flashlight at the sensor I see 0xFFFFFF on the iPod Touch, but every second or so it would drop down very low numbers. I was looking into possible problems in the assembly code produced by Java Grinder but it looked great.

    Anyway, it finally hit me what's probably happening. The flashlight must be PWM'ing and the circuit is picking that up. I hooked it up to an oscilloscope and put the flashlight on low brightness and saw clear PWM going on on the scope. I put it on bright mode (which I was testing the circuit on) and there it was.. PWM also. Not sure why anyone would PWM a flashlight turned on full power (bug?) but it appears this is the issue.

    I might make a video of that later...

  • IOS app written

    Michael Kohn12/21/2014 at 14:53 0 comments

    iOS app written (pretty rough still). I am getting color information over Bluetooth BLE now. Kind of disappointed in this sensor though. I had a choice between the $24 SparkFun color sensor and the $53 Parallax sensor. Really wishing I got the Parallax sensor. It has 2 bigger LED's and a lens.

  • Making progress...

    Michael Kohn12/14/2014 at 00:12 0 comments

    I got the rest of the circuit soldered and added UART support to the AVR8 module of Java Grinder. Next step is to use the already implemented ADC code to read the color sensor and send the values over the UART.

  • Circuit built

    Michael Kohn12/07/2014 at 17:39 0 comments

    Got a prototype PC board from Gateway Electronics yesterady and my color sensor breakout board arrived from SparkFun. This morning I soldered the thing together (except for the wires to the color sensor) and posted a picture of 3 components (Trinket, color sensor, and Bluetooth BLE module) installed on the board. Next step is to update Java Grinder so the AVR8 generator can output UART.

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