FrakkingToaster combines both my love of science fiction space dramas and my personal fascination with taking things apart to make something new.

I always thought it interesting that human characters in the Battlestar Galactica universe derogatorily referred to the robots bent on destroying all humans, as “toasters”. I wanted to turn a toaster into a Cylon (the robots bent on destroying all humans). Similar to KeyboardCube, FrakkingToaster was a great exercise in dealing with physical design concerns, coupled with programming challenges.

As I had experience with using Arduino in the past, I decided to go with the singe-board microcontroller again. FrakkingToaster started as LEDs and wires on a ProtoBoard, before moving all the electronics over to a little PerfBoard.

The LEDs were connected and tested, and work started on the button controls. Instead of having to re-invent the wheel, I was able to repurpose the toaster’s printed circuit board by rewetting the connections to my own.

Fabricating the housing was fun! I’m fortunate enough have access to welding equipment, and was able to make the necessary changes to the toaster housing to fit the LEDs. Thanks to a lot of planning and a little bit of patience, final assembly was easy.

FrakkingToaster uses the Arduino Pro Mini to control two 8-bit shift registers, connected to 16 LEDs. The original circuit board to the toaster has been scavenged, re-wired, and programmed to activate different light patterns for the LEDs. Sorry, this toaster now lacks the ability to make toast.