“Everyone loved Knight Rider. I want to see more KITT scanners in the world.
Something that since childhood have fascinated me, is Knight Rider and the KITT scanner. It was a dream for me to actually implement this. I made several software implementations, but never took the time to actually make a realistic hardware implementation out of it. The KITT scanner is sometimes also called “Larson scanner effect”.
“Anamorphic Equalizer - KITT’s most apparent feature was his front scan bar called the Anamorphic Equalizer. The device is a fibre-optic array of electronic eyes. The scanner could see in all visual wavelengths as well as X-ray and infrared. Occasionally, the bar could pulse in different patterns and sweep rapidly or very slowly. The scanner is also KITT’s most vulnerable area.”
How does it work
The original KITT scanner had 8 halogen lamps placed in a V-shaped structure on the front of Knight Industries Two Thousand, which was a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. The idea of the KITT scanner was to provide a feeling that the car had a external sensor. The original lamps was halogen lamps, and had an after glow (light decay). When the lamps was scanning, it created a trailing effect.
The basic idea in this project is to replicate the feeling of the KITT scanner using traditional LEDs and some controller.
I started this project with Raspberry Pi, but decided I should go with the Arduino Uno, both to reduce size, and make it more stable and portable. For the LED I selected a NeoPixel LED Strip (8-led) that I bought at a Swedish retail store (kjell.com)
NeoPixel was good selection of LED, since they are fully programmable, an uses only a 1-wire interface, allowing me to place it on any tiny CPU.
It would be not too difficult to duplicate the code, and have the number of LED’s you wish for the lamp, but the current implementation only uses 8, and the scanning routine is somewhat fixed.
I decided to use C-Source code, since I’m most familiar with, and that made it possible for me to port it to Arduino in minutes.”