Lucky Panda Fortune Teller

January 16, 2012

Lucky PandaI finally finished this project. I had previously made a much smaller version with only a LCD screen, but no printer as they were not available at the time.

First I started out getting the thermal printer to work with an Arduino and a LCD screen.

Once I had this working, I wanted to make a more permanent version.  About this time Adafruit started selling perma proto boards. These are great for soldering your project into and are very sturdy.  I also ordered a RBB Pro from Modern Device.  This great little Arduino clone fit nicely into the Adafruit proto board.  I received the RBB Pro first and moved the prototyping to a larger board.  I then added 4 LEDs and a great arcade style button.

Eventually I also added a tiny speaker I had and a real time clock.  Here is my messy prototype with the speaker and clock along with the 4 LEDs.

Once the Adafruit proto board arrived it was time to start soldering it together.


First I soldered the resistors onto the LED leads and then covered them with shrink wrap.
RBB Pro on proto board

I added the resistors here instead of on the board to save room. Then I soldered the RBB Pro onto the proto shield.

At the same time I also started working on building a case for all of this.    Originally I wanted a fortune cookie shape or a Chinese food takeout box shape.  Both of these proved to hard, so I went with an old school arcade game shaped box made out of plywood.

Many thanks to Bildr and the thermal printer library they made.  One note about the library and code.  Around this time Arduino moved to version 1.o.  The code and library I used work with the previous version of Arduino, not 1.0.

Here is the code I used Lucky Panda Fortune Teller.



  1. […] Lucly Panda Fortune Teller @ Electric Projects. I finally finished this project. I had previously made a much smaller version with only a LCD screen, but no printer as they were not available at the time. […]

  2. Awesome Project. We have since updated the code to be Arduino 1.0 Compatible.

  3. Hej,
    nice Project.
    I also doing a Project with the Thermal Printer and also need the Text up side down. So maybe you can help me?

    • Hi Flo,
      I have not made the text upside down, that is how it comes out of the printer. If you could be more specific as to what you are doing I might be able to help.

  4. […] Building such a project isn’t that difficult, however sourcing an old printer could be a challenge. Don’t forget to review our post about using old printers here. Nevertheless, it’s a fun project and would be great for fund-raising and so on. So to get started on your own “Lucky Panda” machine, head over to the project page. […]

  5. Hi there. I like your fortune teller. How much would you sell it for? We have a fortune teller that we would like to change from dispensing cards to printing fortunes. I don’t need the case. Please let me know sales@pinballoutlet.com (416)871-4263

  6. this looks like a great project so can you make a tutorial on how you made it

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