Posts with «adafruit» label

SENSEation Shows The Importance of Good Physical Design

Sensor network projects often focus primarily on electronic design elements, such as architecture and wireless transmission methods for sensors and gateways. Equally important, however, are physical and practical design elements such as installation, usability, and maintainability. The SENSEation project by [Mario Frei] is a sensor network intended for use indoors in a variety of buildings, and it showcases the deep importance of physical design elements in order to create hardware that is easy to install, easy to maintain, and effective. The project logs have an excellent overview of past versions and an analysis of what worked well, and where they fell short.

One example is the power supply for the sensor nodes. Past designs used wall adapters to provide constant and reliable power, but there are practical considerations around doing so. Not only do power adapters mean each sensor requires some amount of cable management, but one never really knows what one will find when installing a node somewhere in a building; a power outlet may not be nearby, or it may not have any unoccupied sockets. [Mario] found that installations could take up to 45 minutes per node as a result of these issues. The solution was to move to battery power for the sensor nodes. With careful power management, a node can operate for almost a year before needing a recharge, and removing any cable management or power adapter meant that installation time dropped to an average of only seven minutes.

That’s just one example of the practical issues discovered in the deployment of a sensor network in a real-world situation, and the positive impact of some thoughtful design changes in response. The GitHub repository for SENSEation has all the details needed to reproduce the modular design, so check it out.

CircuitPython Snakes its Way onto Adafruit Hardware

We sit down to talk with Scott Shawcroft, an engineer at Adafruit, to discuss their hardware transition to CircuitPython.

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The post CircuitPython Snakes its Way onto Adafruit Hardware appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

CircuitPython Snakes its Way onto Adafruit Hardware

We sit down to talk with Scott Shawcroft, an engineer at Adafruit, to discuss their hardware transition to CircuitPython.

Read more on MAKE

The post CircuitPython Snakes its Way onto Adafruit Hardware appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Arduino-Neopixel Traffic Map

This project displays live traffic conditions between two locations on a physical map, using an Adafruit Feather Huzzah that gathers data from the Google Maps API and then sets the color of a string of NeoPixels

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The post Arduino-Neopixel Traffic Map appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Arduino-Neopixel Traffic Map

This project displays live traffic conditions between two locations on a physical map, using an Adafruit Feather Huzzah that gathers data from the Google Maps API and then sets the color of a string of NeoPixels

Read more on MAKE

The post Arduino-Neopixel Traffic Map appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

From the New Issue of Make: Our 8 Standout Dev Boards

These eight boards stand out for their advanced specs, built-in offerings, and, in some cases, their innovative interface options.

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The post From the New Issue of Make: Our 8 Standout Dev Boards appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Who on Earth Needs a Ninja Timer?

John Edgar Park builds a giant 7-segment display timer for a Ninja obstacle course.

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The post Who on Earth Needs a Ninja Timer? appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Payphone Boombox Straight Out of the 1990’s.

Due largely to the overwhelming dominance of mobile phones, payphones are a sometimes overlooked relic from the 90’s and earlier eras. While seldom seen out in the wild these days, they can however still be acquired for a moderate fee — how many of you knew that? Setting out to prove the lasting usefulness of the payphone, Instructables user [Fuzzy-Wobble] has dialed the retro spirit way past eleven to his ’90 from the ’90s’ payphone boombox.

Conspicuously mounted in the corner of his office, a rangefinder sets the phone to ringing when somebody walks by — a fantastic trap for luring the curious into a nostalgia trip. Anyone who picks up will be prompted to punch in a code from the attached mini-phone book and those who do will be treated to one of ninety hits from — well —  the 1990’s. All of the songs have been specifically downgraded to 128kbps for that authentic 90’s sound — complete with audio artifacts. There’s even a little easter egg wherein hitting the coin-return lever triggers the payphone to shout “Get a job!”

[Fuzzy-Wobble] notes that a payphone bracket is indispensable as most all payphones are made of cast iron, and nobody likes holes ripped out of their walls due to improper mounting. They’ve also provided their code as well as links to other tutorials for aspects of the build — such as the Adafruit music maker — throughout. Now you’ll have to excuse us as we groove while lost in a reverie.

Kick it back an extra decade and you get an 80’s boombox bluetooth speaker.

[Thanks for the submission, Alex S!!]


Filed under: phone hacks
Hack a Day 02 Dec 03:00

Cheap Dual Mirror Laser Projector

[Stanley] wanted to make a laser projector but all he could find online were one’s using expensive galvanometer scanners. So instead he came up with his own solution that is to be admired for its simplicity and its adaptation of what he could find.

At its heart is an Arduino Uno and an Adafruit Motor Shield v2. The green laser is turned on and off by the Arduino through a transistor. But the part that makes this really a fun machine to watch at work are the two stepper motors and two mirrors that reflect the laser in the X and Y directions. The mirrors are rectangles cut from a hard disk platter, which if you’ve ever seen one, is very reflective. The servos tilt the mirrors at high speed, fast enough to make the resulting projection on the wall appear almost a solid shape, depending on the image.

He’s even written a Windows application (in C#) for remotely controlling the projector through bluetooth. From its interface you can select from around sixteen predefined shapes, including a what looks like a cat head, a heart, a person and various geometric objects and line configurations.

There is a sort of curving of the lines wherever the image consists of two lines forming an angle, as if the steppers are having trouble with momentum, but that’s probably to be expected given that they’re steppers controlling relatively large mirrors. Or maybe it’s due to twist in the connection between motor shaft and mirror? Check out the video after the break and let us know what you think.

The video’s in three parts: looking at the laser beams in action as you’d see them on a dance floor, then watching the projected images while looking at an insert of the Windows application, and then watching the steppers and mirror doing their rapid movements.

As for the expensive galvanometer scanners we mentioned above, check out this impressive laser projector that uses them. Another method is to use a spinning wheel with mirrors set to different angles, like this one that draws a marquee using a pill box as the wheel. And how about one with no mirrors at all, instead attaching the laser directly to servo motors, though that one does take longer to draw.

 


Filed under: laser hacks

Control an LED display with your electric guitar!

Have you ever wanted to have a light show that reacts to what you play through you’re favorite electric instrument? Georgia Tech grad student Wil Roberts has, and so he created a guitar-controlled LED display–an impressive project that combines both his Maker and musical chops.

To accomplish this, Roberts used an Arduino Uno along with an Adafruit 16×32 RGB LED matrix panel that responds to the guitar’s signal. The bottom rows are always blue, while the top ones progress from green to red the louder he shreds. The top rows remain red depending on the length of the note being played.

Want one of your own? Roberts has made all of the display’s circuitry and code available on Instructables. In the meantime, be sure to see it in action below!