Posts with «arduino» label

This one-button device can do many things

Bigger isn’t always better, as illustrated nicely by this device from YouTuber “Volos Projects.” It’s not only physically quite small, squeezing an Arduino into a 40x25x25mm aluminum enclosure, but uses an interface consisting of a single button (plus a power switch). Data output is handled via a similarly tiny 64×48 pixel OLED display.

Regardless of its minuscule size and binary input method, it can still be utilized for a variety of functions, including as a stopwatch or counter, or even to play Flappy Bird. 

Demonstration and build footage can be seen in the clip below, while a parts list, code, and electrical diagram can be found in the video’s description.

Artistic Images Made With Water Lens

It’s said that beauty and art can be found anywhere, as long as you look for it. The latest art project from [dmitry] both looks in unassuming places for that beauty, and projects what it sees for everyone to view. Like most of his projects, it’s able to produce its artwork in a very unconventional way. This particular project uses water as a lens, and by heating and cooling the water it produces a changing image.

The art installation uses a Peltier cooler to periodically freeze the water that’s being used as a lens. When light is projected through the frozen water onto a screen, the heat from the light melts the water and changes the projected image. The machine uses an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi in order to control the Peliter cooler and move the lens on top of the cooler to be frozen. Once frozen, it’s moved again into the path of the light in order to show an image through the lens.

[dmitry] intended the project to be a take on the cyclical nature of a substance from one state to another, and this is a very creative and interesting way of going about it. Of course, [dmitry]’s work always exhibits the same high build quality and interesting perspective, like his recent project which created music from the core samples of the deepest hole ever drilled.

Hack a Day 08 Dec 03:00
arduino  art  cooler  ice  lens  peltier  projection  raspberry pi  water  

Many Uses For A Single Button

When building projects with a simple goal in mind, it’s not unheard of for us to add more and more switches, buttons, and complexity as the project goes through its initial prototyping stages. Feature creep like this tends to result in a tangled mess rather than a usable project. With enough focus, though, it’s possible to recognize when it’s happening and keep to the original plans. On the other hand, this single-button project with more than one use seems to be the opposite of feature creep. (YouTube, embedded below.)

[Danko]’s project has one goal: be as useful as possible while only using a single button and a tiny screen. Right now the small handheld device can be used as a stopwatch, a counter, and can even play a rudimentary version of flappy bird. It uses an Arduino Pro Mini, a 64×48 OLED screen running on I2C, and has a miniscule 100 mAh 3.7V battery to power everything. The video is worth watching if you’ve never worked with this small of a screen before, too.

Getting three functions out of a device with only one button is a pretty impressive feat, and if you can think of any other ways of getting more usefulness out of something like this be sure to leave it in the comments below. [Danko] is no stranger to simple projects with tiny screens, either. We recently featured his homebrew Arduino calculator that uses an even smaller screen.

Mood-controlled RGB light wall

In the build shown below, Evan McMahon dares to ask the question, “Have you ever been disappointed by a mood ring?” While that might seem a bit random, the answer is a likely “yes” if you’ve ever worn one with the expectation of any sort of accuracy. Fortunately, he didn’t just pose the question, but also came up with a clever solution, using an array of lights under Arduino control.

For the setup, McMahon uses the camera on his iPhone to take video of his smiling or frowning mug, then analyzes it with the help of Unity running on a computer to translate this into his apparent state of mind.

This info is then sent to an Arduino Uno, which puts the programmable LED lights into dance mode if he’s happy, and makes them shine blue if he’s a bit blue himself!

Arduino Blog 05 Dec 14:44

Teenager automates his family’s holiday lights with an Arduino Mega

As first reported by the Des Moines Register, this year 14-year-old Josiah Davenport decided to animate 3,500 Christmas lights on his family’s home with the help of an Arduino Mega. The lighting pattern is synchronized with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter,” which passersby can listen to by tuning in to 89.5 FM on their car radios. 

This ambitious installation was started back in July, and took around 100 hours of research, programming, and assembly. How the lights look at night can be seen in the first video below, while the second and third outline how everything was assembled.

Davenport notes that it’s been a fun endeavor, but is happy to see it come together, hoping that it brings a smile to people’s faces this holiday season! You can read more about the project in his local newspaper’s article here.

An Arduino Wrapped In An OLED Wrapped Inside An Enigma Pocket Watch

A pocket watch, tucked into a waistcoat pocket and trailing a long chain, is a retro-hip accessory. A pocket watch gutted of its mechanical innards and updated as a smart appliance might be a horological abomination, but would still be a cool hack. A pocket watch converted to a digital Enigma machine is in a class all by itself.

[Simon] admits that he has a thing for pocket timepieces, having a sizable collection of old and not-so-old watches, some that even serve for everyday carry. Trouble is, they eventually break, and qualified watchmakers are getting hard to come by. So refitting defunct watches has become a hobby for him, and this example is a doozy. It uses an Enigma emulator running on an Arduino, similar to one that he stuffed into a somewhat oversized wristwatch a few years ago. Fitting it into a pocket watch case required a bit of finagling, including a 0.5-mm thick main PCB that flexes a bit to fit the contours of the case. A small OLED screen peeks through the front bezel, which is done up in an attractive black crinkle finish with brass buttons for a nice retro look. There’s even an acid-etched brass badge on the front cover with his special logo, complete with a profile of the original Enigma rotors.

Very impressive workmanship, and we don’t even care that it doesn’t tell time. Need a little background on the original Enigma? [Steve Dufresne] did a great job going through the basics a while back.

Hack a Day 04 Dec 00:00

Catch Some (Major) Air: New Space Humble Bundle!

  We were glued to our screens last month as NASA successfully landed the InSight module on Mars. (Bet you were, too.) What an amazing sight a Martian sunrise turns out to be! Now, we’ve got the bug. The bigtime Space Bug. Accordingly, our final Humble Bundle ebook deal of […]

Read more on MAKE

The post Catch Some (Major) Air: New Space Humble Bundle! appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

A useful Christmas tree water level indicator

It’s that time of year again, when many the world over chop down a tree, then insert it into some sort of water dish to keep it green for a month or longer. This normally works out well, but means that someone has to keep it hydrated, climbing under sharp branches to intermittently check the water level.

As originally seen on Reddit, this is a perfect job for Arduino, and with some very simple wiring, maker “Boskovitch” created a clever setup that shows water levels with three blue, yellow, and red LEDs. A depth sensor in inserted into the water, which feeds analog readings to an Arduino Nano that is used for control.

Threw this together last night for my dad. He’s very anal about keeping his tree healthy, and he gets on his stomach and sticks his hand in the base to check the water level a couple of times a day. So I threw this together so he doesn’t have to crawl under the tree anymore. After the semester is over I might add an automatic watering system with a solenoid valve and gravity feed.

Want to recreate this setup for your own Christmas conifer? Check out Boskovitch’s write-up here.

Simple PID control intro device

You may have come across the term “PID control,” and while this proportional-integral-derivative control method does a great job of smoothing out oscillations, where does one get started? 

One solution would be Mr Innovative’s demo device, showcased in the video below. In it, a DC gear motor is able to smoothly rotate an arrow overlaid on a protractor by a certain number of degrees.

Input is via a Bluetooth smartphone interface, and an encoder is used for feedback to the commanding Arduino Uno. Everything is fastened together by 3D-printed parts, and if you’d like to try your own PID experiment, code and print files are linked in the video description.

The Arduino Hits The Rails

Certain hobbies come in clusters. It isn’t uncommon to see, for example, ham radio operators that are private pilots. Programmers who are musicians. Electronics people who build model trains. This last seems like a great fit since you can do lots of interesting things with simple electronics and small-scale trains. [Jimmy] at the aptly-named DIY and Digital Railroad channel has several videos on integrating railroad setups with Arduino. These range from building a DCC system for about $45 (see below) to a crossing signal.

There are actually quite a few basic Arduino videos on the channel, although most of them are aimed at beginners. However, the DCC — Digital Command and Control — might be new to you if you are a train neophyte. DCC is a standard defined by the National Model Railroad Association.

Model trains pick up electrical power from the rails. DCC allows digital messages to also ride the rail. The signal shifts from positive to negative to indicate marks and spaces. By diode switching the electrical signal, the train or other equipment can get a constant supply of current. However, equipment monitoring the line ahead of the diodes can read the data and interpret it as commands.

To accommodate old equipment, you can stretch the high or low values to make the average voltage either positive (forward) or negative (reverse). This can heat up DC motors, though, so it may shorten the life of the legacy equipment.

The build uses an available Arduino library, so if you want to get into the protocol you’ll have to work through that code. We had to wonder if there were other places where passing power and data on the same lines might be useful. There are other ways to do that, of course, but this would be a reasonable place to start if you needed that capability.

If you want to use an mBed system instead of an Arduino, there’s a great tutorial for that. Either way, it is just the thing for your next coffee table.