Posts with «mega» label

Stomping On Microcontrollers: Arduino Mega Guitar Effects Pedal

Effects pedals: for some an object of overwhelming addiction, but for many, an opportunity to hack. Anyone who plays guitar (or buys presents for someone who does) knows of the infinite choice of pedals available. There are so many pedals because nailing the tone you hear in your head is an addictive quest, an itch that must be scratched. Rising to meet this challenge are a generation of programmable pedals that can tweak effects in clever ways.

With this in mind, [ElectroSmash] are back at it with another open source offering: the pedalSHIELD MEGA. Aimed at musicians and hackers who want to learn more about audio, DSP and programming, this is an open-hardware/open-software shield for the Arduino MEGA which transforms it into an effects pedal.

The hardware consists of an analog input stage which amplifies and filters the incoming signal before passing it to the Arduino, as well as an output stage which does the DAC-ing from the Arduino’s PWM outputs, and some more filtering/amplifying. Two 8-bit PWM outputs are used simultaneously to make pseudo 16-bit resolution — a technique you can read more about in their handy forum guide.

The list of effects currently implemented covers all the basics you’d expect, and provides a good starting point for writing custom effects. Perhaps a library for some of the commonly used config/operations would be useful? Naturally, there are some computational constraints when using an Arduino for DSP, though it’s up to you whether this is a frustrating fact, or an opportunity to write some nicely optimised code.

[ElectroSmash] don’t just do pedals either: here’s their open source guitar amp.

Find astronomical objects in the night sky with this Arduino telescope assistant

No matter how good your telescope is, if you don’t know where to point it, it’s little more than a curiosity. Motorized GoTo telescopes are available at a very high price, but maker “DentDentArthurDent” has come up with an automated star-finder, showing you where your telescope needs to be aimed.

The system takes the form of a 3D-printed telescope pendant, allowing you choose from a database of objects displayed on a red LCD screen. A GPS module enables the device to know where it is, and potentiometers, initially calibrated using the North Star, tell where the telescope is pointed. Four LEDs then guide your telescope to the proper heading and elevation, so you can observe your selected object in no time!

Ready to explore galaxies, nebulae, and clusters? Check out the project’s write-up here!

Hot Ninja messages other devices using WiFi SSIDs

When you need to access the Internet via WiFi, it’s not too hard to find a hotspot if you’re in the right location, and the SSID usually gives you some clue as to who is providing it. What if you instead generated network names in order to communicate with people attempting to log on?

That’s the idea behind Hot Ninja, made by Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov, better known as “::vtol::.” His device uses a trio of ESP8266 modules to form and name three different networks, giving him 96 characters with which to message the surrounding area. If other gadgets do log on, Hot Ninja can also create a registration page with more information and even the ability to message back and forth. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of this portable device, and a keyboard and OLED screen form its user interface–shown in the video below. 

Multifunctional network device for autonomous activity in the city environment. Its main function is communication and propaganda through the WiFi wireless standard. This is the hacktivism DIY response to attempts by the authorities in different countries to control the Internet. The project serves as an example of the possible opposition and decentralisation of networks to ensure communications and provide notifications irrespective of whether there is access to the global internet or certain restrictions are applied.

YouTuber makes his own Overwatch laser turrets

If you ever wanted to to see what Symmetra’s sentry turrets from Overwatch would look like in real life, now you can thanks to Mr. Volt. The YouTuber has produced a pair of them powered by a LiPo battery and controlled with an Arduino Mega, utilizing a relay shield to provide enough power to each laser.

In theory, the turrets can each be aimed with a servo motor and sense objects with an infrared range finder. The main control feature, however, is an arcade button that controls firing, along with a big red e-stop switch to cut things off as needed. 

After a couple weeks of tinkering, my first iteration of Symmetra’s turrets are alive! They may be 3D-printed instead of hard light constructs, but I still think they’re pretty cool. Each turret holds a 2W 445nm laser and RGB (Dotstar) LEDs. They’re controlled by an Arduino Mega and some relays.

You can see it demonstrated popping balloons at just after the 8:30 mark in the video below. Also, please be sure to use the necessary precautions when working with lasers. For his part, Mr. Volt decided to build his own FPV rig out of a welding helmet!

Give new life to an old electron microscope with Arduino

As seen here, although you might consider your oscilloscope and other test equipment to be pretty neat, you most likely don’t have anything nearly as cool as the scanning electron microscope that was dragged out of a shed at Benjamin Blundell’s local hackerspace.

The small detail is that it doesn’t currently work. They’ve been able to track down the machine’s schematics, and Blundell was asked to get the contents off each of its ROM chips. Whereas this might have been difficult 20 years ago, he was able to hook chips up to an Arduino Mega and extract the contents of each one using code provided via his write-up.

Some of you might have watched the TV series, Halt and Catch Fire? If not, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it much. Basically, a couple of the lead characters decide to read the bios out of the latest IBM machine. It’s quite a dramatic moment, but the reality is perhaps somewhat more sober. Anyway, the process they had was quite involved, as it was the eighties after-all. Nowadays, we have things like the Arduino Mega that has enough digital input pins to read a ROM with ease.

While he still needs to figure out what’s going on with this information, they have a place to start and will hopefully have a very exotic tool running in the near(ish) future!

pedalSHIELD MEGA is a programmable guitar pedal for your Arduino

If you want to create new guitar sounds without having to redo your pedal wiring every single time, the pedalSHIELD MEGA from ElectroSmash could be just what you’re looking for.

The pedalSHIELD MEGA takes input from a guitar via a standard ¼-inch cable, and uses an Arduino Mega to process the sounds to your liking. This new sound is then output using two PWM pins for a 16-bit resolution.

The device, which is available in kit form or as a PCB, sits on top of the Mega as an amazing looking shield. In addition to a 3PDT true bypass footswitch, a toggle switch, and two pushbuttons, the pedalSHIELD MEGA features an OLED display for visual feedback. Once assembled, all you need to do for an entirely unique sound is program your own effects in the Arduino IDE!

This shield that is placed on top of an Arduino Mega has three parts:

Analog Input Stage: The weak guitar signal is amplified and filtered, making it ready for the Arduino Mega ADC (Analog to Digital Converter).

Arduino Mega Board: It takes the digitalized waveform from the ADC and does all the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) creating effects (distortion, fuzz, volume, delay, etc).

 Output Stage: Once the new effected waveform is created inside the Arduino Mega board, this last stage takes it and using two combined PWMs generates the analog output signal.

You can find more details on the pedalSHIELD MEGA here, and see it in action below!

Make your own 3D-printed robotic vacuum with Arduino

Tired of cleaning your house? A robotic vacuum may be the logical solution, but if you’re “theking3737” something off-the-shelf just isn’t quite cool enough. Created as part of a school project, he was responsible for the hardware design, while a fellow classmate took care of the programming.

The DIY device uses an array of what appear to be ultrasonic sensors for navigation, and an Arduino Mega as the brains. It also features an HC-05 Bluetooth module that enables it to be controlled via an Android phone or smartwatch. All the electronics are housed inside a 3D-printed closure.

Impressively, the team had “never done anything like this before,” and the results look great—encouragement for anyone hesitant to start on a project because of inexperience!

Water speakers enhanced with an Arduino Mega

Maker “cool austin” is a fan of water speakers, which pulse jets of water inside plastic enclosures to the beat of your music, but thought they could be improved.

What he came up with is a multi-tower setup that not only dances with light and water to the beat of the music playing, but splits up the pulses into frequencies a la a VU meter.

The project uses an Arduino Mega—chosen because it has sufficient PWM outputs to control the water and lights in five of these enclosures via MOSFETs—to output signals to the water units for an excellent audio-visual display.

Water speakers from the store are great to watch, but I felt they could do more. So many years ago I had modified a set to show the frequency of music playing. At the time I used the Color Organ Triple Deluxe II, combined with a set of photocells potentiometers and transistors I was able to get a set of 3 speakers to function.

I then a few years ago had heard about the IC MSGEQ7 which has the ability to separate audio into 7 data values for an Arduino to read. I utilize an Arduino mega 2560 in this project because it has the required number of PWM pins to drive five water towers.

You can find more details on the water speaker equalizer here, and see it in action below!

Automated IC testing with Arduino Mega

Arduino boards by themselves are, of course, great for making a wide array of projects. Sometimes, however, you’ll need to add other integrated circuits (ICs) for extra functionality. If you want to be absolutely sure that the IC you’re using in your project is working correctly, this tester by Akshay Baweja will input the signals to the device, and analyze the outputs that it produces on a 2.4” touchscreen.

While this type of equipment would normally be quite expensive, Baweja’s Arduino Mega-powered gadget can be built for around $25.

I designed a shield for all components to fit-in and chose the Arduino Mega as my microcontroller board since both the ZIF Socket and LCD can be put side by side giving the build a compact and portable look and feel.

Be sure to check it out being demonstrated below, and if you want to create your own, code can be found on GitHub.

Crawl through a 1D LED dungeon with TWANG!

While video games have grown more and more complex over the last few decades, TWANG takes things in the opposite direction as an Arduino Mega-based 1D dungeon crawler consisting of an RGB LED strip.

The player—a dot—is controlled via an accelerometer mounted to a door spring used as a joystick. With it, the player can move forwards, backwards, and attack by “twanging” the spring to make it vibrate. The LEDs display a wide array of colors, including representations of glowing lava, water, and player disintegration when a mistake is made.

TWANG is inspired by the Line Wobbler game from Robin Baumgarten, and beautifully implemented as shown in the video below by Barton Dring. Code for the build can be found here, and 3D print files for the housing/joystick are also available.