Posts with «radio» label

Experimenting new interfaces for Radios with wood and fabric

An Interaction and Industrial Designer studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh tried to re-imagine the way we interact with radios to create a more meaningful relationship between the user and the artefact.

Radios have been around since the 1920s but the devices we have at home haven’t changed much even if they were designed nearly 100 years ago and share similar elements like switches, knobs, sliders.

Yaakov Lyubetsky worked on a prototype of The Experimental Form Radio using Arduino Uno:

When The Experimental Form Radio is laying on a tabletop, it is off. To turn the radio on, you pick it up and slot it onto a wall mount. The radio leverages the elastic qualities of fabric to control stations and volume. To change stations you press lightly and slide your finger along the fabric surface. To change the volume you press firmly into the fabric, and then slide your finger along the deeper cavity in the radio. The video below showcases the interaction.

Requiring the user to pick up and wall mount the radio to turn on creates a ritualistic experience with a very simple feedback mechanism. If the radio is hanging on the wall it’s on, if the radio is laying on a flat surface then it’s off. The visual and auditory feedback allows the user to have a clear understanding of the system state.

Even cooler than the video above is the next one, showing all the “Making of” process to build the wooden piece and the soft interface:

The project uses an Arduino Uno board with a custom circuit made with three independent layers of conductive fabric and conductive thread. Touching together two layers of conductive fabric completes one of twelve circuits that then either change the radio station or the volume.

Take a look at the additional documentation on his website.

Arduino Blog 14 Oct 21:31

Reverse Engineering a Wireless Studio Lighting Remote

If you want to take a photograph with a professional look, proper lighting is going to be critical. [Richard] has been using a commercial lighting solution in his studio. His Lencarta UltraPro 300 studio strobes provide adequate lighting and also have the ability to have various settings adjusted remotely. A single remote can control different lights setting each to its own parameters. [Richard] likes to automate as much as possible in his studio, so he thought that maybe he would be able to reverse engineer the remote control so he can more easily control his lighting.

[Richard] started by opening up the remote and taking a look at the radio circuitry. He discovered the circuit uses a nRF24L01+ chip. He had previously picked up a couple of these on eBay, so his first thought was to just promiscuously snoop on the communications over the air. Unfortunately the chips can only listen in on up to six addresses at a time, and with a 40-bit address, this approach may have taken a while.

Not one to give up easily, [Richard] chose a new method of attack. First, he knew that the radio chip communicates to a master microcontroller via SPI. Second, he knew that the radio chip had no built-in memory. Therefore, the microcontroller must save the address in its own memory and then send it to the radio chip via the SPI bus. [Richard] figured if he could snoop on the SPI bus, he could find the address of the remote. With that information, he would be able to build another radio circuit to listen in over the air.

Using an Open Logic Sniffer, [Richard] was able to capture some of the SPI communications. Then, using the datasheet as a reference, he was able to isolate the communications that stored information int the radio chip’s address register. This same technique was used to decipher the radio channel. There was a bit more trial and error involved, as [Richard] later discovered that there were a few other important registers. He also discovered that the remote changed the address when actually transmitting data, so he had to update his receiver code to reflect this.

The receiver was built using another nRF24L01+ chip and an Arduino. Once the address and other registers were configured properly, [Richard's] custom radio was able to pick up the radio commands being sent from the lighting remote. All [Richard] had to do at this point was press each button and record the communications data which resulted. The Arduino code for the receiver is available on the project page.

[Richard] took it an extra step and wrote his own library to talk to the flashes. He has made his library available on github for anyone who is interested.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, radio hacks

Generate Clocks with the SI5351 and an Arduino

If you’re dealing with RF, you’ll probably have the need to generate a variety of clock signals. Fortunately, [Jason] has applied his knowledge to build a SI5351 library for the Arduino and a breakout board for the chip.

The SI5351 is a programmable clock generator. It can output up to eight unique frequencies at 8 kHz to 133 MHz. This makes it a handy tool for building up RF projects. [Jason]‘s breakout board provides 3 isolated clock outputs on SMA connectors. A header connects to an Arduino, which provides power and control over I2C.

If you’re looking for an application, [Jason]‘s prototype single-sideband radio shows the chip in action. This radio uses two of the SI5351 clocks: one for the VFO and one for the BFO. This reduces the part count, and could make this design quite cheap.

The Arduino library is available on Github, and you can order a SI5351 breakout board from OSHPark.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, radio hacks
Hack a Day 27 Jun 12:00

Internet radio occupies an 80-year-old radio case

[Florian Amrhein] made use of some old hardware to build his own internet radio in a 1930′s radio case.

The original hardware is a tube-amplified radio which he picked up on eBay. There’s tons of room in there once he removed the original electronics and that’s a good thing because he crammed a lot of new parts into the build. The main one being an old laptop he had on hand. It’s got a 10″ screen which is too large for the opening, but that ended up being okay. He coded an interface with C and SDL which give him a visual representation of his favorite online streams. The knob to the right moves the red line when turned and causes the Debian box to change to the new stream using the Music Player Daemon. Two potentiometers control the tuning and volume, and there is also a rotary encoder which is not yet in use. All three are connected to the laptop via an Arduino.

Check out the finished product in the video after the break. It sounds quite good thanks to the small automotive speaker and amplifier also crammed into the old case.

If you don’t have a laptop lying around to use in a project like this consider a microcontroller and character LCD based system.


Filed under: digital audio hacks

WiFi RC Car Has Camera and Force Feedback

Here’s some amazing work from maker Blair Kelly:

Arduino Wifly Mini is a remotely operated vehicle that communicates over a WiFi network, can be controlled with an XBOX 360 or PS3 controller, or G27 steering wheel, or any other controller that can be manipulated with Processing’s ProControll library, and features force-feedback and a first-person view. Presently only the G27 wheel and a Logitech F510 controller rumble properly with force-feedback.

My favorite part is that the point-of-view camera inside the car can be set to pan in the direction that you’re steering so that you can see where you’re going. I also love that he implemented force feedback to the controller triggered from sensors on the car. If you’d like to know how he did it all, boy are you in luck. Blair documented this project in incredible detail. Nice work!


MAKE » Arduino 09 May 19:30

Moving to Arduino, and other questions

Hi

I sort of started this question on another page, but I thought I'd move it here so I'm not hijacking someone else's page.

2 questions here;

1: I'm looking to move from using picaxe to Arduino. Can anyone give me any pointers on where to start? (I know this question's probably been asked elsewhere on LMR)

read more

Let's Make Robots 15 Apr 09:19
arduino  avr  picaxe  radio