I wanted to to program my Arduino pro using my ft232r USB to Serial from Sparkfun but didn't have the right cables and didn't quite want to solder anything to it. Realizing i had no good way to actually connect the ft232r to my Arduino i wanted to add the ability it plug it into a bread board for programming. I quickly dug through one of my parts boxes and found my round Swiss Breakaway Headers (also from Sparkfun!) and snapped off 5 pins to solder to the 6 pins already broken out for communication. Why only 5? That's because 2 of the pins are grounds and one seems to do the trick just fine so we'll leave the other alone for now. After adding my extensions to its pins I was able to drop it into my breadboard for easy programming any time and it being on its side allows the whole board to be accessible except for the 5 rows the Arduino uses.
While designing a dry pollen extractor in Inventor I had a chance to learn about what are called living hinges. A living hinge is what allows a tic tac containers lid to open and close hundreds of times over its life time. They are made primarily from PP (polypropylene) and PE (polyethylene) and classified into 3 categories; Fully Elastic, Fully Plastic and a Plastic/Elastic Combo. A Fully Elastic hinge will last thousands of cycles and a Fully Plastic hinge will last only a few cycles, while the combo will last a couple hundred cycles. It is very important when designing a living hinge to know what material you plan on using because it will have a specific stress/strain curve. The initial slope of that curve is referred to as the Secant Modulus, the apex of the curve is the materials yield stress and sometimes coincides with the elastic limit, but not always. When a designs Stress/Strain falls within the secant modulus and doesn't pass the elastic limit it is considered Fully Elastic and the plastic will continue to fully recover to its original shape thousands of times. When its Stress/Strain passes the elastic limit It is considered to be Fully plastic and has a shortened life expectancy as it reaches whats called the Ultimate Breaking Strength. My design requires a fully elastic hinge because it is a connector of flaps which lock pieces into place that are expected to be secured and unsecured tens of times during a single use. I wont go too much into the math of my hinge as I'm trying to keep some secrecy to its actual design but anyone who wishes to learn as i did and check out the actual math
My roommate got new shoes last week. The Osiris box they came in was printed to look like an old school ghetto blaster. He wanted to shoot it with his Red Ryder, but in my eyes that was unacceptable. Right in front of him was either the coolest Boom Box EVER! or a piece of scrap cardboard. I chose the first. The parts I used included an Altec Portable speaker powered by 3 AAA's, drivers from some old hash model skull candy headphones, drivers from some old electronic class projects, a potentiometer, and old large flip switch. Oh yeah and hook up wire.
First Part of business was taking what i needed from the portable speaker, mainly the circuits and battery holder, not the original speaker. Then i cut holes for the speakers where the picture had them and secured them with super glue. The main circuits were taped on the front with speed in mind and all drivers were wired to the speaker terminals on the circuits. In between all the speakers and circuits i placed a potentiometer for volume control and spliced the power line and extended it to the switch on the side of the box. and thats it. My Super Shoebox Ghetto Blaster V.1.
In my last post i wrote about a lock that would use sparkfuns numerical keypad and an Arduino. Since then i have redesigned the overall construction of the lock and written most of its code. Im waiting for a little extra money so i can buy the parts. While i cant buy parts to bring my more complex creations to life i can dream up simpler ones and with parts from my garage i can breathe life into them.
I am not only interested in electricity, i have much interest horticulture, biology, and physics among others. My next project was inspired by plants and seedlings. My friend was throwing out an old barely used George Foreman Rotisary and being who i am grabbed it before he could. I like to call It the "George Foreman Seedling Starter". All i did was open up the sides and remove the timer, dc motor and heating elements and cut the cord for use later on. I found two old light bulb sockets and electrical twist offs in the garage and cut holes to fit the sockets. i wired up the sockets to the original power cable using another one to reach the lights on either side of the box. then Put it all back together and turned it on. Because the Rotisary had a glass front it makes a great window to watch your seeds sprout day by day. There should also be more than enough light in that box to support as many seedlings as you can fit inside. I plan on adding computer fans for ventilation and maybe some micro controller automation on the side. I have yet to test it as its early winter and i am waiting until it gets later into the season so the seedlings will be ready when it begins to change.
my I haven't had funds for any parts recently, but that doesn't mean i cant compile a little code to run my idea. that way when the parts do arrive all i need to do is assemble them and load up the code. My latest project uses a 12 button spark fun keypad, a light up push button, the EasyDriver stepper driver motor version 4 and a 4 wire 12v stepper motor. all parts are available on spark fun except for the power supply i want.(Sparkfun only sells the 12v 600mA wall plug, im looking for something with 12v and 1000-1500mA so i can run the arduino uno and stepper from the same power supply.) Ill try to upload pictures and exact names and part numbers for everything i plan on using.
My Arduino Uno SMD edition arrived at the front door 2 days ago. (A picture of the Arduino in its red Sparkfun box. it looks so cool.)Since then I've been trying to decide what project to start with. I thought that a quick exercise in connecting a random input device and reading its input through Arduino's Serial Monitor would be a good place to start. After all the Arduino is known for its use in many interactive designs.
So i grabbed a useless sega genesis controller out from one of my drawers, looked up the pin out and began to familiarize my self with the Arduinos programming language. I don't know much about programming, I have taught my self a limited amount of python and to my joy its almost the same for what i can see. A few differences in function callouts and the whole pins thing. I can definitely get used to this though, i can see my potential project list growing a hundred times.
After a quick google search i was able to obtain a pin out and diagram. so starting from the top right of the pins is pin 1 and going to the top left counts to pin 5. The bottom row goin in the same direction finishes with pins 6 - 9. The Pins function as follow:
|pins||"Select" Value: Low||Select Value: High|
So the SELECT pin works by either being on or off, obviously. The table above shows how the "A" and "B" buttons are the same button, just "A" is triggered when pin 7's value is low and "B" is triggered by it being HIGH. The thing is there is no SELECT button on the controller. That function is controlled by the genesis system itself I'm assuming and so i can easily control when buttons become are active or not through my own programming.
I went about writing my own code to interface the genesis controller with my computer. First task was just printing the values of each pin every three seconds in Arduinos Serial Monitor window. Here is my code, I know very little in terms of complex coding of any kind so if any one has suggestions plz leave a comment.
here's the link:
Hello again. Ive been wanting an Arduino platform of my own for a long time now, and hoping that this will enable me to produce more projects i will hopefully be posting many more active projects soon.
UPS will hopefully deliver my brand new Arduino Uno SMD to my front door tomorrow, until then this picture is the closest thing i have.
For this project i wanted to take a regularly available wireless cellular headset and combine it with a small audio amplifier and speakers that will fit in a small box and rest on top of my dash board for hands-free use during car trips. I'm using a Motorola H(_)05 wireless headset, and its perfect for me because it does many of the tasks i need it to do already; like automatic connection when I'm in range or just its ability to be wireless saves me a lot of time, work, and frustration. All i need to do is take the audio output from the headset and dump it into a small amplifier circuit that powers much larger speakers forcing this device to be set on loud speaker. I would also like to upgrade its stock microphone to one that could more clearly pick up my voice from a few feet away without background noise. Because the set uses a small rechargeable Li-Ion battery it cant produce 12 volts alone meaning i would need a low power amp or a second power source which will be the cigarette lighter in my car.
I will share updates as they come along. not sure when they'll be.
As many may agree, the headset that Microsoft gives with each Xbox 360 can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. I wanted a more comfortable headset, but didn't have the money to spend on expensive third party products. Luckily and sadly my favorite pair of Skull Candy Low Rider's head band snapped because of the way it allowed the headphones to fold up. I knew i could reuse them, only the band had broke, the speakers were fine and of a higher quality than what Microsoft gives away. This was at the beginning of my Modding/Hacking love and i didn't know much about circuits, wires, etc. So i took apart the headset the came with my Xbox and quickly found that it would be an easy switch of speakers. I wanted my custom headset to include the speaker housing from the headphones for comfort and looks and was pleased to discover that the head band from Microsoft's set easily clipped into where the Skull Candy's head band had failed. I used hot glue to secure the headband to speaker housing and continued on to my next task, the microphone. After more inspection of the original headsets design it was a quick connection of of 2 wires from the microphone to one line in the cord for the plug that was taken from a separate third party headset. It included a volume control and mute button halfway up the cord. I then connected the speakers wires to the other line coming from the controls and hot glued the microphone arm to the side of the speakers housing. I was left with the comfort and quality of SkullCandy headphones; mono not stereo , and it only cost me 2 cheap headsets and a broken pair of headphones. Thats what i call great stuff. To this day i still enjoy my custom headset, however the third party volume control has been giving me problems more recently.