October 22, 2013 /
Everyone usually agrees that home made gifts are usually more heart felt. So instead of buying a gift, Christian decided to make one for a friend. Not too far from a musical birthday card, the Birthday Box, will present a message to the receiver on an LCD screen, and sing the song happy birthday.
The Happy Birthday Box uses a piezo buzzer for a speaker generated by an Arduino. The text message is displayed on a standard 16×2 LCD screen, and powered by a battery pack. There is a small roller switch as well, I assume everything turns on / off when you open and close the box but it wasn’t specifically stated as the functionality.
Keep this project bookmarked, and add a few LEDs for that valentine of yours.
Check out a quick video after the break; Source code and more pictures on Christian’s blog.
October 14, 2013 /
When you hear the term Tricorder, you might think of Star Trek but I assure you, this is no toy prop. Keeping with the same concept of the Tricorder used on the TV show the Tricorder is about reading data, _lots_ of data. And that is what the Tricorder project aims to do, develop handheld devices that are fitted with lots of diverse sensors in order to observe them.
So far the project has produced a few different versions. The Mark 1, the Mark 2, etc. They are currently working on the Mark 5. Each version is pretty different from the other, and they all contain a wide variety of sensors such as atmospheric temperature, humidity, pressure and electromagnetic field, color, infra-red. And the obvious like GPS. They’re even working on developing their own sensors like this 3d printable mini spectrometer.
The project is open, and there are tons of pictures, and schematics on the tricorderproject’s web site.
October 2, 2013 /
With the advances of shrinking technology it’s becoming more and more easier to roll your own every day items. Ever thought of making your own watch ? Sure you have, it was probably going to turn out larger than you anticipated too huh? How’s 1.5mm thick sound ? Sounds pretty good to me too. Zak has a really awesome writeup of him rolling his own watch.
The display is a 0.96″ OLED display (128×64 pixels), it uses a DS3231M RTC, 2 LEDs, a buzzer, a 3 way switch and runs off of a 150mah LiPo battery. Impressive! Features of the software include, window animations, up to 10 alarms, games, stopwatch, and flashlight mode.
Power consumption numbers are decent too. 6ua in sleep mode, and 10ma with normal on. That means depending on how much time you spend with the screen on will dictate how long your charge will last. This puts you anywhere between 15 hours and 3 years. With those sort of numbers and a modest use of your watch you should be able to get 15-30 days out of a single charge.
The Schematic and source code are available on Zak’s web site, a long with more photos of the build. Enjoy a video and a few more pics after the break.
September 9, 2013 /
Believe it or not there’s actually a USB Host shield for the Arduino. The shield and accompanying libraries will let you communicate with USB client devices… like this USB digital scale. Normally this USB digital scale is plugged into a PC which will read the weight (I assume for weighing packages for mailing).
Oleg decided to to add an LCD to the device so it could be used stand alone. He’s using your run-of-the-mill 16×2 hd44780 compatible display, an Arduino, and the USB Host shield. The scale reports itself as a HID device to the host but still a little reverse engineering was needed to extract the weight information from the HID report. Once the target packets were identified, Oleg whipped up a sketch to read the USB report packets and throw the info out to the LCD display.
I probably wouldn’t have the patience for doing it this way, I would have tried to open it up and read data from one of the sensors directly, but this hack just introduces you to another vector of modification or input method. For instance using a USB joystick or flight stick with the USB host shield might be a great addition to a flame-throwing robot or something (lol).
Source sketch and more info here.