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If you’d like for someone to visit you, it’s quite helpful if you have the house number displayed somewhere on your premises. Rather than simply rely upon someone reading the numbers as they drove by, “Superbender” has decided to do something a bit different make his home stand out.

During the day, you can identify Superbender’s residence by the giraffe mailbox, but to help point the house out by night, he came up with the glowing Arduino Uno solution seen in the video here.

The numbers were cut on a scroll saw and RGB LED strips were added in the back to enable them to illuminate. The setup allows for one color per night, or the numbers can change every three seconds in “party mode.”

The software was tested on an Uno, then transferred to an ATmega328P in a DIY control board. You can read more about this project on Instructables and watch a demo of it below!

Haven't you ever wanted to shoot your clock?

Read more on MAKE

The post Hit Snooze by Shooting This Alarm Clock with Nerf Darts appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Nespresso fans rejoice! If you like coffee (of course you do) and are a Nespresso fan, chances are you are one of two types of persons: the ones that chosen one type of capsule and stick to it or the ones that have a jar full of mixed capsules and lost track which coffee is which. Of course, there is a third, rarer, OCDish, kind. The ones that have every capsule organized neatly by color in a proper holder, full of style. In any case, if you forgot which color is which coffee because you threw the case away and forgot about it here’s an interesting weekend project for you: the Nespresso Capsule Detector.

[circuit.io team] made a neat Arduino-based project that can detect which capsule is which using an RGB color detector and display information about it on an LCD display. It’s a pretty simple project to make. If you have a 3D printer you can print the case, if not it’s fairly easy to come up with a working casing for the electronics and capsule.

The operation is simple, just drop the capsule in the hole and the Nespresso Capsule Detector will tell you which type it is, its intensity, its flavor tones and the optimal cup size for the coffee in question. We are just not sure if it can detect the Nespresso weddingbots correctly, but who knows?

Have a look:


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

A Python module for the AuroraWatch UK API

The first goal in the journey to create an automated all-sky camera system for AuroraWatch UK was to interface to the camera using Python. If you missed update #1 you can read it at here.

One of the requirements of the camera software is to be able to change between different recording settings, for instance, in response to solar elevation and the AuroraWatch UK status level. Computing solar elevation is easily acheived with the astral module. For the AuroraWatch UK status level I began with fetching the status XML document but soon realised a much better approach was to write a Python module. The module automatically fetches the various XML documents, parses them and caches the results, both to memory and to disk.

I won't repeat the instructions for installing and using the module - that information is already given in an ipython notebook that you can view at https://github.com/stevemarple/python-aurorawatchuk/blob/master/aurorawatchuk/examples/aurorawatchuk_api.ipynb

Browse around eBay for an original Altair 8800 and you quickly find that the price range is in the thousands of dollars. If you are a collector and have some money in your pocket maybe that’s okay. But if you want the Altair 8800 experience on a budget, you can build yourself a clone with an Arduino. [David] kindly shared the build details on his Arduino Project Hub post. Using an Arduino Due (or a Mega for 25% of original speed), the clone can accurately reproduce the behavior of the Altair’s front panel elements. We covered a similar project in the past, using the Arduino Uno.

While not overly complicated to build one, you will need a backfair amount of patience so you can solder all the 36 LEDs, switches, transistors, and resistors but in the end, you’ll end up with a brand new computer to play with.  In 1975, an assembled Altair 8800 Computer was selling for $621 and $439 for an unassembled version. Sourced right, your clone would be under 50 bucks. Not bad.

The simulator comes with a bunch of software for you to try out and even games like Kill-the-Bit and Pong. BASIC and Assembler example programs are included in the emulator software and can easily be loaded.

In addition, the simulator includes some extra functions and built-in software for the Altair which are accessible via the AUX1/AUX2 switches on the front panel (those were included but not used on the original Altair). From starting different games to mount disks in an emulated disk drive, there are just too many functions to describe here. You can take a look at the simulator documentation for more information.

In case you don’t know already, here’s how to play Kill-the-Bit:


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Why settle for a some boring furniture, when you can have your own sand and rock display powered by an Arduino Uno and stepper motors instead?!

According to his write-up, Instructables user “MakrToolbox” gets many ideas that never leave the pages of his Moleskin notebook. Although it has to be difficult to decide which ones gets to live in reality, this Zen Garden CNC End Table seems like it was a great build choice.

The table consists of a piece of plate glass covering a “garden” of sand and stones. On top of this is a metal ball that moves around via a joystick on the side of the table, traversing the sand and making interesting shapes, like a giant Etch A Sketch. The ball is pulled around with a magnetic servo-powered gantry system underneath.

Look like something you’d love to have in your living room? Be sure to check out the project’s page for more!

Using an Arduino Uno with a CNC shield,  Thimo Voorwinden has made his own CNC out of MDF for just over €200 ($212).

CNC routers really open up what the type of item you can make, but tend to be expensive. Voorwinden’s homemade version, however, features a work area of 200mm x 250mm x 100mm. As shown in the results video below, it’s accurate enough to cut two pieces of MDF so that they can nest securely inside of one another. Impressively, the whole assembly was created using basic tools.

Two interesting features on this build are that the workpiece is fastened down with wood screws into the Y-axis gantry, and that it employs an offset motor with a flexible shaft to transfer power to the cutting head. 12 bearing blocks and 8mm diameter steel rod are used to keep everything lined up.

You can see more of this project in Voorwinden’s write-up, including several other videos as well.

Did you forget about Valentine’s Day? Do you need a quick project to get ready for Valentine’s Day? [Becky Stern] has you covered. She’s whipped up a neat Internet-enabled Valentine project which should be pretty quick to put together.

At its heart (pun intended) is an ESP8266 microcontroller, in this case an Adafruit Feather Huzzah. Several layers of tissue paper heart are stitched together and cut out into a heart shape and then attached to a spring. A vibrating pager motor is used to shake the it when a signal comes in. Two buttons are used to send the message and a red LED is used to light the heart up. The whole thing is enclosed in a shadow box. [Becky] also put together another controller with a similar setup in a plastic enclosure. When the buttons are pressed on either controller, the other gets a signal and the heart shakes and lights up.

These projects send and receive Valentines, but they could be programmed to send whatever information you’d like. If you’re looking for a quick Valentine’s Day project, this is a great one, and you might have all you need already in your component drawer. Break out the soldering iron and send your Valentine a message! If you’re still looking for a quick Valentine’s Day project, check out this animated heart or this PCB Valentine.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

In what is perhaps the most Arduino boards used together, 130 Arduino Nanos, (plus an Arduino Mega), 130 RFID readers, and 750 RGB LEDs power this interactive crossword puzzle.

As you might suspect, bringing a giant crossword puzzle to life was lot of work. If you’d like to know how much, you can see the process laid out in the video below. Like many great hacks, this project starts out with a lot of prep, making sure the mechanical pieces go together as they should. Everything is then wired and programmed, and on day six, it finally goes out the door, destined for the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Each letter has an RFID tag. Under the table are custom made circuits with Arduino Nano, RFID reader, and WS2812B. There is 130 of those circuits and the are connected by I2C interface together to Arduino Mega 2560, which is the main brain. So basically, the table recognizes letters and takes proper actions.

  • When there is no letter: LED are dimmed white
  • When letter is good: LED are green
  • When letter is bad: LED are red
  • When whole word is completed: LED play colorful animation
The main controller (Arduino Mega) communicates with a PC via RS-232. This PC plays special graphic visualization on the wall. When the whole crossword is completed, the whole table begins doing disco + sound effects.

It’s quite a colorful display, and it looks like the kids playing with it in the “Anything Goes” exhibition love it! You can see more about this project in Robert Mordzon’s write-up.

In what is perhaps the most Arduino boards used together, 130 Arduino Nanos, (plus an Arduino Mega), 130 RFID readers, and 750 RGB LEDs power this interactive crossword puzzle.

As you might suspect, bringing a giant crossword puzzle to life was lot of work. If you’d like to know how much, you can see the process laid out in the video below. Like many great hacks, this project starts out with a lot of prep, making sure the mechanical pieces go together as they should. Everything is then wired and programmed, and on day six, it finally goes out the door, destined for the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Each letter has an RFID tag. Under the table are custom made circuits with Arduino Nano, RFID reader, and WS2812B. There is 130 of those circuits and the are connected by I2C interface together to Arduino Mega 2560, which is the main brain. So basically, the table recognizes letters and takes proper actions.

  • When there is no letter: LED are dimmed white
  • When letter is good: LED are green
  • When letter is bad: LED are red
  • When whole word is completed: LED play colorful animation
The main controller (Arduino Mega) communicates with a PC via RS-232. This PC plays special graphic visualization on the wall. When the whole crossword is completed, the whole table begins doing disco + sound effects.

It’s quite a colorful display, and it looks like the kids playing with it in the “Anything Goes” exhibition love it! You can see more about this project in Robert Mordzon’s write-up.



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