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Archive for the ‘Infrared’ Category

After purchasing a new television, maker Andreas Spiess’ remote no longer worked seamlessly with the controller his family had been using. While a universal remote could have solved the problem, in order to keep things simple to use, he instead came up with an infrared “babel fish” signal translator—named after the language translation animal Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s.

The device receives infrared signals from the original remote, then uses an Arduino Nano to pass the properly translated pulses on to his TV and receiver. A 3W IR diode transmits these new signals with the help of an N-channel MOSFET, giving it enough power to control each component, even without the proper line-of-sight orientation. 

It’s a hack that could be useful in many situations, and Speiss goes over how it was made, along with design requirements in the video below.

Hackaday.io user [peterquinn] has encountered a problem with his recently unruly cat peeing under the dining table. Recognizing that the household cat’s natural enemy is the spray bottle, he built an automatic cat sprayer to deter her antics.

The build is clear-cut: an Arduino Uno clone for a brain, an MG995 servo, PIR sensor, spray bottle, and assorted electronics components. [peterquinn] attached the servo to the spray bottle with a hose clamp — ensuring that the zero position is pointing at the trigger — and running a piece of cabling around the trigger that the servo will tug on. Adding a capacitor proved necessary after frying the first Uno clone, as the servo powering up would cause the Uno to reset.

The code is set up to trigger the servo — spraying the cat twice — once the PIR detects the cat for more than ten seconds. After toying with a few options, [peterquinn] is using a 9V, 2A power supply that works just fine. For now, he hopes the auto-sprayer should do the trick. If it somehow doesn’t work, [peterquinn] has mused that a drastic upgrade to the vacuum may be necessary.

[LittleTern] — annoyed by repetitive advertisements — wanted the ability to mute their Satellite Box for the duration of every commercial break. Attempts to crack their Satellite Box’s IR protocol went nowhere, so they thought — why not simply mute the TV?

Briefly toying with the idea of a separate remote for the function, [LittleTern] discarded that option as quickly as one tends to lose an additional remote. Instead, they’re using the spare RGYB buttons on their Sony Bravia remote — cutting down on total remotes while still controlling the IR muting system. Each of the four coloured buttons normally don’t do much, so they’re set do different mute length timers — customized for the channel or time of day. The system that sends the code to the TV is an Arduino Pro Mini controlling an IR LED and receiver, with a status LED set to glow according to which button was pressed.

With the helpful documentation from [Ken Shirriff]’s research into IR remotes — yes, that [Ken Schirriff] — [LittleTern] had the needed codes for their TV in hand and a programmed and ready Arduino. They were able to 3D print a project box, attach it to their TV near its IR receiver, and power it off its USB! Bonus!

[LittleTern] has provided their code in their blog post. There’s a little timing tinkering that needs to be done to ensure it works smoothly with a given setup, but otherwise, gone are the days of fumbling for the remote as your program resumes!

Once you have a track and a kart to race on it, what’s missing? A lap counter that can give your lap times in hardcopy, obviously! That’s what led [the_anykey] to create the Arduino-based Lap Timer to help him and his kids trim those precious seconds off their runs, complete with thermal printer for the results.

The hardware uses an infrared break-beam sensor module (a Velleman PEM10D) to detect when a kart passes by. This module is similar to a scaled-up IR reflective object sensor; it combines an IR emitter and receiver on one end, and is pointed at a reflector placed across the track, up to 10 meters away. When a kart breaks the beam, the module reports the event to the rest of the hardware. Only needing electronics on one side allows the unit to be self-contained.

An obvious shortcoming of this system is the inability to differentiate between multiple karts, but for timing a single driver’s performance it does the trick. What’s great about this project is it showcases how accessible hardware is today; a device like this is possible to put together with what are essentially off-the-shelf components available to any hobbyist, using an Arduino as the glue to hold it together. We’d only comment that a red-tinted piece of plastic as an overlay for the red display (and a grey-tinted one for the green) would make the LED displays much easier to read. Still, this is a very clean and well-documented build. See it in action in the video embedded below.

If race timing that can handle multiple vehicles is more your speed, we’ve previously seen DIY lap counters intended for drone racing.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

vrbikeyanpedalingRiding your bike on winter roads can be tough sometimes. Riding your bike through a virtual reality is easier and surprisingly affordable!

Read more on MAKE

The post Pedal a Bike Through Virtual Reality for Under $100 appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

We’re going to get in shape around here, starting today. Well… in the United States, it is almost Thanksgiving, so we might as well wait until… but then it is going to be the end of the year and between Christmas, Hanukkah,  and New Year’s, we should put it off until then.

OK, we get it. There’s always some excuse. We know we should go on and do some push ups today. Of course, we are a lazy bunch, so not everyone’s going to do a full push up. Then we’ll all argue how many we actually did. If this sounds like you, maybe you need an Arduino-based project that counts proper push ups.

Project designer [jckelley] made use of some Grove sensors (the Seeed Studio system to plug many types of sensors and other devices into an Arduino) to connect an infrared sensor to an Arduino-pin compatible computer (a LinkIt, which is an ARM-based platform, also from Seeed). There’s an LCD to show the count, and also audio feedback, so you can hear you’ve done a full push up without having to look at the display.

If you really get bit by the fitness bug, you can monitor your heart rate with a piezo transducer. Of course, your smart phone or fitness tracker probably does that already. Don’t have one of those? We’ve got you covered there, too.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, ARM

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Halloween time is a great moment to explore nice interactive projects and get inspired for installations for other selfie occasions. To spice up the office Donnie Plumly, a creative technologist, decided to make and share with us a molded zombie arm that takes pictures and post them to Twitter.

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He used a silicone arm (molded on his own hand ), a custom steel mount to clip to an office partition, and a vibration sensor hooked up to an Arduino Uno. Once the arm is slapped a photo will be taken using an IR Led and passed to the Eye-Fi card in the camera.

The photo is then saved into a Dropbox folder and, using If This Then That (IFTTT), posted to Twitter on the account @ZombieSelfie.

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Donnie created also a very useful tutorial  on Instructable to make it yourself!

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Roomba, I command thee! The author demonstrates voice command with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi.Take advantage of these open source resources to set up voice control with Raspberry Pi and bark orders at your home appliances.

Read more on MAKE

The post Roomba, I Command Thee: Use Raspberry Pi for Voice Control appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

[Hari Wiguna’s] father is ninety years young. He started having trouble pushing the buttons on his TV remote, so [Hari] decided to build a custom remote that just has the buttons his dad needs. Oh, and the buttons are big.

There are few interesting things about this project. [Hari] wanted to maximize battery life, so he went through a good bit of effort to keep the processor asleep and minimize power consumption. The remote is programmable, but [Hari] didn’t have access to his dad’s remotes. His answer was elegant. He used his Android phone to mimic the required remotes and provided a way for the remote to learn from another remote (in this case, the phone).

[Hari] made a series of videos that cover the project from the breadboard to a good-looking plastic case with laser cut overlays. It is a well-thought out and documented Arduino project and a good model for what you can do to make life more accessible to anyone with special needs.

[Hari’s] code is available on Github. We are sure his dad will be happy with the result. It is sometimes easier to think of what we want (like a cool and complex touch screen remote) instead of what the end user will appreciate, but [Hari] nailed it, we think. Of course, back in the day, your remote only had seven buttons, anyway.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home entertainment hacks

[Hari Wiguna’s] father is ninety years young. He started having trouble pushing the buttons on his TV remote, so [Hari] decided to build a custom remote that just has the buttons his dad needs. Oh, and the buttons are big.

There are few interesting things about this project. [Hari] wanted to maximize battery life, so he went through a good bit of effort to keep the processor asleep and minimize power consumption. The remote is programmable, but [Hari] didn’t have access to his dad’s remotes. His answer was elegant. He used his Android phone to mimic the required remotes and provided a way for the remote to learn from another remote (in this case, the phone).

[Hari] made a series of videos that cover the project from the breadboard to a good-looking plastic case with laser cut overlays. It is a well-thought out and documented Arduino project and a good model for what you can do to make life more accessible to anyone with special needs.

[Hari’s] code is available on Github. We are sure his dad will be happy with the result. It is sometimes easier to think of what we want (like a cool and complex touch screen remote) instead of what the end user will appreciate, but [Hari] nailed it, we think. Of course, back in the day, your remote only had seven buttons, anyway.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home entertainment hacks


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