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The Bluetooth LE Doc-a-ThonGetting started using Bluetooth LE is much harder than it should be, and that a lot of great work people are doing is getting dropped on the floor, or worse yet done again. We decided to sit down and do something about that.

Read more on MAKE

minDUINO-V1.5-Eagle-Preview_25-600x590

Steve Smith G0TDJ of ProjectAVR writes:

The minDUINO is designed to be easy to assemble, so it is a two layer through-hole design, not SMD. It has headers for FTDI, ISCP and port breakouts. Another project I designed was VAYU-NTX, a High Altitude Balloon Tracker. As expansion for this, I designed two small daughter boards for experimenting with. I followed a similar idea with the minDUINO and placed the breakout headers together. Later on, I may design a bespoke board but its just as easy to use stripboard/perfboard paired with the appropriate header socket.

[via]

minDUINO v1.5, a small footprint, educational Arduino clone - [Link]

Binary hard drive clock

[Aaron] has been wanting to build his own binary desk clock for a while now. This was his first clock project, so he decided to keep it simple and have it simply display the time. No alarms, bells, or whistles.

The electronics are relatively simple. [Aaron] decided to use on of the ATMega328 chips he had lying around that already had the Arduino boot loader burned into them. He first built his own Arduino board on a breadboard and then re-built it on a piece of protoboard as a more permanent solution. The Arduino gets the time from a real-time clock (RTC) module and then displays it using an array of blue and green LED’s. The whole thing is powered using a spare 9V wall wort power supply.

[Aaron] chose to use the DS1307 RTC module to keep time. This will ensure that the time is kept accurately over along period of time. The RTC module has its own built-in battery, which means that if [Aaron's] clock should ever lose power the clock will still remember the time. The RTC battery can theoretically last for up to ten years.

[Aaron] got creative for his clock enclosure, upcycling an old hard drive. All of the hard drive guts were removed and replaced with his own electronics. The front cover had 13 holes drilled out for the LED’s. There are six green LED’s to display the hour, and seven blue LED’s for the minute. The LED’s were wired up as common cathode. Since the hard drive cover is conductive, [Aaron] covered both sides of his circuit board with electrical tape and hot glue to prevent any short circuits. The end result is an elegant binary clock that any geek would be proud of.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

The first Radar Arduino ShieldThe very first fully operational radar Arduino shield was recently demonstrated at Bay area Maker Faire. It was built by [Daniel] and [David], both undergrads at UC Davis.

Many have talked about doing this, some have even prototyped pieces of it, but these undergrad college students pulled it off. This is the result from Prof. ‘Leo’ Liu’s full-semester senior design course based on the MIT Coffee Can radar short course, which has been going on for 2 years now. Next year this course will have 30 students, showing the world the interest and market-for project based learning.

Check out the high res ranging demo, where a wider band chirp was used to amazing results. Video below.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware

blenderSpeed Some people really love their smoothies. We mean really, really, love smoothies and everything about making them, especially the blenders. [Adam] is a big fan of blenders, and wanted to verify that his Vitamix blenders ran as fast as the manufacturer claimed. So he built not one, but two speed measuring setups. Scientific blender measurement method requires one to cross check their results to be sure, right?

Measuring the speed of a blender is all about the RPM. Appropriately, [Adam's] first measurement tool was an LED based stroboscope. Stroboscopes have been around for hundreds of years, and are a great way to measure how fast an object is rotating. Just adjust the speed of a flashing light until the rotating object appears frozen. The number of blinks per second is then equal to the Rotations Per Second (RPS) of the object being measured.Multiply by 60 seconds, and you’ve got RPM. [Adam] used an Arduino as the brains behind his stroboscope. He wired a dial up on his breadboard, and used it to adjust the flash rate of an LED. Since this was a quick hack, [Adam] skipped the display and just used the Arduino’s USB output to display speed measurements on his laptop.

There are possibilities for error with stroboscopes. [Adam] discovered that if the stroboscope was flashing at a multiple of the blade’s rotation speed, the blades would appear frozen, and he’d get an erroneous RPM value. Thankfully, [Adam's] Vitamix had asymmetric blades, which made the test a bit easier. He calculated his blades to be spinning at 380 RPS, or 23,000 RPM. Not satisfied with his results, [Adam] brought out Audacity, and ran a spectral analysis of the blender in operation. He found a peak at 378Hz, which was pretty darn close to his previous measurement. Since the blender has a 4 inch blade this all works out to a blade tip speed right around the claimed value of 270 MPH. We’re glad [Adam] found an answer to his blender questions, but our personal favorite blender hack still has to be the V8 blender created by the Top Gear crew.   [via HackerNews]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks

call for makersfo

The MakerFaire Rome Call for Makers runs until June the 15th, so you should be quick as we are only a couple of days away from final deadline!
If you’ve got an awesome project you want to show off to thousands of people in the capital of Italy, this is your moment.
The Call for Makers originally was due to close on the 25th of May, but we knew you needed some extra time to finalise your project, and we’ve extended it to next Sunday, June the 15ht, 2014 at midnight (CEST) and this is the final last call.

You can submit your project right now on this page and let us know it via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #Call4Makers and #MFR14.

FD51N05HW8T4M3B.MEDIUM

qubist @ instructables.com writes:

The Ultimate Altimeter is a super-compact, Arduino controlled altimeter capable of measuring the altitude with an accuracy of 0.3 meters, and saving the highest and lowest values it has measured. It is powered by a 40 mAh Lithium Polymer battery, uses a tiny LCD Bubble Display, and measures altitude with a MPL3115A2 Altitude Sensor. It’s very simple and fairly easy to build with just six major components. Additionally, an optional 3D printed case can house the Altimeter.

The Ultimate Altimeter – A compact, Arduino altimeter - [Link]

FD51N05HW8T4M3B.MEDIUM

qubist @ instructables.com writes:

The Ultimate Altimeter is a super-compact, Arduino controlled altimeter capable of measuring the altitude with an accuracy of 0.3 meters, and saving the highest and lowest values it has measured. It is powered by a 40 mAh Lithium Polymer battery, uses a tiny LCD Bubble Display, and measures altitude with a MPL3115A2 Altitude Sensor. It’s very simple and fairly easy to build with just six major components. Additionally, an optional 3D printed case can house the Altimeter.

The Ultimate Altimeter – A compact, Arduino altimeter - [Link]

Ol Painless Mini Gun

Remember Predator? Of course you do. This is [Corsae's] personal paintball gun rendition of one of the guns from it, ‘Ol Painless.

It’s a beautiful piece of work with countless man-hours going into its creation. At the core is an off-the-shelf EGO 08 paintball gun with a 20″ barrel. The barrel spacers are made out of MDF, cut by hand using a jigsaw with a barrel guide. The guide itself was made on a CNC router — too bad he couldn’t use it for everything! Each barrel is a thick-walled aluminum tube, carefully fit into the guides, and spray painted matte black for a clean finish. Sadly, they are only for aesthetics, as the paint balls shoot out through the central barrel only.

Not to worry though – while the paint balls may not come out of the barrels, the whole thing spins menacingly, which brings us to our favorite part of the project — the electronics. With help from his friend he designed a custom Arduino shield to control the motor, status LEDs and solenoid trigger. It’s fairly basic, but cool nonetheless. It features some wire connectors, diodes, an LED and the motor driver. Since the PCB fabrication cost included screen printing, he even threw on a mini-gun logo.

He’s done great job documenting the entire project in a photo gallery, with lots of notes along the way — stick around after the break to see a video of it shredding up the field.

Now all he needs to do is throw it onto an automated turret…

[via Reddit]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

MIDI piano lights

In this beautiful, well-documented, cat-assisted hack, [capricorn1] adds visual dimension to his impressive piano skills by using his keyboard’s MIDI output to drive Edison bulbs.

He hung them from a rod of electrical conduit pipe and threaded the wires through it to a DB25 connector. The lights are controlled by an Arduino Mega plus a custom shield with an optocoupler to handle zero cross detection. He happened to already have a board with 12 SSRs on it from another project. All of the electronics are in a re-purposed switch box—the switches control four different modes: classic, velocity, scrolling, and automatic. You’ll see the scrolling mode in the video after the jump.

[capricorn1] used a small sampling of the Arduino MIDI Library, namely the note on/off functions and the control change function to handle his sustain pedal. He’s listed the full code for the project, which includes usage of the ipMIDI module for automation over WiFi.

If you don’t have a MIDI keyboard or any Edison bulbs, you could make a MIDI floor piano. You’re required to play both “Chopsticks” and “Heart and Soul” on it, though. Those are like the Hello, World for floor pianos.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, musical hacks


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