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We’re still not sure exactly how [connornishijima]’s motion detector works, though many readers offered plausible explanations in the comments the last time we covered it. It works well enough, though, and he’s gone and doubled down on the Arduino way and bundled it up nicely into a library.

In the previous article we covered [connor] demonstrating the motion detector. Something about the way the ADC circuit for the Arduino is wired up makes it work. The least likely theory so far involves life force, or more specifically, the Force… from Star Wars. The most likely theories are arguing between capacitance and electrostatic charge.

Either way, it was reliable enough a phenomenon that he put the promised time in and wrote a library. There’s even documentation on the GitHub. To initialize the library simply tell it which analog pin is hooked up, what the local AC frequency is (so its noise can be filtered out), and a final value that tells the Arduino how long to average values before reporting an event.

It seems to work well and might be fun to play with or wow the younger hackers in your life with your wizarding magics.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

mkr1000-330ohm

Our friends at 330ohms–who also happen to be Genuino resellers in Mexico–recently published a video a review of the MKR1000 [in Spanish]!

Check it out:

CatSpotterThumbThe Jetson TX1 Cat Spotter uses advanced neural networking to recognize when there's a cat in the room — and then starts teasing it with a laser.

Read more on MAKE

The post Nvidia Jetson TX1 Cat Spotter and Laser Teaser appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Tired of being harassed by your cat? [MomWillBeProud] made a cheap, effective — and more importantly cat-operated — cat food dispenser.

The feeder is of an efficient construction — a double cat food dish, one container to store the electronics, and a Pringles can to act as the hopper. A simple servo rotates the hopper thirty degrees and back on each button press; using gravity to drop food through an opening that appears due to this motion. The button itself is an old IKEA timer and a piece of plastic large enough for a hungry cat to swat.

An Arduino controls the servo, and while [MomWillBeProud] skips over going into detail on his code, you can check it out here.

[MomWillBeProud] toyed with the idea of scheduled feeding, but believes his cat is smart enough to feed itself; indeed — training cats is hard work, and it took a couple of weeks for the lessons to sink in. He also recommends using an Arduino Pro Mini, since it consumes so little power that it can operate for months on one set of batteries. Since [MomWillBeProud]’s cat needs a refill only once a week, that’s a lot less time fussing with one’s feline companions.

If you want a similarly hands-off method to ensure your pets have water, we previously featured a project that keeps your pet’s water bowl topped off.

[via /r/DIY]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks

When it comes to farming veggies like cucumbers, the sorting process can often be just as hard and tricky as actually growing them. That’s why Makoto Koike is using Google’s TensorFlow machine learning technology to categorize the cucumbers on his family’s farm by size, shape and color, enabling them to focus on more important and less tedious work.

A camera-equipped Raspberry Pi 3 is used to take images of the cucumbers and send them to a small-scale TensorFlow neural network. The pictures are then forwarded to a larger network running on a Linux server to perform a more detailed classification. From there, the commands are fed to an Arduino Micro that controls a conveyor belt system that handles the actual sorting, dropping them into their respective container.

You can read all about the Google AI project here, as well as see it in action below!

Back in the days when you didn’t pay for your TV programming, it was common to have a yagi antenna on the roof. If you were lucky enough to have every TV station in the area in the same direction, you could just point the antenna and forget it. If you didn’t, you needed an antenna rotator. These days, rotators are more often found on communication antennas like ham radio beams. For terrestrial use, the antenna only needs to swing around and doesn’t need to change elevation. However, it does take a stout motor because wind loading can put a lot of force on the system.

[SP3TYF] has a HyGain AR-303 rotator and decided to build an Arduino-based controller for it. The finished product has an LCD and is able to drive a 24 V motor. You can control the azimuth of the antenna with a knob or via the computer.

[Waldemar Lewandowski] built a variant of the rotor (taking some additional ideas from [SQ9OUB]) and made a video of the device in operation (see below). The video is a little quiet, but you’ll get the ideas and you can see the original [SP3TYF] version’s code and documentation.

If you want to work satellites, you need an additional rotation axis. And if you think about it, rotating an antenna and moving a solar panel, probably have a lot in common — the sun is floating around in space, too.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

In this three part video series we watch [Dirk Herrendoerfer] go from scraps to a nice 3D printed assembly as he iterates through the design of a pen plotter for making circuit boards.

[dana] mentioned [Dirk]’s work in the comments of this post which describes a different process. Many permanent markers stick to copper well enough to last through the chemical etching process. While hand drawing definitely produces some cool, organic-looking boards, for sharp lines and SMDs it gets a bit harder; to the point where it becomes advisable to just let a robot do it.

Of course, [Dirk] was aware of this fact of life. He just didn’t have a robot on hand. He did have some electronic detritus, fishing line, an Arduino, scrap wood, brass tubes, and determination.  The first version‘s frame consisted of wooden blocks set on their ends with holes drilled to accept brass rods. The carriage was protoboard and hot glue. Slightly larger brass tubing served as bushings and guide. As primitive as it was the plotter performed admirably, albeit slowly.

The second version was a mechanical improvement over the first, but largely the same. The software got a nice improvement. It worked better and had some speed to it.

The latest version has some fancy software upgrades; such as acceleration. The frame has gone from random bits of shop trash to a nicely refined 3D printed assembly. Even the steppers have been changed to the popular 28BYJ-48 series. All the files, software and hardware, are available on GitHub. The three videos are viewable after the break. It’s a great example of what a good hacker can put together for practically no money.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks

In this three part video series we watch [Dirk Herrendoerfer] go from scraps to a nice 3D printed assembly as he iterates through the design of a pen plotter for making circuit boards.

[dana] mentioned [Dirk]’s work in the comments of this post which describes a different process. Many permanent markers stick to copper well enough to last through the chemical etching process. While hand drawing definitely produces some cool, organic-looking boards, for sharp lines and SMDs it gets a bit harder; to the point where it becomes advisable to just let a robot do it.

Of course, [Dirk] was aware of this fact of life. He just didn’t have a robot on hand. He did have some electronic detritus, fishing line, an Arduino, scrap wood, brass tubes, and determination.  The first version‘s frame consisted of wooden blocks set on their ends with holes drilled to accept brass rods. The carriage was protoboard and hot glue. Slightly larger brass tubing served as bushings and guide. As primitive as it was the plotter performed admirably, albeit slowly.

The second version was a mechanical improvement over the first, but largely the same. The software got a nice improvement. It worked better and had some speed to it.

The latest version has some fancy software upgrades; such as acceleration. The frame has gone from random bits of shop trash to a nicely refined 3D printed assembly. Even the steppers have been changed to the popular 28BYJ-48 series. All the files, software and hardware, are available on GitHub. The three videos are viewable after the break. It’s a great example of what a good hacker can put together for practically no money.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks

noPump_1Make this computer-controlled plant watering system that doesn't use a pump.

Read more on MAKE

The post Simple Arduino-Controlled, No-Pump Plant Watering appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Rather than stumble around in the dark or blind himself with a bedside lamp, Maker Scott Clandinin has come up with an Arduino-powered, motion-activated lighting system for nighttime wandering.

The setup is fairly simple. A PIR sensor detects movement, which automatically triggers a hidden strip of RGB LEDs to illuminate a path as you get out of bed. An RTC module keeps the time and ensures that the lights only turn on between 9pm and 8am. (The good news is that the strip will only stay lit for approximately two minutes, and won’t keep you up for the rest of the night.) A small capacitive touch sensor on the bottom of its case can also be used to test the lighting display outside of operational hours. 

Tired of bumping into things or having to find the switch? Then check out Clandinin’s entire project on Hackaday.io.



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