I’ve been dying to have a go at this ever since I read some hobbyist websites on how to do solder reflow at home. I never even thought this was possible to do on a hobbyist budget.
Electric SkilletThe idea is to use a frying pan or toaster oven to perform solder reflow for SMT circuit boards. I decided to use a skillet thinking that a toaster oven would melt components since it heats both top and bottom.
I managed to find the perfect thing. A pre-owned 9″ electric skillet from the Salvation Army shop for $3.
Believe it or not, this device is not a precision instrument. The temperature dial is simply numbered from 1 to 10. The first thing I need to do is get some idea of what actual temperature this thing gets to.
Like all projects, TV-B-Gone universal remote control started off as a thought. More of a fantasy, really. Yet one that Mitch somehow knew he could follow through on. In this talk Mitch will show how the notion of turning off TVs in public places ended up taking over his life, providing he and his friends a living, and creating a new meme around the world. Along the way he points out some of hows and whys, as well as some of the more interesting and stressful aspects of the process. Mitch hopes to show why taking risks can be way worthwhile.
Though most known for inventing the wildly popular TV-B-Gone, a keychain that makes it fun to turn off TVs in public places, Mitch Altman is an inventor with a reputation for creating intriguing devices that amaze and delight, such as the Brain Machine, Trippy RGB Waves, and the Mignonette Game. Mitch co-founded 3ware (a Silicon Valley RAID controller company), and co-founded Noisebridge (a San Francisco hacker space). Mitch has written for MAKE Magazine and 2600 Journal, and for the last few years has traveled the world teaching people to solder and how to make cool things with microcontrollers. He is currently writing a book to teach total beginners how to make cool things with microcontrollers.
I’ve got the MeggySynth synchronized with an Arduino Waveshield, which has been preloaded with some slices of the Amen break. The MeggySynth is communicating via serial port with the Waveshield, and is triggering samples to be played on the Waveshield. The pattern is stored on the Meggy itself, since the Waveshield is sorely lacking in free ROM/RAM. Synchronization is still a little wonky. But I kind of like the stuttering sound. Other samples (like simple kicks and snares) sound better, but less interesting.
Adding quality audio to an electronic project is surprisingly difficult. Here is a shield for Arduinos that solves this problem. It can play up to 22KHz, 12bit uncompressed audio files of any length. It’s low cost, available as an easy-to-make kit. It has an onboard DAC, filter and op-amp for high quality output. Audio files are read off of an SD/MMC card, which are available at nearly any store. Volume can be controlled with the onboard thumbwheel potentiometer.
This shield is a kit, and comes with all parts you need to build it. Arduino, SD card, tools, speaker and headphones are not included. It is fairly easy to construct and anyone with a successful soldering project under their belt should be able to build it.
The shield comes with an Arduino library for easy use; simply drag uncompressed wave files onto the SD card and plug it in. Then use the library to play audio when buttons are pressed, or when a sensor goes off, or when serial data is received, etc. Audio is played asynchronously as an interrupt, so the Arduino can perform tasks while the audio is playing.
Can play any uncompressed 22KHz, 16bit, mono Wave (.wav) files of any size. While it isnt CD quality, it is certainly good enough to play music, have spoken word, or audio effects. Check out the demo video/audio at the webpage
Output is mono, into L and R channels, standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a connection for a speaker that is switched on when the headphones are unplugged
Files are read off of a FAT16-formatted SD/MMC card
Included library and examples makes playing audio easy
Please note that the library is rather bulky, requiring 10K of flash and more than 1/2 K of RAM for buffering audio. It works fine using an ATmega168-based Arduino (or compatible) but for more complex projects I strongly recommend upgrading to an ATmega328!
More information, including design notes, schematics, library, examples, etc is at the Wave Shield webpage.
Tired of all those LCD TVs everywhere? Want a break from advertisements while you’re trying to eat? Want to zap screens from across the street? The TV-B-Gone kit is what you need! This ultra-high-power, open source kit version of the popular TV-B-Gone is fun to make and even more fun to use. This version is best used in countries with NTSC: North America & Asia. This kit comes unassembled with all parts necessary. Tools and batteries are not included. This is a very simple kit and great for people who have never soldered anything before.
After recently getting my hands on an Arduino Duemilanove, I came across this Sketch on Arduino Playground that allowed an Arduino to function as a temperature measuring device with the addition of a few cheap and easily obtainable components.
Deciding to take things a step further, I wrote a Python script to create a DIY temperature measuring device that could be used both locally, via the command line, as well as remotely, using a googlemail account to check the temperature of a room. You can grab a copy of this script, called “Ardthermo”, from the Software page.
This article should give all the info you need to know to build this little project for yourself and make use of the Ardthermo script. Enjoy.