It all started one bright morning when I wondered: Can the RAM memory on an AVR chip continue to store data after power is removed? If it can hold the data even just for a brief moment, then that could be very useful in a project I am working on.
To test it, I wrote a tiny little program that would check for a a special value in RAM (a “magic cookie”) upon power up and light an LED if it saw the right value…
Here’s a handy Arduino shield: we’ve had a lot of people looking for a dedicated and well-designed data logging shield. We worked hard to engineer an inexpensive but well-rounded design. Not only is it easy to assemble and customize, it also comes with great documentation and libraries.
Keep your dishes clean and sink empty with the Dirty Dish Detector developed with the BeagleBone Black by London Hackspace member, Tom:
Lucky for us all, London Hackspace member Tom created the Dirty Dish Detector to help keep the hackspace sink clean. The system alerts users when a dish has been left in the sink for too long, ensuring you’ll get all of those dishes cleaned up before napping ensues. The Dirty Dish Detector uses a webcam above the sink, hooked to a BeagleBone open-source computer, based on TI’s Sitara AM335x processor. The computer runs the HoughCircles function in OpenCV to detect circle-shaped items like plates, classes and bowls. BeagleBone then sends a signal to an Arduino, which deploys different alerts (based on how long the sink has been full) to remind people to clean up their dishes.
Tom has a few upgrades planned that may help us catch more criminals by next year’s Thanksgiving! Right now, cutlery can escape the gaze of OpenCV since it isn’t circular. Next year’s offenders will be caught red-handed for cutlery misdeeds. Tom plans to add a camera to catch mugshots of these dish delinquents as well.
If you want to make your own Dirty Dish Detector, you can find the code over at GitHub.
Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware:, pre PS/2 and definately pre-USB. That means you can’t just plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port (even though it looks similar). In fact, I have no idea what the protocol or pinout is named, so we’ll just call it “non-ADB NeXT Keyboard”
There is no existing adapter for sale, and no code out there for getting these working, so we spent a few days and with a little research we got it working perfectly using an Arduino Micro as the go between. Now this lovely black deck works like any other USB keyboard. Sure it weighs more than our Macbook, but its worth it!
Here is the official press release for the Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit.
Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit
Arduino Micro board – Based on the technology behind the Leonardo board, its main feature is the very small size.
The Arduino Micro packs all of the power of the Arduino Leonardo in a 48mm x 18mm module (1.9″ x 0.7″).
It makes it easier for makers to embed the Arduino technology inside their projects by providing a small and convenient module that can be either used on a breadboard or soldered to a custom designed PCB.
The Micro has been developed in collaboration with Adafruit Industries, one of the leaders of the Maker movement. Adafruit is already developing a series of accessories for the new board that will complement its power and simplicity.
Throughout the month of November the product is available exclusively from Adafruit online and Radio Shack in retail stores.
Main features of Arduino Micro:
The Arduino Micro is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32u4.
Like its brother the Leonardo board, the Arduino Micro has one microcontroller with built-in USB. Using the ATmega32U4 as its sole microcontroller allows it to be cheaper and simpler. Also, because the 32U4 is handling the USB directly, code libraries are available which allow the board to emulate a computer keyboard, mouse, and more using the USB-HID protocol.
It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a micro USB cable to get started.
This allows the Micro to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.
Operating Voltage: 5V
Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits): 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins: 20
PWM Channels: 7
Analog Input Channels: 12
DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA
Flash Memory: 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM: 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM: 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Clock Speed: 16 MHz
Arduino, the first widespread Open Source Hardware platform, was launched in 2005 to simplify the process of electronic prototyping. It enables everyday people with little or no technical background to build interactive products.
The Arduino ecosystem is a combination of three different elements:
A small electronic board manufactured in Italy that makes it easy and affordable to learn to program a microcontroller, a type of tiny computer found inside millions of everyday objects.
A free software application used to program the board.
A vibrant community, true expression of the enthusiasm powering the project. Every day on the www.arduino.cc website thousands of people connect with other users, ask for help, engage and contribute to the project.
About Adafruit Industries
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since then Adafruit has grown to over 25 employees in the heart of NYC. Adafruit has expanded their offerings to include tools and equipment that Limor personally selects, tests and approves. Adafruit has one of the largest collections of free electronics tutorials, open-source hardware and software to help educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Hacking radio controlled outlets using an RFCat, an arduino, and more, from hackaday.
It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of devices out of there that use simple RF communication with minimal security. To explore this, [Gordon] took a look at attacking radio controlled outlets.
He started off with a CC1111 evaluation kit, which supports the RFCat RF attack tool set. RFCat lets you interact with the CC1111 using a Python interface. After flashing the CC1111 with the RFCat firmware, the device was ready to use. Next up, [Gordon] goes into detail about replaying amplitude shift keying messages using the RFCat. He used an Arduino and the rc-switch library to generate signals that are compatible with the outlets.
In order to work with the outlets, the signal had to be sniffed. This was done using RTL-SDR and a low-cost TV tuner dongle. By exporting the sniffed signal and analyzing it, the modulation could be determined. The final step was writing a Python script to replay the messages using the RFCat.
The hack is a good combination of software defined radio techniques, ending with a successful attack. Watch a video of the replay attack after the break.
“Plotly + Arduino Data Visualization” project video, featuring the Adafruit wifi shield! Thanks to Jack Parmer for sharing! “Some folks on the Plotly team hiked a mountain in BC last month, and streamed a bunch of environmental data at the top to Plotly using an Arduino, wifi shield from Adafruit, and cellular tethering. They made a short, artistic video about the experience…”
I’ve been a fan of Arduino for years now, and have used it for building everything from MIDI controllers to simple LED flashers. One thing that has always intrigued me has been visualizing some of the data that I read off of the Arduino Pins.
Plot.ly makes this simple. Really simple.
The purpose of this instructable is to demonstrate how to hook up an Arduino + Ethernet Shield and send data to Plot.ly’s Servers and create beautiful graphs. We will be using a dual temperature+humidity sensor (DHT22), and sending the results directly to Plotly.
Adafruit CC3000 WiFi Shield with Onboard Ceramic Antenna: The CC3000 hits that sweet spot of usability, price and capability. It uses SPI for communication (not UART!) so you can push data as fast as you want or as slow as you want. It has a proper interrupt system with IRQ pin so you can have asynchronous connections. It supports 802.11b/g, open/WEP/WPA/WPA2 security, TKIP & AES. A built in TCP/IP stack with a “BSD socket” interface. TCP and UDP in both client and server mode, up to 4 concurrent sockets. It does not support “AP” mode, it can connect to an access point but it cannot be an access point. (read more)
Dance Dance Revolution or DDR for short is a rhythm game that is played with a directional pad made for feet. Coordination and rhythm is tested by watching on screen dance notes making steps to the keys of the beat. It’s a simple step on up down left or right and sometimes even combinations of steps. DDR has been very popular in arcades and on game consoles. Now-a-days, however, the game can be enjoyed with a clone games like “Beats” for android, “Stepmania” for the desktop, or even FFR (flash flash revolution) online. This tutorial generally explains how to go about building a wireless game pad on the cheap to avoid buy expensive adapters or pads. Bluetooth control with Bluefruit EZ-Key honestly works so easily for that there is very little to explain about the controller beyond what is covered in the Bluefruit tutorial. No programing required! As opposed to using a HID emulating micro like the Arduino Leonardo which would require some small bits of code and a wire.
The smart cocktail shaker is a project to help you easily mix drinks using an Arduino, a load cell from a cheap kitchen scale, and an Android application. By measuring the weight of a cocktail shaker, an Arduino can send the amount of poured liquid to an Android application over a USB or bluetooth connection in real time. Making a drink is as easy as following the steps on screen–no more guessing or fumbling with measurements!
In this episode of Projects with Ryan Slaugh, we put a Raspberry Pi with an Alamode to work controlling a Pinewood Derby race track. The aim of this design is to assist the race managers in keeping things running smoothly as well as giving accurate information about who won and the individual race times of each car.
This project is actually an update of an older build. The original system utilized an Arduino to monitor the sensors and control the LEDs. The user needed to connect via USB to the Arduino in order to get all the data – though it could be operated in stand-alone mode as well. The update brings the power of the Raspberry Pi to give the user more flexibility in applications to run the race (both off the shelf, freeware modifiable, and custom) as well as an easier connection via ethernet or even wireless if the Pi is so equipped. The Alamode handles the high-speed sampling and the Pi serves up the information and provides user control.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Linux Voice has this awesome tutorial up on making your home brew even better by adding in a Raspberry Pi. They write, “The BrewPi isn’t an easier way of making of making beer. It’s an easier way to make it perfect.” We’re sold!
Beer is lovely. But when you’re making it at home, the biggest challenge (after discovering a way to boil vast quantities of water) is always finding somewhere to leave your brew to ferment. It’s this stage of beer-making magic that turns what’s known as wort into beer, creating alcohol and oodles of flavour. And for this stage to work well, you ideally need to be able to manage the temperature of the environment your beer is sitting in. In the UK, many amateur brewers resort to using an ‘airing cupboard’, normally situated next to the hot water tank and used for drying clothes. This isn’t a bad place, because it’s warmish – many beer kits like to ferment at around 20 degree centigrade – and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate massively. But it still fluctuates, and it may even prove too warm. Many yeasts, especially for ale, prefer things a little cooler (18–20 degrees, ideally, but this depends on the beer). And lifting 25 litres of wort into a first-floor cupboard could break your back, and you’ve got a hygiene nightmare if it falls over, or falls through the flimsy shelf its sitting on.
BrewPi is the answer to this conundrum. It’s a brilliant project that brings together a love of Linux, a little hardware hacking and plenty of beer into one fermenting barrel of hoppy goodness. It’s essentially a device that controls the environment surrounding the fermenting bucket of beer, enabling you to make perfect beer every time, regardless of climate and house heating cycles. Many people use an old fridge or freezer as the surrounding container and connect the BrewPi to a cooling and heating mechanism to enable its clever algorithms to create the perfect environment for your beer. The BrewPi itself is a mixture of hardware, software and initiative. Not only has its creator, Elco Jacobs, built an incredibly effective system for fermenting beer, he’s created an extremely helpful community of BrewPi enthusiasts, an online shop and an assembly system for easy access to all of the bits and pieces you’ll need.
Some time ago I bought this coin acceptor. Programming it to accept 4 different types of coins is convoluted, but quite ingenious, and works exactly as the spec sheet indicates, without glitches. Surprising for such a complex task, considering that the user interface consists of 3 buttons and two 7-segment LED displays.
After setting it up, the mechanism identifies each coin type reliably, even providing user-friendly feedback (showing on the LED display the number of impulses sent over the COIN/white wire), very helpful for debugging.
Now onto actually using it. Adafruit’s graciously provided the “Piggy bank”sample project, including the Arduino sketch as well. The sketch however, counts the impulses simply in the loop() function. That may work fine in that particular setup, with just the coin acceptor (1 coin type nonetheless) and the LCD display. If you want to add more hardware (printer, buttons, bluetooth, SD card, LEDs etc), you need a smarter, hardware-independent, way to count the impulses from the coin acceptor. Naturally, that involves interrupts.
Antipasto Hardware Blog made this fun project for their fish tank! Full tutorial here.
This may or may not have implications for real-life shark tracking, but I’ll take an excuse to have my shark tweet me when he (or she, I’m no marine biologist) breaches the perimeter over to the sunny side of the tank.
Of course, I’m doing this with my toy shark-on-a-stick and only a laser level and a light sensor, but it’s possible to make this much more accurate and granular just by adding more strategically placed sensors/light sources into the mix…
As soon as the laser is obstructed by Bruce the shark himself, that light value drops. Once it’s below 400, the Android program issues a Red Alert warning that the sensor has been tripped, and sends a tweet.
NEW PRODUCT – Beginning NFC with Arduino, Android, and PhoneGap – Jump into the world of Near Field Communications (NFC), the fast-growing technology that lets devices in close proximity exchange data, using radio signals. With lots of examples, sample code, exercises, and step-by-step projects, this hands-on guide shows you how to build NFC applications for Android, the Arduino microcontroller, and embedded Linux devices.
Dig into NFC’s architecture, and learn how it’s related to RFID
Write sample apps for Android with PhoneGap and its NFC plugin
Dive into NDEF: examine existing tag-writer apps and build your own
Listen for and filter NDEF messages, using PhoneGap event listeners
Build a full Android app to control lights and music in your home
Create a hotel registration app with Arduino, from check-in to door lock
Write peer-to-peer NFC messages between two Android devices
Explore embedded Linux applications, using examples on Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone
NEW PRODUCT – Arduino for Beginners – Learn Arduino from the ground up, hands-on, in full color! Discover Arduino, join the DIY movement, and build an amazing spectrum of projects…limited only by your imagination!
This full-color guide assumes you know nothing about Arduino or programming with the Arduino IDE. John Baichtal is an expert on getting newcomers up to speed with DIY hardware. First, he guides you gently up the learning curve, teaching you all you need to know about Arduino boards, basic electronics, safety, tools, soldering, and a whole lot more. Then, you walk step-by-step through projects that reveal Arduino’s incredible potential for sensing and controlling the environment – projects that inspire you to create, invent, and build the future!
Use breadboards to quickly create circuits without soldering
Create a laser/infrared trip beam to protect your home from intruders
Use Bluetooth wireless connections and XBee to build doorbells and more
Write useful, reliable Arduino programs from scratch
Use Arduino’s ultrasonic, temperature, flex, and light sensors
Build projects that react to a changing environment
Create your own plant-watering robot
Control DC motors, servos, and stepper motors
Create projects that keep track of time
Safely control high-voltage circuits
Harvest useful parts from junk electronics
Build pro-quality enclosures that fit comfortably in your home
Loaded with full-color step-by-step illustrations!
Rachel Ciavarella made this interesting project using, among other things, an arduino.
This experimental piece was designed to facilitate experimentation with music. The user is allowed to manipulate sounds through an interface that responds to changes with haptic feedback.
This is meant to make sound manipulation more familiar and less intimidating to “nonmusical” people. By pairing visual and tactile cues to sound qualities I hope to bring a new understanding to sound experience and experimentation.
To interact, a user first selects a sound using one of the buttons. As the sound plays, it can be distorted by turning any of the three haptic feedback distortion knobs.
Each knob produces a different type of distortion. The unique texture on each knobs looks and feels like the distortion sounds. Vibration motors nested inside the knobs are programed to provide a specific vibration pattern that maps a texture onto the knobs that also feels like the distortion sounds.
I was able to make this all happen using a midi controller, computer sound mixing program, an Arduino, processing, and some simple circuitry.