Kevin Bates shared with us his interactive digital business card project: “It is completely flush with the circuit board. I love your site I have learned virtually everything I know about micro controllers from you! Thanks!”
The primary trick of this design is having milled cutouts made for surface mount components to be press fit into, using the circuit board as a kind of frame. Components selected have a thickness near that of the circuit board (1.6mm). Furthermore, to minimize the board thickness, the Atmega328P is inverted so that the bulk of its height below the surface. The result of equal thickness and recessed installation provides a flush appearance. The primary benefit beyond the aesthetic quality is the device is easily slid from a wallet. The high quality boards and the excellent service from oshpark also makes this build possible.
…Inspiration struck when I was working with the OLED module. For some time I had been pondering the best method for protecting and otherwise accounting for the flex ribbon on the screen within the design of the circuit board. When prototyping, the screen laid flat against the breakout board and this felt like the most natural orientation for the display to be installed. Placing a circuit board next to the OLED screen revealed near identical height and in that moment I knew it was time to get to work….
We used dweet.io to connect a foosball table to the Internet during an IoT workshop at Hyperwerk Basel. The main advantage of the service is that it also works without authentication, that it’s trivial to use for everyone who can send a simple Web request, that it’s based on the open JSON standard and that it adds timestamps to entries. As we used Arduinos with either an Ethernet shield or CC3000 WiFi modules, SSL encryption was not an option for us. When we found that dweet.io enforces SSL through redirects and contacted support, the nice folks at Bug Labs immediately adapted their service to enable our use case.
Here’s how it works: Each goal bay is equipped with an Internet-connected Arduino, a PIR sensor to detect goals, and a button to “undo” goals that do not count under the local foosball rules. On startup or reset, the goal counter is set to 0. If a goal is detected, the counter is incremented….
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. We carefully wrapped this little silver module into an Arduino shield. We also added a microSD socket and a reset button. It has an onboard 3.3V regulator that can handle the 350mA peak current, and a level shifter to allow 3 or 5V logic level. The antenna layout is identical to TI’s suggested layout and we’re using the same components, trace arrangement, and antenna so the board maintains its FCC emitter compliance (you’ll still need to perform FCC validation for a finished product, but the WiFi part is taken care of). Even though it’s got an onboard antenna we were pretty surprised at the range, as good as a smartphone’s. (read more)
I was doing some electronics and my 7 year old started playing with the breadboard and components. She wasn’t happy that it didn’t light up to I explained a bit about electronics and did a switch LED circuit with her. We wired up a few together.
Then she asked me to take it all apart so she could do it herself.
I had to step out for a while. When I came back she had not only done the circuit with the red, yellow and green LEDs but also added a blue LED as well.
We did a little bit of troubleshooting of the circuit and it worked great. She was delighted. Who says electronics and engineering are for boys.
Data artist Laurie Frick shared with us some of the work she recently exhibited at her solo show “Patterned Language” at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. From her artist site:
Laurie Frick is a data artist. She uses self-tracking data to construct hand-built works and installations. Using her background in engineering and high-technology she explores the future of self-surveillance where sensors and a mass of measurements present patterns of how we feel, stress level, mood and bio-function digitally recorded and physically produced.
She holds and MFA from the New York Studio School, an MBA from the University of Southern California and studies at New York University’s (arts & technology) ITP program. Frick recently was awarded residencies by the Neuroscience Research Center University of Texas, the Headlands, Yaddo and the Bemis Center. Frick’s talks and publications include The Huffington Post, Nature Publishing Group, Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, NPR and in 2013 a TED talk at TEDxAustin. This past year she had solo exhibitions at Texas State University, Oklahoma Contemporary and Marfa Contemporary.
From “Patterned Language”:
Keeping track of time, minute‐by‐minute, is harder than it sounds. After several amateurish attempts, I searched online for ways to track time on a daily basis. I found Ben Lipkowitz, an engineer and coder. Between 2005 and 2011, Ben logged every hour of every day, sharing it online at www.fennetic.net. His data is turned into ‘Daily Time Slices’. For me, I try to explore a fantasy future where everything is recorded and captured seamlessly and invisibly. Manictime app is just such a ‘thing’…turn it on and you can log every click you make. I continue to imagine laser and 3D printing technology delivering physical, tangible hand‐made patterns directly to your walls, captured, made and recycled….in physical form. Digital becomes physical, and yet will feel hand-made It’s not far off. (Texas State University installation images – Feb 2014, curated by Mary Mikel Stump).
I was trying to decide what to do, as a ‘productive’ project with my arduino this weekend, when I stumbled upon my old wired xbox 360 controller, and remembered my RC car that no longer functioned.
…Wired the basic functions of the controller- RB and LB momentary switches, and X & Y axis trimpots from left and right analog joysticks. Decided to do it this way, reading up on proprietary USB blah blah blah Microsoft junk made using the existing serial communication dang near impossible (or at least way too time consuming for a ‘fun’ project)
Wired cat5 to the RC car functions- 1 pair each for drive motor, steering motor, ‘horn’, and headlamps. The arduino was fairly easy to wire up. I used a VCR motor drive chip for the forward and reverse action, and a DPDT relay for left and right steering. 2V 3A external power supply for the motor driver….
When Adafruit started offering a free Raspberry Pi with orders over $350, I thought I’d never be able to justify ordering that many components at once. I asked myself, “what could I possibly even do with $350 worth of switches, LEDs, breakout boards, etc?” Months later, I dreamed up a project big enough in scale that I not only crossed the free Pi threshold, but I had a blast building and learned a ton in the process. I built a homework desk for my son that flips up to reveal a Mission Control style console built from a big box of Adafruit parts, among other things. I thank you for the excellent selection and service, and I thank John De Cristofaro for his terrific guide to photographing LEDs, which helped me show off the 12-segment bargraphs to their full awesomeness. Incidentally, I did the build right at the tail end of the bargraph availability, and didn’t order enough in time, so if you see the blank spot in my INCO panel, it will soon be filled when I order another pair of those cuties. Thanks for bringing them back, I’m intrigued to try the i2c controller with them.
Read details of each of the sections of the control board here! We are a bit obessessed…
There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 75,193 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!
Jeff Highsmith sent us this kind message about the excellent project write-up he just launched over at MAKE:
When Adafruit started offering a free Raspberry Pi with orders over $350, I thought I’d never be able to justify ordering that many
components at once. I asked myself, “what could I possibly even do with $350 worth of switches, LEDs, breakout boards, etc?” Months later, I dreamed up a project big enough in scale that I not only crossed the free Pi threshold, but I had a blast building and learned a ton in the process. I built a homework desk for my son that flips up to reveal a Mission Control style console built from a big box of Adafruit parts, among other things. I thank you for the excellent selection and service, and I thank John De Cristofaro for his terrific guide to photographing LEDs, which helped me show off the 12-segment bargraphs to their full awesomeness. Incidentally, I did the build right at the tail end of the bargraph availability, and didn’t order enough in time, so if you see the blank spot in my INCO panel, it will soon be filled when I order another pair of those cuties. Thanks for bringing them back, I’m intrigued to try the i2c controller with them.
My older son recently started school and needed his own desk for doing homework. I wanted to make something nicer than a simple tabletop with legs, and realized that I could also build in a bit of fun for when the homework is finished. Both my boys and I still had space travel on our minds from our summer trip to Kennedy Space Center. For this desk project, I decided to go with a NASA theme. I researched the Apollo Program as well as NASA’s Mission Control Center, and designed my own console roughly based on those. I say “roughly” because the actual Mission Control does more monitoring than controlling, and isn’t awash in the whiz-bang rocket noises young kids appreciate. I took great liberties and made more of a “space-themed” play console than an accurate simulator. My goal was simply to provide some extra ideas and sound effects for my two sons to play “space” together.
The desk resides under my son’s loft bed (which I also built), and stays closed until the homework is finished. When playtime begins, the lid flips up to reveal the Mission Control console (see below).
As I mentioned in the video, I painted the underside of the lid with magnetic primer. The world map was applied over that, allowing my handmade spacecraft magnet to be moved around the map to represent the current position of the spacecraft in orbit. When I get a chance, I’ll add some recovery ship magnets and perhaps some cloud magnets to represent weather to avoid during launch and recovery….
So i just created my first project using the trinket 3v version.
I bought it for this project specifically and i completed it in two days. I’m a member of the 501st Legion (a worldwide star wars costuming organization) and we make screen accurate costumes. One of the challenges we have is getting the props to look right, specially lights and sounds. This is where I found lots of potential for the trinket, it has enough memory for simple programs that do not require more than 5 io’s etc.
So when I saw what the trinket could do I just went and bought two. This is the first one and I will start working on the next: Automatic helmet ventilation.
…Thanks for watching. And thanks to Adafruit for this awesome device, It’s going to be in most if not all of my props from now on. I just can’t believe how fast i got it to work and specially that i can make it do more things than my original scope of the project.
I have been looking for something like this for a while. I now have other things in mind to make with these little critters. I now understand all about breakout boards so I will try other stuff out….
Adafruit Trinket – Mini Microcontroller – 3.3V Logic: Trinket may be small, but do not be fooled by its size! It’s a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATtiny85, a little chip with a lot of power. We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your expensive dev-board and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost arduino-IDE programmable board! (read more)
I know it’s a common project, but I thought I’d make my own Raspberry-Pi powered Time Circuits, looking similar to those seen in the Back to the Future movies.
The goal is to have three calendar/clock displays (red/green/yellow) that you can set via a keypad. The displays will each have 3 16-segment alphanumeric displays for the month, then 7-segment displays for date/year/hour/minute.
The Raspberry-Pi controls the display over i2c. Using the Pi running Linux is a bit of overkill, as any board that can keep time and drive an i2c bus could run things.
The display is run by a series of HT16K33 chips (I use the breakout boards from adafruit). Each chip can run up to 16×8 LEDs plus read a keypad matrix.
For the displays I use Kingbright common-cathode LED displays. I ended up buying direct from them as it was hard to source red, green, and yellow displays of both 7-segment and 16-segment types all from the same place. In the end the yellow 16-seg are of type PSC05-12 and the red and green are of type PSC05-11 and the pinouts are not compatible. This is unfortunate because it means I’ll need separate PCB layouts….
The displays will not match the version seen in the movie exactly.
There are some good reasons for that ( the month names as displayed in the movies aren’t possible with off-the-shelf LED displays).
Also I like to think Doc Brown himself was a bit of a hacker (although a bit of a perfectionist) and thus any rebuild he did would vary as he thought up improvements….
LEDs are awesome, they are so tiny but bright, colorful but easy to control. Many of us start to know LED since our first lessons of electronics. And my love to LEDs started at the same time. Once I showed a LED demo to my friends at work. A girl said:I love LEDs, I gonna marry to LEDs. (she said that for real :)) I believe many of you share the same love,too.
One LED by itself is cool enough, but by the nature of human kind, we are making LEDs cooler and cooler. LED strips made one spot to a line, Matrix made it a 2D surface, some genius made LED Cubes to light up 3D space(search LED Cube projects on instructable, or check out this video, my favorite. You can even buy a 3 x 3 LED Cube kit in Radioshack for 20 bucks ).
These fancy cubes blew my mind when the first time I saw them. I knew I want to build one instantly. After some online research and messed with radioshack kit for a while. I feel it is not a easy job for me to build a big(at least 6x6x6) single color LED cube, let alone the cool RGB I want. You need pretty good soldering skills to make it work and looks nice. A lot of wiring and complicated coding.
Don’t be discouraged by me though, there are good enough tutorials for you to go through. And some practice can make perfection. I just don’t have enough time and effort to build this ultimate LED challenge(for me). I just want to build something nice before my girlfriend’s birthday(not a whole lot time), as a gift.
…Now, I just need perhaps some NeoPixels and a GEMMA or something, to make the rose petals appear to glow solidly, then dim to off one by one at separate time intervals to represent the enchantment dying away throughout the show. I figure I could probably sew the NeoPixels into some of the synthetic petals and mount some into the foam base of the bell jar for more luminescence. Then using some micro controller to pre-program the dimming sequence so some kid theater-tech can sit literally behind the scenes and push a single button for the dimming to occur.
…I used the “Space Face LED Galaxy Makeup” as a template for hardware and code, only modifying the RGB values to (255,0,50) for something a little more “rose color”….
Fantastic customer project by “Teknynja” for driving NeoPixel strips over large distances using CAT5 cable shared on the Adafruit Forums! And check out his blog post for detailed how-to:
While working on an outdoor Christmas project using NeoPixel strips, I ran into a small problem. I wanted to be able to have several groups of pixels many feet apart from each other, but still all synchronized and controlled by the same single controller. I worked out a way to use RS-485 drivers to push the data through CAT5 cable, along with using small, low cost DC/DC converters to distribute the power to the remote strips. I was able to control a full 5 meter roll of NeoPixels through 100 feet of CAT5 using the technique, more than enough for my project.