DIY Connected objects for happy connected people

via Arduino Blog


What happens when a creative technologist wants his family to know he’s thinking about them? He creates a project with Arduino Yún! IMissYou is a simple project transforming a picture in a connected object thanks to a capacitive layer made with Bareconductive Paint and inserted behind the photo. The ‘touch’ is detected by the Arduino through the glass of the frame by a spike in the values (with a basic Capsense library), sent to the internet via wi-fi and delivered to a phone with Pushover.


Martin Hollywood, the Arduino user who made  the project, wrote us:

Looking at the photograph of my family that I have on my desk one day, I missed them and wanted to be home. I touched the photo and realised that somewhere between those was the germ of the idea…

I wanted my family to know I was thinking of them, but I didn’t want to create two products; think GoodNight Lamp – I do love that project. In any case, there was no guarantee they would even notice a ‘blinking’ photo frame responding to my signal. Making the Receive a PUSH notification seemed like a no brainer, but the last time I developed for mobile was iOS 1! There are a number of service apps out there: Pusher, Pushingbox but I decided on Pushover. It had a 7 day trial period and good API support (I’ve since bought a license).

Take a look at his blog for more details and if you want to give him some tips to make it a real product.

LiFePO4 charger

via Dangerous Prototypes


Markus Gritsch shared his LiFePO4 charger project in the forum:

Since I really like using LiFePO4 AA and AAA batteries in some of my projects, I finally gave in and built a dedicated charger for them.
Previously I used a lab power supply to mimic the constant current/constant voltage charging curve, which worked also fine. But after seeing Patrick Van Oosterwijck nifty LiFePO4wered/USB™, I thought it would be a bit more convenient to charge these batteries using USB.

Via the project log forum.


#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

via Dangerous Prototypes

KHOS-2-3-4-5-6P Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

SparkFun Live: Knitter’s Bracer is today!

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

We’ve been waiting and assembling our materials for a week now, and the time has finally come: SparkFun Live is today! Tune in at 3:00 MDT to the video link below, and build your own knitter’s bracer along with Liz (she’ll be answering questions in the YouTube comments if you have any).

If you need a refresher, the teaser video for the project is below, the GitHub code repo is here, and the wishlist can be found here. See you at 3:00!

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DIY model train controller project

via Dangerous Prototypes


Ron Hoffman over at Gadgetronicx has written up an article on his DIY model train controller project:

Model trains are fun toys which every one of us used to play with in our childhood. Many sophisticated and attractive model trains are available in the market now a days yet the basic principle in build a controller for it remains the same. I built a Model train controller which is equipped with Acceleration and deceleration control using the PWM technique. And also Forward reverse button to control the direction.

Project details at Gadgetronicx project page.

Open Inverter, an open source micro-solar inverter

via Dangerous Prototypes


Ken Boak has been working on an open source micro-solar inverter project:

We wanted to make a design that uses readily obtainable N-type FETS and an Arduino (more strictly a ATmega328P-PU on a breadboard) to generate the PWM signals and provide simple circuit protection, and load sensing. With the PWM signals generated in firmware it can easily be modified for 50Hz or 60Hz operation, either 115V or 230V operation and a wide range of battery input voltages.
We imagined that the final design could consist of an Arduino, an “Inverter Shield” containing FETs and driver ICs configued in a H-bridge and some voltage and current monitoring circuits. To make the inverter a 12V or 24V battery (or PV panel) and a 12V (or 24V) torroidal transformer would be added.

Project info at Ken’s Sustainable Suburbia blog.