Tag Archives: arduino uno

An Arduino Final Countdown Timer

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While playing a game called slither.io, Nathan Ramanathan was asked by his father to turn on a wet grinder for “exactly 45 minutes.” As explained, this device uses stones to grind rice into dough, producing material for delicious-looking Dosa cakes.

Deliciousness aside, Ramanathan would rather have the grinder stop automatically than wait around for it, and came up with his own Arduino Uno-based outlet timer controlled via smartphone over Bluetooth. As a bonus, it plays “The Final Countdown” by Europe when only a few seconds remain. 

His write-up includes some discussion about multitasking and the perils of using the delay() function, so be sure to check that out if you’d like more information. Also, when dealing with outlet/mains power, use extreme caution and get help from someone qualified if needed.

Multi-player retro gaming on an Arduino VGA console

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When you’re introduced to an Arduino Uno, perhaps you want to take button inputs, control a few LEDs, or move a hobby servo motor. These boards are quite good at that, but with some creative coding, they can actually control a VGA monitor and even play low-resolution games like Pong, Snake or Tetris.

Using Sandro Maffiodo’s VGAx libraries, Instructables user Rob Cai built his own gaming setup, wiring the controls into two separate units. Now, while the base unit hooks up to the actual screen and takes inputs from player one, the second allows player two to participate as well.

I decided to split it in two units: one with a potentiometer and four buttons for the single player games, the other with one button and the second potentiometer for the second player. Thus in total you need 5 buttons, two potentiometers, a VGA connector (DSUB15 female) and, of course, an Arduino! Most importantly, there is no need of supporting IC or special shields!

Want to make one of your own? Check out the DIY VGA console in action below, and see more details on the project’s Instructables write-up. Smaffer’s VGAx libraries can be found here.

ArduECU is a waterproof and rugged Arduino electronic control unit

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Now on Kickstarter, ArduECU is an IP69K-rated waterproof, rugged and impact-resistant electronic control unit (ECU) that enables your Arduino projects to withstand the elements and other harsh environments.

ArduECU is compatible with all 12V to 24V systems, and can be used in a wide range of applications such as vehicle diagnostics and control, stationary machines, remote monitoring, industrial automation, and agriculture to name just a few.

Based on an ATmega328, the ECU can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and also supports CoDeSys, meaning you can now configure your ArduECU with ladder logic, functional block, structured text, instruction list, or sequential function charts.

ArduECU comes in three models–one for basic projects, one for CAN bus vehicle and machine control applications, and another which converts an existing Arduino Uno into a weatherproof, custom-tailored ECU with an on-board prototyping area for your own creations and circuits. Each of these units will have expansion headers to leverage IoT and wireless capabilities, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular and GPS, or to house future expansion shields with additional functionality at a later time.

Geared clock measures time linearly

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Jonathan Odom, a full-time designer at Instructables who goes by the name “JON-A-TRON,” decided to make a clock illustrating time’s linearity.  What he came up with was a beautifully crafted (robotically manufactured at the Pier 9 workshop, that is) clock that uses two rack and pinion assemblies to move a line of numbers for hours on top of another line signifying minutes.

The minute “hand” is divided up into five-minute intervals, which seems to him to feel less neurotic than being precise down to the exact minute. Magnifying glasses are used to magnify an hour and minute number, reminding onlookers to focus on the present.

The clock is actuated using an Arduino Uno with a motor driver, controlling a stepper motor for each “hand.” It’s an incredible build, and nicely illustrated. Whether or not you have access to the tools needed to recreate this exact clock, perhaps this concept will inspire something similar!

Be sure to check out Odom’s clock Instructables write-up here and see a demo of it below!

Arduino-controlled 360° camera trap for animal photography

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Using an Arduino, wildlife observer and hiking hacker Andrew Quitmeyer modified a spherical camera to take pictures when motion is detected.

If you’d like to photograph wildlife without actually being there to scare the animals off (or because you would eventually get bored), a great solution is a camera trap. These devices can trigger a camera when animals move nearby, hopefully capturing interesting images. Generally, you need to point your camera in the right direction, but Quitmeyer got around this by using a 360 camera instead to eliminate this placement bias.

In order to control the device, he rigged up his own system with PIR motion sensors and an Arduino Uno to prompt the camera as well as power it on and off. The hack looks effective, though voiding an expensive camera’s warranty like this will certainly scare a few Makers off!

You can see more about how this project was pulled off on Instructables, and find the Arduino code used on GitHub.

Build an Arduino-powered magnetic drawing machine

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As touched on in this video by Charlotte Dann (aka “Charbytes”), she has magnets in her fingers.

This may or may not seem like a small detail, but either way it allows her to draw interesting shapes by passing them over a magnetometer mounted to an Arduino Uno. Dann’s sensor/Arduino package passes serial data to a computer, which does the “heavy lifting,” turning the input into beautiful colors on a computer screen.

It’s an interesting project, and the build process is nicely narrated in her video. A few highlights include a problem with “plastic weld” at 4:00, and a few electrical issues around 7:30 that she eventually solves. You can see more details on this project on its GitHub page, as well as check out Dann’s Twitter account to see what else she’s up to!