If you’re really serious about car racing games, at some point you may want to upgrade your instruments from being on-screen to physically residing in your living room.
While this would appear to be an arduous task, displaying your in-game boost level on a physical gauge is actually as easy as connecting a few wires to an Arduino Nano, then using SimHub to tie everything together.
As seen in the video below around 2:45, it looks like a lot of fun! While a boost gauge by itself might not be as immersive costly sit-inside racing sims, one could see where this type of hack could lead to ever more impressive DIY accessories.
If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.
The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.
Place your mouse on top of the Mouse Wiggler and make sure the optical sensor on top of the wheel. Power the device up use a USB power adapter and you’re good to go.
In order to make his model trains stand out, David G. Bodnar has been working on the best way to integrate 8×8 displays into the cars.
Through the process he’s come up with several great techniques, including a red filter to help them “pop,” as well as wiring things in such a way that sets of LEDs can be used on either side to show the same message.
An Arduino Pro Mini and Nano are used for control, while a Bluetooth module with an Android terminal program enables him to change the text remotely.
I have used LED matrix displays for a number of different projects over the last few years. These 8×8 LED units have a controller that allows an Arduino to talk to them sending text or graphic information that can be displayed. These small units can be daisy-chained together to create a long, scrolling display.
While the displays are visually appealing and easy to use they might not get the amount of attention that one would hope they would generate at a train show or other public train display. With this in mind I decided to build an on-board train display using three 8×32 LED boards. Each board is mounted on a car with the three connected together to crate one long scrolling message board. To make things even more interesting and compelling to visitors the display’s message can be changed remotely with a cell phone or computer.
Blow guns can be very helpful around your workshop, but sometimes you want a subtle shot of air instead of a full blast. There are several ways to take this on, but YouTuber “MBcreates” decided on a novel method using an Arduino Nano for control.
In his setup, a stepper is used to turn a screw as a linear actuator, pushing an intermediate blow gun’s trigger at progressively more aggressive intervals. This effectively regulates the air flow going into the handheld blow gun, allowing for a more subtle burst of air when needed.
Simple is often better. So I grabbed an old blow gun and used this a valve. The Arduino Digital Air Pressure Regulator uses a NEMA 17 stepper motor to press the lever of the blow gun. A micro end switch was placed against the lever. When the Arduino Nano goes through the setup, the stepper hits the end switch, now the program knows the exact position of the stepper.
The video seen here features some very clever build techniques, and it really turned out spectacular, especially considering it was MBcreates’ first Arduino project!
YouTuber “austiwawa,” apparently not satisfied with other methods of causing mayhem in his garage and backyard, has come up with an innovative disc shooter.
His homemade device uses a brushless motor controlled by an Arduino Nano and an ESC to pull a vacuum belt at high speeds. A clear plastic tube on top holds a stack of about 27 3D-printed discs. At the press of a button, they are then fed one by one onto the belt surface by another motor, which accelerates the disc to ejection velocity and out the “muzzle.” There’s also a potentiometer that allows him to adjust the fire rate.
Although it appears to work quite well, destroying items like an apple and eggs, austiwawa notes that this is only a prototype, and plans to make a fully 3D-printed version in the future. At that point, he’ll release the Arduino code and STL files, making it easy for others to duplicate!
When you, perhaps after being late for an important event one too many times, decide to build a wall clock, there are many DIY options from which to choose. But none may be as massive or unique as the aptly named “Titan Clock.”
To justify this particular design, hacker “ProtheanSoft” lists several of its advantages, such as its large size, energy efficiency (runs on a smartphone charger), thinness (only 18mm thick with casing), and of course, affordability.
The Titan Clock—which can be assembled for less than $50—consists of RGB LEDs, inexpensive craft materials like foamcore board, acrylic and aluminum sheets, as well as recycled components including the diffuser from a broken LCD monitor or TV to generate a uniform glow for each segment.
The project uses an Arduino Nano for control, along with with a DS3231 RTC module for accurate timekeeping. In this version, the Arduino is programmed to display the time and change color every hour based on a predetermined table.