After being inspired by a beautiful, if rather expensive timepiece, Ira Hart decided to make a 3D-printed clock with 24 analog faces that combine to form a single digital display. The overall device is controlled by a single Arduino Nano, which keeps track of the time using a RTC module. This unit coordinates 24 other Nanos on custom carrier boards, which in turn drive their own little clock face via a pair of steppers and a gear system.
When working together, these 24 clocks can tell the time in very large characters, and even show a variety of kinetic art as it changes from one minute to the next. It looks awesome in the video below, and build info is available in Hart’s project write-up.
If you want to upgrade your soldering setup without spending a lot of money, then be sure to check out Angelo AKA TechBuilder’s DIY Hakko 907 station.
This low-cost device features an Arduino Nano to read the iron temperature via an LM358 op-amp, and regulates power to the handle and tip under PWM control using an IRFZ44N MOSFET. A potentiometer is implemented as a variable temperature knob, with the actual and preset temperature displayed on a 16×2 LCD screen, while an LED indicates whether the heating element is active.
Everything is encased in a nicely printed and painted enclosure, which forms a brilliant little station that one could be proud to use. Full build instructions can be found here, including the PCB, code, and print files.
If you look at your car’s dashboard, there’s a good chance you’ll find an efficiency rating for how you’re driving. However, what if you instead ride a hoverboard? This functionality is certainly not stock equipment, yet Niklas Roy wanted to understand the power consumption of his transporter during different riding situations. For that reason, he decided to develop a power monitor that not only graphs his stats when scooting around, but records the data for later viewing and analysis.
Roy’s handheld device is controlled by an Arduino Nano and utilizes a Hall effect ammeter for current sensing. The measurements are shown as numbers and as oscillograms on a 1.8” TFT screen, which can also be logged to the display’s built-in SD card. An RTC module provides timestamp information for these readings, which can be produced using Processing and overlaid on video.
The phenakistoscope was invented in the 1800s as a way to view a series of moving pictures on a spinning disc. While the traditional implementation is ingenious in its own right, Nick Lim has created his own take on this venerable concept, using strobing light to break up frames instead of the slits-and-mirror arrangement of the original.
His system utilizes a repurposed CD-ROM BLDC motor to rotate the discs — which feature phenakistoscope patterns that were printed out and pasted on top — and an overhead array of strobing LEDs to make the images come to life.
An Arduino Nano controls the device, regulating motor speed and direction via a pair of L293D ICs, along with strobing frequency using a MOSFET. The result is a looping mini-video player that, unlike its inspiration, allows a few people to observe the animations at the same time!
Inspired by persistence of vision (POV) projects, Sagarrabanana built a system that incrementally dispenses water as pixels on a flat surface, creating ephemeral dot matrix text/images. This so-called “Bikelangelo” device is towed by a bicycle for ultra-mobile marking, and uses a pressurized tank for fluid storage.
As he pedals, a series of seven valve open and close under Arduino Nano control. A Hall-effect sensor allows it to dispense accurately based on the bike’s speed, and a Bluetooth phone connection via an HC-05 module is implemented for text input on-the-go.
You can see Bikelangelo in action in the quick clip below, and more information about the project – including two longer videos in Spanish – is available in Sagarrabanana’s write-up.
Matthew Begg wanted a pocket computer that had some of the charm of his 1980s vintage Casio FX-730P, so he decided to build his own.
His prototype device uses an Arduino Nano to boot into BASIC, and features a 1.54″ OLED display as well as a PCB-based QWERTY keyboard. Power is provided via a pair of AAA batteries, along with a boost converter. Most notably, however, the entire thing is meant to fit inside of an Altoids tin.
The unit, known as the “eMBee ONE,” can run an N-queen calculator benchmarking program in seven seconds – staggering compared to the FX-730’s time of seven minutes! An optional buzzer can be added to the device for sound output, and could perhaps be used to indicate when it’s done “thinking.”
Based on Robin Edwards’ excellent Arduino BASIC, this is the software for a complete pocket computer, using an Arduino Nano, a CardKB I2C keyboard, and SPI OLED screen. The BASIC supports almost all the usual features, with float and string variables, multi-dimensional arrays, FOR-NEXT, GOSUB-RETURN, etc. Saving and loading from internal and external EEPROM is supported, as well as auto-running a program on power-up. You can also read and write from the analog and digital pins.
There’s about 1k of RAM available for your BASIC programs and variables, so its roughly equivalent to a Sinclair ZX81. The other 1k of RAM (on a Nano) is used for the keyboard and screen buffers, with a small bit of room left for the CPU stack. That works out quite well, since there’s a 1k EEPROM on the Nano so if your program fits in the basic environment, it will fit when saved to EEPROM!