After deciding to craft my own Edison-style light fixtures for our wedding reception I realized that the occasion was, in addition to celebrating our life-long commitment to each other, an opportunity for us to showcase our creativity. For me this meant soldering, stripping, crimping, twisting, programming, and no small amount of brow-furrowing.
In 2010 we built the Illuminatrix which was featured on the MAKE blog. This was a 4′ x 4′ wall of LEDs showing hundreds of animations created by people from around the world at the Burning Man festival, you can still see its animations here http://cwd.co.uk/illuminatrix
This year we’ve gone bigger, and spherical! We’re building an 18′ geodesic dome with hundreds of LEDs and a beautiful skin to create a surface of light to surround and encompass the viewer.
We’ve detailed the full setup on our blog (www.delarre.net/posts/from-node-to-diode/) and will continue to cover the build process for the dome there. We’re still fundraising too, so if you want to contribute please do so at the IndieGoGo campaign at http://igg.me/at/diodome to win our undying love and affection!
Introducing combat drones for you and me…Game of Drones. ”If it flies, it fights”
Game of Drones introduces UAV’s to the masses with a new web series about aerial robot design.
This is a great project to do with your kids, grandchildren, students, etc. It’s a small circuit that uses a battery to light up two alternating flashing LEDs. My kids who are five and seven loved working on it together in the garage. They enjoyed doing a project with dad, and learning about soldering and electronic circuits. They show their LED flashing circuit to everyone that comes to the house. So if you want something to do with your kids that involves some hands on ‘maker’ activity this is good for you. Also, if you have kids in a class or group of any sort such as scouts or summer camp and want a building activity, this project would be ideal for you.
Arduino’s GPRS shields are becoming popular these days. They enable developers to build applications that use ubiquitous GPRS networks. A variety of Arduino compatible GPRS shields are available in the marketplace that uses popular GPRS modules from providers such as SIMCOM, Telit, Quectel etc.
GPRS devices uses AT commands as the primary way of communication with the outside world. AT commands are used to execute various modem features such as data call, voice call, HTTP, network registration, SMS, Phonebook, signal quality, SIM interface, device info, AT Commands etc.
AT Command Tester is a free online tool that can used to test various GPRS features of Arduino-compatible GPRS shields. With AT Command Tester, developers can quickly learn and test GPRS features in an easy to use interface.
In this example, we’ll use the Arduino’s Quectel M10 GPRS shield that has been recently launched. The shield is connected to the Arduino Uno board which is then connected to the PC through the Arduino’s USB interface as shown below.
Before using the AT Command Tester with the shield, you need to establish a serial communication with the PC and Arduino shield. Now you’re ready to use the AT Command Tester. Select the port that the Arduino board is connected to the PC. Set the baud rate which should be same as the speed that is configured in the modem. Then connect to the modem on the AT Command Tester.
Users can single AT command under ‘Command Mode’ tab or batch of AT commands under ‘Script Mode’ tab. Basic modem diagnostics information can be obtained under the ‘Diagnostics’ tab. AT Command Tester provided interface to test specific modem features such as voice call, data call, SMS, network selection, HTTP, FTP, TCP/UDP, GPS etc.
AT Command Tester is a free online tool available at m2msupport.net which provides valuable information for M2M application developers.
After four years at the local fairgrounds, the 5th annual Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire is moving to Washtenaw Community College for the 2013 fair on Saturday, June 8. Still free to attend, organizers have received applications for over 50 exhibits so far. There’s still room, and still time to apply before the Call for Makers deadline on Friday, May 17!
Among the highlights of the 2013 faire: An outstanding exhibitor at every Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire, inventor and museum exhibit builder Michael Flynn will bring his newest exhibit, the CloudBean, a giant inflatable mirrored mylar dome.
Here is a detailed description of how I made a LED flashlight using very strong rare earth permanent magnets and a super capacitor.
I love paper towels! They’re very handy when I’m making things, but I rarely need one square foot when working on projects. So I cut them half! And a half roll even fits on a toilet paper dispenser.
Use your iPhone to control an Arduino robot.
In the Cub Scout outlaw pinewood derby, anything goes as long as the car fits on the track.
Frankencar is an Arduino-controlled, 400-Watt torque monster that smokes the competition. It was pieced together using VEX Robotics hardware, an outrunner brushless motor, an Arduino Nano, and various other components. A key feature is that Frankencar knows when it’s close to the finish line so it can slam on the brakes.
As a 17-year-old high school senior, living in Atlanta, GA, I love building electronics projects. A perfect afternoon is one spent with fellow aspiring engineers in our school’s robotics club. Next fall, I am entering Georgia Tech, where I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Robo Jackets, learning how to use all of the tools in the Inventor’s Studio.
A staple of many hobby projects, Arduino has been the core behind many of my early projects, as I learned the concepts behind transistors and potentiometers. As my knowledge increased, though, I learned that an Arduino Uno was simply not required to control 16 LEDs, which could instead be multiplexed.
This is where Atmel’s ATtiny chips come into the picture. These fantastic bite sized chips are, in many respects, just as powerful as an Arduino Uno, but are a fraction of the cost and size. The tradeoff, however, is the lack of a simple programer for chips like the ATtiny84 and 4313. This trade off, invariably involved programming on a breadboard with a mess of jumper wires everywhere. One would discover, after moving the chip into place on the project, that there was a bug in the code, as all the while, the legs on the ATtiny were taking a real beating from the fiddling around. I would repeat this maddening process again and again before I realized that this needed a fix.
I needed a fix that would incorporate my newly learned skills, using Cadsoft Eagle. I set about creating a circuit board that would eliminate the breadboard and would allow me to use an Arduino board, which so many hobbyists already have, instead of buying an AVR programmer. It would also, though, have to support people who had an AVR programmer and wished to use it.
Three versions of the board later, my efforts finally came to fruition. On a shield, one third the size of an Arduino, I managed to fit all of the components needed to program an ATtiny and debug it, without the messy and unnecessary constant prying of chips out of DIP sockets and rewiring.
After discovering and refining my newfound ease in programming ATtiny chips, I wanted to share this product with other people. My hope is that hobbyists everywhere will fall in love with ATtiny chips the same way that I did and have the ability to use them to their fullest abilities, with the tools already at their hands. That is why I have started a Kickstarter campaign to spread the Chipper Board and love of ATtiny chips.
Going downhill on a snowboard is fun. Traversing flat sections? Not so much. Maker and Google developer Matt Gardner thinks he may have solved that problem with his retractable, motor-driven wheeled device.
Here’s how he describes it:
It is a snowboard attachment which retracts to get out of the rider’s way when not in use. The attachment is quickly deployed and allows the snowboarder to power through flat sections rather than taking their bindings off and paddling or having to walk. I took a 18v drill from Harbor Freight, which had a high torque planetary gear assembly, an RC plane-brushed speed controller, and designed and printed motor mounts with adjustment, gears, and snowmobile track-like paddles. I then made a mold out of silicone and cast the paddles (which take nine hours to print) in epoxy resin. Nearly all the parts are 3D printed, and the frame was laser cut.
By the time Matt finished the project, the was no snow left so he’ll have to wait until next year to test it. Meanwhile, he says he’s going to add a 3D printed gearbox with increased torque for uphill power and wider paddles for additional traction.