How to Teach Yourself to Program with Arduino

Most people begin their journey to programming with a lot of dilemmas. While others are worried about the programming languages they should learn, others can’t pick on a specific programming framework to start with. If you don’t have any of the above worries, you might be wondering if getting an education in programming will get you hired. Regardless, all these are good questions that need answers before you settle into coding. Without a doubt, programming is a career. However, it doubles up as an essential tool and skill in the current era. Fortunately, unlike other professions, you don’t necessarily need a college degree to excel in coding, as you can learn it individually. That said, the best place to begin is choosing a coding language. The guide below outlines how to learn to program with the Arduino language. Continue reading

Adding third hand to guitar play

Playing the guitar is fun as it is. But if you are a bit nerdier, then why not adding something weird to it to amaze friends. Youtuber Make It And Fake It has been tinkering with Arduino, servo and couple of chopsticks and put together a crude guitar attachment which can stroke strings with different patterns. The functionality is yet still limited as for different strokes it needs reprogramming with three control buttons. For more functionality, additional coding might be needed. The fun demonstration at the end of the video proves to be fun from both – funny and practical side. With a bit of tuning one hand really can be free to play another instrument to make the song even better. Servo motor seems to be too loud while playing; maybe there are more quit versions of them. The Arduino code can be found on GitHub. Continue reading

An Arduino based IC tester with smart touch

IT is always a good practice to test every electronic component before mounting to PCB. You never know weather it is faulty, or worse counterfeit. Logic IC’s aren’t exception. With this smart IC tester, all you need is to wack it in and confirm it is working as should. The other potential other of IC tester is detecting unknown ICs on the fly. The design of IC tester consist of several building block including Arduino Mega 2560, 2.4 inch TFT LCD. Custom IC tester shield PCB with ZIF socket. Arduino code is located at git repository where you might find updates and feature enhancements. Probably the most tedious task was to rpepare IC database which is saved as .txt file on SD card. Currently the list is very short and needs serious contribution to make it large enough for being practically useful. Continue reading

Geocache box with extra challenge

Yes, geocaching is still live and people enjoy this activity. GPS (or other) accessible to anyone who have at least a smart-phone. The idea is simple – you need to find a cache according to GPS coordinates. Usually this is hidden storage box with log book with sometimes additional treat. In order to make things more challenging, Cliptwings constructed a puzzle box powered by Arduino. The puzzle is a hangman game which has to be played and won in order to open the box. Controls are pretty simple – by turning knob you can select a letter and with single button you enter it. Arduino generates five random words to be guessed, and if most of them are not guessed – box remains locked. To in safe side, battery is attached on the outside and whole setup is enclosed in waterproof plastic box. If you find hangman game interesting and would like to try it on different projects, you can use Dan Wagoner’s original hangmanduino code for Arduino. Continue reading

Opening garage door with fingerprint

There are still majority garages that can be opened with regular key. This is probably least secure way of protecting property – especially with standard locks. As you may know, most of standard locks can be picked in a minute. In order to be more safe, better install more secure lock with sophisticated key or go with electronic based system. Joebarteam have shared his instructable, where he built a fingerprint lock system for his garage. The basics of electronics is built around Arduino micro which reads electronic finger print scanner through serial interface. A bunch of limit switches ensure that closed, opened rood is detected correctly, also there are few fail-safe mechanism implemented that makes system power efficient and even safer. Mechanical lock is moved with stepper motor and seems really well made. Whole electronics is assembled and organized very tidy and looks professional. Everything is put in to enclosures, some of them are standard, other 3D printed. Wiring is placed in to electric pipes. This project is great example how project has to be finished to the final stage. Continue reading

Monitoring three phase power usage with Arduino and keypad shield

This project is second iteration of DIY Life. Previously he has built a single phase power meter using similar technique. He wanted to keep things very simple, os he used only non-contact current measurement only by using Talema AC1030 current sensors on each phase line. They are capable of capturing 30A nominal and 75A maximum current. In order to measure power accurately a voltage measurements should be taken. But for sake of simplicity, voltage is only taken as 220V. The only focus is to measure current correctly which depends on burden resistor selection and measurement drop voltage through Arduino analog input. Input current then must be calibrated with known load. Rough estimate can be made with 100W light bulb. If you are considering building this three phase power meter, be sure to simulate project on provided Autodesk Circuits simulator. Here you can tweak your circuit and test sketch code. Continue reading