Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Would you build a remote controlled lawn mower?

Mowing grass is one of those ‘must be done’ jobs where some people like it and some don’t. In fact this is great exercise and relax at least for me. Anyway if you like building cool things and amaze people, then why not upgrading your lawn mover to remote controlled version. Blake Hodgson have built an open source version of such mower called Lawn Da Vinci. He welded a metal frame of angle steel, fit a mobility scooter electric motor on the back to drive it around. As he says – any cheap mover can be fit to the frame to do the cutting job. He used an RC remote Tower Hobbies System 3000, but in fact any RC remote should be fine. The driving motor is controlled with Arduino and Sabertooth 2×25 controler. Since this is still in progress, here might be an updates in code and project. Optionally there is no problem to hook a webcam with Raspberry Pi which would translate live video stream. It might be possible to mow grass while sitting on sofa. As always… Continue reading

How to make a LED Scroll Bar

Today I want to make a LED Scroll Bar as the above picture showed. Ten LED strips can flash in different effects by using a control board. Required Components LED strip, Arduino Nano, Dupont line and a control board. So, how to make a LED Scroll Bar?  Continue reading

Farmbot rises farming to next level

Growing your desired greens is pretty intense work. The preparation of soil seeding planning and constant care must be done to get result. It may seem that there isn’t much to do – just plant a seed and take a look from time to time. But in reality, growing great looking, nutritious plants require constant care that include watering, weeding, fertilizing and timely collecting. If farming isn’t your primary job, then most likely you are going to forget to water or pick weeds. This is why Rory Aronson decided to develop open source farming machine. Farmbot is a 3 axis CNC platform that can vary in size depending on your soil area. It is capable of taking care of multiple different kinds of crops in same area. Planning and taking care of garden is done via web based interface – its like one of those farming simulators, the only difference is the time you need to wait between some actions and the result is real. Farm bot can work with different tools like seed injectors, watering nozzles, sensors, weeders. All… Continue reading

Versatile Arduino based bluetooth car kit

No doubt Arduino is number one choice among electronics hobbyists and enthusiasts. IT is easy to prototype and program. Huge community accumulated loads of examples, tutorials and shields for any case. The Arduino board is only a heart with microcontroller inside. In order to have something working, you need either to build a circuit around, use shield or special kit. If you like robotics, check out the RT0006 Bluetooth Car Kit. It is great starting point in building autonomous or remotely controlled cars or robots. The kit includes Infrared remote control module, Arduino, Bluetooth module, short range wireless controller, servo driven ultrasonic range finder module. Each tire is driven by individual DC reduction motor. Continue reading

Arduino based cellular automata

Arduino cellular automata

You have probably heard of Game of Life. It is popular cellular automata simulation game where you create simple structures in infinite plain and watch the life evolve. All this is achieved by implementing several basic rules. By implementing different rules, you can simulate biological processes, model structure behavior and program robot swarms. Building cellular automata is fairly simple. You can start with Arduino Nano and 128×64 OLED to get pretty interesting results. In this following project the Game of Life has been implemented. There are only two rules applied to pixels to make it work: A cell which is dead and is surrounded by exactly 3 alive cells, will be born A cell which is alive and has either 3 or 2 alive cells will remain alive, else it dies The source code is hosted on GitHub which can be analyzed and used for your purposes. In order to compile for Arduino you will need two additional libraries – Adafruit GFX, which handles graphical display (draws graphs and displays text) and second is Adafruit SSD1306 which is the actual… Continue reading

Arduino based Spot welder for 18650 batteries

spot welder

Lots of devices are using battery packs that are spot welded together. Spot welding ensures great connectivity and vibration safe operation. In order to spot weld, you need special equipment that can give high current output for the very short time duration. This way you can get good weld joints without damaging the batteries with heat. Building a spot welder for small tasks is fairly easy. KaeptnBalu has shared his instructable where he assembles his spot welder which is controlled by Arduino Nano. Spot welder requires 7-12V power source capable to output high currents. So any lead-acid battery works fine. Arduino is used to controlling welding pulse duration which can be adjusted from 1 to 20ms. With 0.15mm nickel strips he found that 9ms gives the best result. First of all, he prototyped the spot welder and then built his custom PCB where he put 8 MOSFETs in parallel that switch current on and off. He also built plywood foot pedal switch to keep his hands free while soldering. If you get lost among welding terms, check out an excellent… Continue reading