Easy to build Arduino based game console

Sometimes simple games are more fun than high quality large games. Especially if you build it by yourself. Joao Vilaca has taken old good games like Tetris back to life. For this he used Arduino Pro Mini, 2.2” TFT color screen and three axis joystick. Game console is also equipped with piezo buzzer for classic sound effects. It is powered with four AA batteries that are regulated by arduino on-board voltage regulator. There is only one game so far – Tetris, which can be downloaded form GitHub. There are promises of more games to come. Continue reading

Building thermometer and altimeter using BMP180

BMP180 sensor is a cheap temperature and barometric pressure sensor. Sensor can be connected to Arduino using I2C interface. Electronut decided build a simple thermometer and altimeter using this sensor and Arduino for his trip. He took Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V clone and Nokia 5100 LCD to display data either in text or graph view. Barometric pressure was converted to altitude above sea level by using Sparkfun’s BMP180 software library. LCD also was controlled by using Adafruit Nokia 5100 library. Code became really compact. He came up with neat laser cut enclosure where all electronics and LiPo battery fits in. This is great solution to bring some data from the trips. Continue reading

IR controlled smart outlet

Sometimes you may want that some things around the house could be controlled remotely. Of course you can purchase remote controlled switches and relax. But why not building one and having features you really think off. Bergerap shared his infrared controlled smart outlet which also has a timer for turning devices on or off after some time. Outlet is controlled by Arduino Pro Mini. Load is switched with mechanical relay module. IR function is implemented with Keyes IR remote and receiver. Since there is a timer option, a DS1307 RTC Module is included for better time keeping. Smart outlet was assembled in to plastic hobby box where LCD, inlet and outlet openings were cut. Arduino was powered with additional DC adapter that was hidden inside box and connected to inlet power line. Continue reading

Pushing model rocketry forward with active guidance

I can imagine that rocket modeling is a real passion for real hobbyists. They keep building and upgrading rockets to reach better results. KoD and Navic have decided to add active rocket guiding system built of Arduino Pro Mini. It is equipped with 2 axis accelerometer that is constantly measured during thrust. According to accelerometer data 2 microservos adjust fins to keep rocket vertical. Keep in mind that rocket thrust lasts only three seconds – there is quite task to keep rockets center of gravity right above center of pressure. Field tests show pretty positive results that you can see in the video. Continue reading

Learn physics with Arduino fan cart

Physics sometimes seems to be boring, but it can be entertaining especially if microcontroller is involved. This is pretty simple project based on Arduino Pro mini. It controls a small brushless DC motor that turns a propeller – so cart moves when motor turns. Cart also has a magnetic reed switch which turns motor of when activated. Physics classes may find this useful and interesting when learning kinetic energy, force, friction and other stuff. Continue reading