RF remote controller for computer

If you use computer as media player a lot, then you probably thought of remote control so you could change songs, tune volume without being there. There are many projects that user IR communication, but IR isn’t always a solution – especially when computer is out of sight. Antoine wanted a simple remote that would work on Linux so he started his own keyMote project. He’s chosen Arduino platform as it is rich in supported libraries. So he picked up a V-USB library to implement USB protocol to connect to PC. Then for wireless channel he selected cheap RF transmitter and receiver pair and programmed interface using VirtualWire library. He made receiver on a nice custom stand. Another part is transmitter, which is packed in a hobby box with keypad interface. Transmitter features a LiPo battery where MAX1555 takes care of charging through USB interface. Continue reading

Water valve controller on a minty box

If you want to have nice green and dense lawn it isn’t enough to move it, but you also need to water it at regular basis especially on hot summer days. You can do this manually, or leave it to a water valve controller, that can be programmed to do this task for you. It is an Arduino based water valve controller that is capable to control valve solenoid and even accept remote RF commands. Watering valve needs +/- 24V, so there is an additional Dc/DC step-up converter used which rises voltage from Li-Poly 3.6V to acceptable voltage for opening solenoid. All that fun is placed inside a minty box which is very popular casing among hobbyists. As result you get a small useful device that may release you from some boring tasks, like opening and water valve each time you need to water lawn. Continue reading

High altitude balloon tracker with Arduino

Launching balloons to high altitudes become more and more popular. Probably there are several reasons to do so, including low budget, so almost any enthusiast can afford, simple equipment most of them made from DIY parts. Probably this list could go on and on, but main idea that it is real fun to reach nearer cosmos. In this project a balloon payload has a GPS tracker along narrow-band RF (434.650MHz) tracker that allows many enthusiasts to tune up to its frequency and help tracking the balloon. The heart of payload is Arduino board which takes care of Lithium cells and interfaces GPS and RF trackers. Continue reading