Fun target shooting with Arduino driven target rig

If you like shooting, then you need proper and not monotonic target system. Shooting cans may become boring and too engaging when you need to set things up before practicing. Bob decided to make things more easier with Atmega168 based target rig, where he placed several servo motors on 3D printed structure covered by steel angle for protecting sensitive parts. Arduino on target structure is equipped with Xbee for remote control. It can work in several different modes like single target, dual target mode with random patterns. From there you can thing of many ways what targets you attach to servo motors – color circles, faces, that vary in size and so on. Continue reading

Communicating Arduino to PC using XBee in API mode

Xbee is a great radio module to communicate between devices wireless. Steven shared his extensive work on Xbee communication in API mode which was included in his Masters thesis. His setup uses Xbee module on each end. On one end he connect module to PC with Xbee USB adapter, another part is attached to Arduino. The fun part begins with software. He’s chosen API mode because there are several advantages over regular modes. It frees from switching in to command mode in order to change configuration options, also message address can be set on fly, messages packets come with RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) and feedback message is sent on successful transmission. He used Digi X-CTU software to work with message frames which is robust on building API frames. Once succeeded Steven moved to python code. He was able to talk to Xbee module by using PySerial library. The code takes care of sending and receiving message frames. Same applies to Arduino part which also has to be able to receive and send message packets in API mode. For those… Continue reading

Autonomous Arduino weather station

Weather station is interesting project to build. First of all you can collect lots of interesting data, analyze it and even use for various purposes. Tinkerman wanted to build completely autonomous weather station that would power itself using battery accompanied by renewable energy source like solar panel. As a base he’s chosen Arduino Fio board where he attached XBee module to send data wireless, DHD22 temperature and humidity sensor, and BMP085 barometric pressure sensor. While working with sensors seems pretty obvious – code is mostly based on ready made libraries. But more challenging task with autonomous devices like this is power profile. Power usage has to be minimized to preserve energy in all corners. As we mentioned, it uses a solar panel which is 6V 2W to charge 3.7V 850mAh Lithium Polymer battery in day time and use it when dark. Sensors like DHT22 require some warming up, transmitting data chews its own amount. But most time station stays in power down mode leaving with ~0.8mA average current drain. With 850mAh battery weather station could last 44 days. Also solar… Continue reading

Arduino controlled message box

This is a simple message box made of Arduino and Xbee modules. It simply accepts commands from computer where messages are sent wireless with Xbee. Message board uses a high contrast VFD display which actually requires separate voltage regulator. Anyway all stuff fits in a cigar box where only supply cable goes in and a reset button is accessible. Once set, its time to connect XBee module to PC and start sending messages via terminal program. Continue reading

JeeNode – Arduino and Xbee in one

Probably you know That Arduino and Xbee isn’t a new thing, but Arduino and Xbee shield combination isn’t always handy for smaller projects. So JeeNode (v4) is all in one compact board. It contains no built in USB interface, so any external USB-TTL converter can be used to flash it. Board is based on ATmega238 with Arduino bootloader so Arduino IDE can be used to program it. This is Open-Source design with full specs and schematics, but also can be obtained as a kit. I believe this thing could find many places where to use due to its small size Arduino programmability. Continue reading