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

Versatile LED matrix dice machine

Rolling dice is a common way of generating random numbers for many board games. I think it is always more fun to roll real physical dice to get number for next turn. It is practically true random number as physical world always brings some entropy. Anyway there are other ways of getting random numbers. Walter has focused on building LED matrix dice – an Arduino based random generator. Having Arduino on board, he didn’t limit himself with just couple of dices. He also added a row of other randomness. He simulated such things as coin flip, various dice modes for different games like dungeons and dragons. Also his machine randomly shuffles cards where player can draw a card. Also it gives ability to generate HEX and bin numbers and lastly it can help generate passwords. After he put electronics in a portable box, it really became helpful gadget in many situations. Continue reading

Arduino controlled sand timer

Sand timers are still common in many areas. They are like time counting symbols and can be recognized of its special shape with sand tanks and thin tunnel allowing sand flow from top to bottom. The only downsize of such timers is that amount of sand is limited and you always have to turn it over after sand leaks out. < p style=”text-align: center;”> USB Hourglass from alwynallan on Vimeo. Why to do it yourself – leave this task for Arduino like in this project. It uses an Arduino board that controls whole process, a stepper motor which rotates sand timer when needed and an optical sensor which determines when its time to rotate. But this isn’t it. This so called USB hourglass also uses optical sensors light beam as random number generator. Because falling sand produces some kind of chaos, so the light beam intensity produces some entropy that is sent to PC via USB. This way 10 bit ADC generates random numbers at 100 Hz frequency. Well this is really nice and handy desktop toy. I can imagine… Continue reading