Lifelong Learning a blog of all the things I've learned about…

30Aug/090

Laying Out a Custom PCB

Basic Arduino Board

Ever since I started playing with the Arduino I knew I wanted to get futher into how they worked and even start forging ahead with my own designs. Fortunately there is a fantastic community of folks out there who are more than willing to share their knowledge and even blog about it. I owe the community a great deal of thanks in helping me get up-to-speed so quickly on designing and laying out boards for my projects. I have been working feverishly on a new project which I'll dedicate a whole category on here for later. It's really going to be a neat project and I think it's a great way to give back to the community by relasing all my work for anyone to use. Anyhow, more on that later.

EaglePCB, how can I say it. It's freaking amazing. Who could ask for much more with a freeware PCB board layout program? I'm actually in the process of purchasing the Non-Profit version so I can build bigger boards. That being said, the freeware version will do everything the paid version can do but is limited to double-sided boards and limited board size. It really is a neat program and definitely helps people get started with PCB layout cheaply.

For now I wanted to share with the community just one of the boards I've finished and am awaiting arrival of the fabricated board. I released it to get feedback and hopefully help somone else out. It's taken from the Boarduino concept from AdaFuit.com. Basically it's a very basic USB powered Arduino board which can be integrated easily into other projects. I'll be using this board on my new project. I'll warn you of this, I haven't received the fabricated boards from BatchPCB.com yet and tested them throughly so you've been warned. You'll find the board and schematic in the attached ZIP file. I've used parts for the SparkFun.com library. None of this would be possible without those fantastic guys!

Please, I encourage feedback on this design!

BasicArduino
Title: BasicArduino (445 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: BasicArduino.zip
Size: 90 kB

30Aug/090

Using the Maxim7219 with Arduino

A few weeks ago I setup my Arduino to power a simple single digit 7 segment LED array. It took lots of pins from the Arduino (one per segment) to power it.Maxim7219 In Action Nice simple setup but I knew it would never work for powering more than a single 7-segment digit. I found the Maxim 7219 which is a chip designed specifically to drive LED arrays. It's really a neat device (although a bit expensive). I decided I'd pick up some 7291's from Jameco (I often switch between them and Digi-Key) and picked up a few of thier 4 digit 7-segment LED arrays (common cathode) as well to test the IC out. You'll definitely want to take a look here which outlines the library used, basic schematic and the really important calculation of the RSet value. I've included a demo sketch, high-res pictures and the Maxim 7219 datasheet in the ZIP file below.

 

4DigitLEDWithMaximIC
Title: 4DigitLEDWithMaximIC (424 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: 4DigitLEDWithMaximIC.zip
Size: 2 MB

4DigitLEDWithMaximIC
Title: 4DigitLEDWithMaximIC (424 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: 4DigitLEDWithMaximIC.zip
Size: 2 MB

18Aug/090

The Hall Effect…

Hall Effect Sensor With ArduinoI got an order in from Jameco yesterday and inside found a long awaited sensor! I had ordered a couple of the Allegro linear hall effect sensors. These are different than the others I purchased from SparkFun.com, they are not latching sensors but measure the magnetic force applied which is more of what I was looking for. I wanted something that I could use as a proximity switch and this worked out much nicer. They are a breeze to use and even more fun to play with than I had imagined. I've included some high res pictures and the Arduino code I used to test the sensor with below. I do have a proto shield from AdaFruit that I use and it has a green and red LED onboard, but you can easily hook up a couple of LEDs (don't forget your resistors). I'll be using this in a bigger project soon...

 

AllegroHallEffectTestApp
Title: AllegroHallEffectTestApp (358 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: AllegroHallEffectTestApp.zip
Size: 2 MB

AllegroHallEffectTestApp
Title: AllegroHallEffectTestApp (358 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: AllegroHallEffectTestApp.zip
Size: 2 MB

16Aug/093

Controlling a servo with a TV remote using Arduino!

Ardunio IR Servo Controller

I decided today after I got home from work, I'd try to get my next quick project done. I wanted to control a hobby servo using a standard TV remote. I had a RadioShack IR receiver (Part No. 276-640) already as well as a standard hobby servo.

I quickly hooked things up. 10k resistor between the PWM pin on the Arduino and the servo sensor wire. 200ohm resistor between the digial pin on the Arduino and the output of the IR reciever. Hooked up my 5v to both and grounds and I was done.

I found some sample code as referenced in the Ardunio code below and modified it to find out what codes my remote was outputting for different keys. I decided I'd have it move the servo left and right using the left and right arrow keys on the remote and then center it at 90 degrees when the "OK" button was pushed.  I also output the keypresses to the serial port to verify movement...

Worked like a charm! Amazing how simple tasks like this are with such a great community of folks posting example code and a wonderous board like the Ardunio!

Arduino IR Servo Controller

Hi resolution pictures and the Ardunio code can be found in the attached ZIP file.

IRServoProject
Title: IRServoProject (1423 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: IRServoProject.zip
Size: 2 MB

IRServoProject
Title: IRServoProject (1423 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: IRServoProject.zip
Size: 2 MB

16Aug/090

Anyone for some homemade butter?

Yup, that's right! My wife had been reading some cool crafty blogs and I am always up for learning about something new so I got involved. We headed out to JoBeth to find a book that all the online blogs say is a must-have for DIY cheese and butter making (they had it, much to my surprise)! It's called the Home Creamery and it's a fantastic book to get you started making your own cheeses and butters!

It was sooo easy and far better tasting than store-bought butter. I even had Natalie cut some fresh chives from the garden and I added that with some garlic powder to make a more savory butter! Fantastic stuff!

Whole whipping cream getting smooth now!

Butter Getting Smooth

Right Before the butter starts to form!

Right before the butter starts to form!

Ah, time for some elbow grease!

My butter is nearly done!

Getting rid of the remaining buttermilk.

Getting out the rest of the butter milk.

Salted and ready!

Salted and ready

Filed under: DIY Projects No Comments
16Aug/090

Digital Temperature with the Arduino

Arduino One Wire Temp SensorI was waiting on an order I had placed with Tayda Electronics (they rock) for my One-Wire temperature sensors.

If you haven't heard of One-Wire or these particular sensors you need to check them out. They are made by Dallas Semiconductors and they are amazing. They are a bit $$, which is why I opted to have them shiped from the philipeans directly. I got them for $1.60/each as opposed to ~$5.00/each from any of the domestic online retailers. The shipping only took ~8 days and the shipping was only ~$4.00. Can't beat that huh?

Anyhow, I got them in and wanted to see them in action, so I threw together a quick circuit which reads the temp and displays it on a LCD screen I had laying around (got it here). The end result is a quite nice and very accurate thermometer! I've posted my code and some high-res pics in the attached ZIP file below if you are intrested. Get your LCD working as outlined in the adafruit document and then hook up the one-wire sensor.

OneWireTempWithLCD
Title: OneWireTempWithLCD (380 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: OneWireTempWithLCD.zip
Size: 2 MB

OneWireTempWithLCD
Title: OneWireTempWithLCD (380 clicks)
Caption:
Filename: OneWireTempWithLCD.zip
Size: 2 MB

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