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In response to the vote
arduino _ solar,arduino

Purchased a Seeeduino Mega, very pretty. Also a solar shield (cheap!) to play with. A panel from GoldMine-Elec is connected to it now, can recharge the battery in a day.. but it doesn't power the arduino during recharge, just discharge. Perhaps it needs a better solar panel?

Ok, so.. solar ideas. I saw this camera on the Make blog and thought, how cool would that be with an Xbee and a small solar panel on one side. My camera just sits on the desk.. i could put it on the window ledge instead.. and then no more battery swapping. And when the camera is in range of the desktop, it can transfer all the new pictures over and remove them from the SD card. Computer side you could even auto-upload all the new pictures.

What else could benefit from self-recharging? I'm putting together a solar recharged Xbee relay station inside a plastic coffee container. Something i can put on the roof or deploy anywhere without having to do any maintenance on it. Anything else cool along these lines?

What do?
I've recently hit the ceiling on arduino for a project. Has this ever happened to you?

Poll #1534510 Arduino_growing_pains

What do you do when you out grow your arduino?

Graduate to bigger AVRs.
Buy a Mega and keep using Arduino.
Network two or more Arduino's together.
Jump ship to ARMs or something else outside the AVR family.
I will never out grow.. my precioussss

First ardweeny project
I built a range sensor for a group that would have to interface with an older electronic system (at a later date) and relay some information back to a PC. Came up with a smallish Cube shape that has an Ardweeny (to negotiate with the unknown hardware at a later date), a Sharp IR range sensor, Xbee + Xbee_explorer, and +5v external power.

wireless IR Range sensor w/ host
Sensor Node

IR Sensor app screenshot
Demonstration software, measures distance and flips from "Vacant" to "Occupied" at a set distance.

A very easy build, but the IR sensor was causing the Ardweeny to brown out when it pulsed. A cap on the power rails seemed to work perfectly. So far i'm impressed with the Ardweeny itself.. but i still don't have a good project for one yet.. anyone have an idea?

Just bought a couple Ardweeny's from Solarbotics.com. It comes as a kit with maybe a dozen parts for under $10 (plus shipping). Soldered it together over the course of one L4D2 vs game.. during the loading parts. If anyone is looking for a cheap replacement for their arduinos or perhaps something you won't feel guilty leaving permanently installed.. you'll love these things.

Package came in the mail!

The parts laid out for inspection.

Half-way done.

Completed ardweeny. It started a Blink sketch as soon as i applied power. I did upload a few sketches to make sure it was working.. and it is : )

The instruction manual was well made and easy to follow. Anyone with a radioshack iron can put this thing together. You can get yours here: http://www.solarbotics.com/products/kardw/

Handheld communicator
Photobucket Photobucket

Working on a handheld communication device of sorts. The hardware is all functional (i'm happy) and the software is coming along. I was thinking.. how cool would a distributed commo network be? A bit like a peer-to-peer system. So i put this prototype together and have enough parts on-hand to build a second device after the software is finished. It currently talks to an Xbee connected to my dev box. I'm going to call it the "Zed-day coordinator". No infrastructure required. The range is limited to the power of your Xbee but daisy chaining everyone together with some magic routing should make it useful.

Still haven't figured out the keyboard situation yet, but i'm thinking a 2nd touch screen with a translucent keyboard layout under it. Something that can fold out of the way. Has anyone come across an easy to use mini-keyboard?

i2c IO Expander

Need more digital IO ports? Here's how you can easily add 16 moreCollapse )

Tutorial: i2c SRAM for the Arduino

External RAM for the arduino? Yes please!
click here to find out howCollapse )

Tutorial: Motion Sensor Alarm
don't die

My first post in this community! I'm very excited :)

So in this tutorial we're going to make a basic Motion Sensor alarm. What we're going to need is

  • 1x Arduino (i'm using the Duemilanove, got mine from Sparkfun.com for about 60 bucks (for the starter kit))
  • 1x PIR (can be found at Radio Shack for about 10 bucks)
  • 1x Piezo Siren (Radio Shack, fairly cheap (max 10 bucks))
  • 1x Voltage Regulator (12V, model number 7812)
  • 1x Resistor (I have no idea what it is, but the colors go brown, black, red, gold, and it works) -- *NOTE: I'm horrible with resistors, i never really understood them
  • 1x PNP Transistor (max amperage 800mA)
  • 1x switch
  • 2x breadboards (just for neatness)
  • at least one 9volt battery with clip
  • Wires, lots of wires


Read more...Collapse )

Tutorial: Make a breadboard wire

Ok, starting off with an easy tutorial. Making your own breadboard wires. I would just say "go buy em!" but personally, i just couldn't part with 10$ for a dozen tiny wires. My best friend Dan got some really great flexible ones with his Sparkfun arduino starter kit. I was very jealous and just had to have some nice flexible ones too!

Click here to see howCollapse )

It moves!
Ok, i couldn't wait until the next paycheck to order plastic for the hull. So i started by tracing all the major robot parts and spending a work day puzzling the parts together

I wasn't happy with it (even though it was a good idea) so i started building a prototype body with cardboard (oooh, so advanced). Came up with this:
robot,arduino,xbee,prototype and robot,prototype,arduino,xbee

His guts kept finding their way into his treads (ouch) so i built sides to the basic platform:

He drives great! I can control him remotely from my computer. He does very well on hard surfaces but is quite pathetic on carpet.. tries to pivot steer and throws track. This is probably because the roadwheels aren't fixed like they should be.. not enough track tension either. Anyways, i'll continue to expand on the prototype hull until the plastic comes in.

After that is two bumper switches and two IR sensors mounted on servos, very exciting.