Comment

Disaster Strikes!

Just a day before the open evening at school were I plan to demonstrate the Lego Clock, a short circuit damages the real time clock's crystal and prevents it from keeping time.  Luckily this old timer comes to the rescue:
With the knowledge that most timer/clocks use a standard 32.768kHz crystal I robbed the oscillator from this timer and swapped out the faulty one on the RTC, to may amazement my fix worked and everything was back on track.

Comment

Comment

Lego Clock Controller

Found a use for the arcade style PTM switch I bought a while back; a controller for my Lego Clock.  I have used an old VGA cable as it contains seven wires inside the casing making the controller cable very tidy.  These seven wires hook up to a potentiometer, PTM switch and an RGB LED which is used in conjunction with the PTM switch to allow the user to change different settings (of which there are seven including 12/24 hour and RGB striplight on/off).  The cable then terminates in a SIL header which can then be plugged into a SIL pins on the circuit board when I finally get it done.


Comment

Comment

8x8 bi-colour LED matrix

I was hoping to use these displays in my GCSE coursework but have since decided it would be unnecesarily complicated.  So instead now I hope to use them to make a compass for sailing with; when I get round to it I hope to finish of the prototyping on my breadboard to check I can run the displays.  When they work I will purchase an I2C magnetometer of ebay and will go from there.  My current setup uses 74hc595 8 bit shift registers to drive the displays plus a bunch of uln2803 transistor arrays.  I need to get my Lego Clock transferred to a real circuit board first so I can use the bread boarding wires from that.

Comment

Comment

Proximity Sensors

Pictures from the prototyping of my GCSE Coursework.  I tested out several hall effect sensors and an optical proximity sensor.  In the end I descided that the optical proximity sensor would be most effective at detecting when a scalextrics car went through the start gate I will be designing.




Comment

Comment

Ethernet Theromometer

A while ago we had a flood at our holiday home as aresult of the heating breaking, pipes freezing and then exploding, after everything was repaired dad asked me if there was some sort of thermometer we could buy which would allow us to view it online.  I couldn't find anything though.  

A really cheap copy of arduino boards which would allow me to make an internet thermometer.

After a bit of research online (http://tutorial.cytron.com.my/2011/07/27/an-arduino-room-monitoring-web-server/) I decided to go ahead with the project and ordered all the bits, here is the results:


Although the physical side of the build is complete, I am having issues finding a DNS server which I can use for free since DynDNS has removed all of there free services :( I also need to get hold of a digital temperature sensor unit and then it will be ready for operation.

Comment

Comment

Slider Project

Me and my friend Paul set out to build a cheap camera slider to use in a video we were planning at the time.  The design was simple and took us under a week to finish in DT at lunchtimes.  Paul was amazed at the results, considering it cost about £150 less than a professional one would.  It may not have looked the greatest but it certainly served its purpose:


Check out the final video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2olFaSfIvOI

Comment

Comment

Alarm Clock

The casing is all finished and the alarm clock is finally back together.  Just working on the programme now but having a serious problem with the detection side of things.  The FSR is very sensitive and will detect even the slightest movement in bed - not good.  I've tried everything to limit the effect movement has on it but nothing seems to work.  So annoying.



Comment

Comment

Light Switch Switch


Finally the finishing parts came for the light switch switch, a real light switch on the right and above a 2x2 RGB LED button pad from Sparkfun.  At the minute the programming is proving a little tricky as there is so much multiplexing to be done but I'm sure IL get it sorted eventually.  Next job is designing a case for this lot. 

Comment

Comment

RGB LED cube progress

Finally made some progress with the LED cube, now the multiplexing is more or less working, as you can see from the picture there are different colors on each column:

The code is a very manual and basic way of doing things however it demonstrates a principal:

#include "Tlc5940.h"

int layer1[48];

int layer2[48];

int layer3[48];

int layer4[48];

word interval=100;

int startTime;

void setup()

{

Tlc.init();  

pinMode(5,OUTPUT);

pinMode(6,OUTPUT);

pinMode(7,OUTPUT);

pinMode(8,OUTPUT);

   digitalWrite(5,HIGH);

   digitalWrite(6,HIGH);

   digitalWrite(7,HIGH);

   digitalWrite(8,HIGH); 

     for (int i = 0;i<47;i++)

{

  layer1[i]= random(100,4000);

  layer2[i]= random(100,4000);

  layer3[i]= random(100,4000);

  layer4[i]= random(100,4000);

}

}

void loop()

{

   digitalWrite(8,HIGH); 

  for (int i = 0;i<47;i++)

{

 Tlc.set(i,layer1[i]);

}

  Tlc.update();

  startTime = micros();

    digitalWrite(5,LOW); 

while(micros() < (startTime + interval)){}

startTime = micros();

   digitalWrite(5,HIGH); 

  for (int i = 0;i<47;i++)

{

 Tlc.set(i,layer1[i]);

}

  Tlc.update();

  startTime = micros();

    digitalWrite(6,LOW); 

while(micros() < (startTime + interval)){}

startTime = micros();

   digitalWrite(6,HIGH); 

  for (int i = 0;i<47;i++)

{

 Tlc.set(i,layer1[i]);

}

  Tlc.update();

  startTime = micros();

    digitalWrite(7,LOW); 

while(micros() < (startTime + interval)){}

startTime = micros();

   digitalWrite(7,HIGH); 

  for (int i = 0;i<47;i++)

{

 Tlc.set(i,layer1[i]);

}

  Tlc.update();

  startTime = micros();

    digitalWrite(8,LOW); 

while(micros() < (startTime + interval)){}

startTime = micros();

}

Comment

Comment

Birthday Card

A nerdy birthday card I made:

As you can see from the back view on the right the card features a load of messy circuitry.  This Circuitry is used to drive and power 3 RGB leds inside the card which illuminate the tissue paper of the heart on the front.  The 08m2 used to drive the card, has a cool little switch I found attached to it, it consists of a tiny spring in a canister and effectivey acts as a vibration switch.  This triggers the LEDs to go off on 3 loops of the colour spektrum and then fade out gracefully.  The main problem I faced with this project was the programming; the 08m2 only has 1 PWM output, thereofor the LEDs had to be multiplexed with each colour element.  At first there was an annoing pulsing look on the LEDs because the process wes not happenniung fast enough however I managed to increase the internal clock speed ( which is a nice feature of picaxe chips).  Overall I was very pleased with this project.

Comment

Comment

Yr 10 Final project

The circuit board and programming for this project was all done in school; basically the project was designed to get us designing circuit boards and writing programs for our Yr 11 coursework.  My project is an alarm which incorporates the ID20 RFID reader I bought a while back.  At home I decided to actually put it to use so set about adapting this pre-made casing I ordered from Maplin.
Cutting all the holes for components - RFID reader was a challenge!

Once all the holes were cut the circuit board and components could be fitted
 Container all sealed up and fitted with a long power cable

 Mounted on the wall of my garage and the read switch mounted close to the door,m magnet on it.

Comment

Comment

Alarm Clock Circuit Board

The prototype for the little circuit board I plan to install in the casing of the alarm clock.  However things have got very messy on the bottom of the copper stripboard so I think I'm going to have to get a board printed.
Wolllah
Nice and simple circuit, measures the value from the FSR, reads the value of the alarm switch, enables the alarm when a signal is detected from the clock itself and then disables the alarm when I'm out of bed.



Comment

Comment

Light Switch Switch

Boards have been printed and drilled and populated; they look great :) finally got the RF modules delivered and just had a play with them.  I'm very impressed - for just £5 the range is incredible, easily 25m line of sight and they work about 10m through brick walls and the like.  You may be wondering what the stackable header are on the main board, well I'm waiting for the final part to come... 


Comment

Comment

Alarm Clock

I've had enough of waking up and switching off my alarm clock subconsciously; then waking up again half an hour later and having to rush out to school.  So I have purchased an FSR which I plan to mount under the mattress on my bed.  Then by adding a small circuit board and do a bit of fiddling I should be able to make the alarm clock switch off only when I'm out of bed.  However the surface mount board is making things tricky at the minute.

Comment

1 Comment

Light Switch Switch

With the wheel truer out of the way, I have moved onto my next project; a remote controlled light switch.   Inspired by seeing the super cheap RF modules on http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/ it just had to be done!  I have tried to make both circuits as small as possible, especially the one to the right which will drive the servo which flicks the switch.  I plan to mount this circuit inside another liqht switch and have it clamp to the one needed to be controlled using rare earth magnets.  to save space the boards share a programming port and you simply power on or off which ever board needs to be programmed.  Both ciruits also run of 9V batteries, using a 7805 voltage regulator; I chose to do this because 9V batteries are a lot smaller than the bunch of 1.5V batteries that would be required to power the circuit normally.  However this has led to a few power issues with batteries that aren't fully charged - the regulators then supply no power to the circuit.


1 Comment

Comment

4x4x4 RGB LED Cube

The LED cube!

Inspired by many videos on the internet I have set out on a quest to make my own, It has yet to be finished...

This is one of my first arduino based projects so I am still getting used to all the differences in the code.  The design has been largely copied from 

http://www.instructables.com/id/4x4x4-RGB-LED-Cube/

 however like some of my past projects I plan to program this myself.  It presents many challeges, although the complex tlc5940 ICs have a library in the arduino software there are still little bugs that I cant get around.  Although as I discover more about arduino I hope to solve theses issues such as clock speed; which I know shouldn't be an issue.  From the slightly over exposed picture below you can see all the RGB leds are lit; however all the colums are the same color - there is no multiplexing as yet.

Comment

Comment

Bike Wheel Truer

This was a project which took me through the whole of Yr 9 at electronics club.  I planned to design and make a device for aiding the truing of wheels.  The basic principle was that I would use a linear potentiometer to measure the wobbling of a wheel as it was spun in a jig.  Then a serial OLED display would feedback the data and LEDs would provide information on the adjustment required to each spoke.  The circuit I designed was good however did take up quite a lot of space for what it is; for example I dint even use the surface mounted PTM switches in the end.  The programming I am very pleased with, as it does the job well even though I was limited to space memory wise - the drawback to using one of the original PICAXE chips.  Serial commands take up a lot of memory which meant the OLED was an issue.  However luckily the OLED control board has EEPROM storage on board which allows 14 commands to be saved to its memory.  By doing this a lot of memory is saved with the serial commands.  When the circuitry was complete I set about designing and making the jig; i have made it so it can fit a wide range of different wheels and is easy to adjust by simply turning a bolt.  The red part of the circuit housing was printed from the CNC machine onto 3mm acrylic which gives the components a snug fit.  In the programming, the chip stores the value each time the PTM switch by the wheel is pressed; in the end an average is calculated and then guidance given for the adjustments that must be made to the wheel.  Initially i wanted to use a microswitch to trigger this every time a spoke passed but after much fiddling i could not find a way of getting it to work.  All in all I am very pleased with this project and I hope to put it to good use in the future.



Comment

Comment

RFID reader

Just had my birthday and with it cam enough money to purchase one of these from http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/.  The ID20 RFID reader and breakout board from sparkfun.  In past months I tried to hack a cheap RFID security device from ebay however was unsuccessful; however I have the documentation for this one which should help!

Comment