Friday, December 28, 2012

What Fun for the Holidays! Arduino Style!!

So for Christmas I received a ladyada's electronics bento box from and some awesome parts for my Arduino and random projects. After getting some pink LEDs (no I did not ask for pink) I have been tasked with building a nightlight for my oldest daughter. The final project will be on a protoboard and will be under some fabric in the shape of a flower. I was working on building it with an Uno but realized I could more simply build a circuit that would turn on in the dark with a transistor and a few spare parts. You can see from the pic below the final circuit is fairly simple.Here is a picture of the light and the 5V regulator circuit I made. This is where the first prototype was made the second version is in use in my daughters room. I will try to get a picture of it soon.

I also got a range sensor and have created a reactive color changing light. The light changes what colors it cycles between and the speed at which it changes based on how far away people are from it. I have included pictures below. I will post the code when I have it all worked out and running how I want it to. All in all I have to say it has been a fun Christmas and a good year I now have some good tools and parts and great plans for my little Arduino.

The light circuit

The distance sensor

All the parts together in the bento (please excuse the messy corner of my desk)

Monday, November 5, 2012

November fun and the Arduino Uno

So now that it has been another month I thought it its time to give an update. So Halloween was my youngest daughters first birthday and now I am getting all excited about the holiday again. I just started with arduino uno and reworked the guts of a weird pumpkin thing we bought a few years back. I have also started planning for something awesome for next year. I thought about looking at these for a while but thought they were really pricey, then I found out they had them local at Micro Center for $19.99 (now $17.99). I picked up the starter kit and have had so much fun playing with the thing.

For Christmas I am also working on a project to make Christmas tree lights do stuff to music. This project is a merger of a few others I have found on the web. The project that started me thinking about getting one of these was posted a year or so back on slashdot and can be found here.  One of the other plans I am using to start my Christmas tree plan off is this one. I think I am going to start with a 4 channel relay so I only have 4 strands on the tree at a time but we will see.
After getting back into this stuff I remember how fun circuitry is and am looking forward to making all sorts of stuff. Once I have one of my projects finalized and off the breadboard I will post how I did it with pictures/videos. For now I can't do much more until I get a soldering iron again. I am thankful that I didn't get rid of my fluke over the last several years.

As I mentioned before my blog is going to be more tech focused and it looks like that move is more hardware than anyone would have thought. So pictures videos and diagrams are going to be coming in the not so distant future.

If you want to know more about arduino check out their site at also check out my new favorite online store There are also some great instructions all over the internet and a lot to see at in the arduino section.