This project got started with the culmination of several things seeing several cellphone hacks over the years on Hack A Day, owning a car with a remote starter, having an office that is too far away from the parking lot to use the normal key fob and the ultimate motivator… winter weather! Of course some people think you’re crazy when you want a feature that just isn’t “out of the box”. Those are not the kind of people I would be expecting to read this. I figured I would document my little project and hopefully you enjoy it.
Remote Starter Extender Project - [Link]
XBMC is a cross platform Media Center Application with 10-foot UI. In this project we develop USB port base controller for XBMC application. Main functionality of this controller unit is to provide remote control interface, LCD base player information panel and rotary encoder base controller for XBMC. With this given hardware design and software programs, user may be able to control XBMC without using standard input devices such as keyboard and mouse.
This device is design to work with XBMC Version 10.1 (codename Dharma) or newer versions. Older version of XBMC may not work this system because of the differences in its Web Control Interface. This system is design to work with XBMC – JSON RPC interface.
XBMC USB Controller - [Link]
These days, smartphones do just about everything, but what about opening your front door? On this week’s episode of element14’s “The Ben Heck Show,” Ben transforms everyday household products into time-saving and convenient solutions, including an automated door buzzer he controls from his smartphone. Ben also transforms a manual thermostat into an automated system that adjusts to pre-set temperatures at pre-programmed times. Check out the full episode at element14 when you have the chance, and see home automation at its finest.
In addition, show fans are invited to join the discussion online at element14 to engage with community members, submit project ideas for a future episode and enter for a chance to win one of Ben’s builds featured on the show, including his Xbox 360™ CD disc changer and portable 3D printer.
Modder master Ben Heck morphs his apartment into a “smart home” - [Link]
Alright, I think it’s about time for this silly article on plasma arc waste disposal to get knocked off the top of my site, don’t you? It’s just fluff, honestly. Filler. And I’m tired of looking at it. So how about a post on a real project for a change? Sound good? Great.
First though, a quick gripe. I hate waiting for parts to arrive. Specifically “last” parts. Like that final DigiKey order, or in my case, a shipment of PCBs from Advanced Circuits. You see, I now have everything I need to complete this really exciting new device I’m designing at work, except for the PCBs.
Garage door opener – [Link]
This project described a stereo audio amplifier using two LM386 ICs and a PIC microcontroller to control the volume of the two output speakers. The project uses a DS1868 digital potentiometer that creates a voltage divider network at the input stage of LM386 to control the fraction of signal fed to the amplifier. The potentiometer wiper position is varied digitally by the microcontroller based on the user inputs.
Digital volume control for a stereo audio amplifier – [Link]
Hot on the heels of my last hack (no pun intended), is my latest project, a PID (proportional – integral – derivative) controlled hotplate. The inspiration for this project came from this post on MightyOhm.com. I choose to build it because I wanted to increase my knowledge on PID controllers and also wanted to get into soldering surface mount components. I got lucky and got all of the components for this project for under $20. Check out after the break for the build details.
Homemade PID Controlled Hotplate - [Link]
I’ve been working on a rather large project for some time now and while my new h20 shield is just one piece of the larger project, I thought it deserved it’s own post and documentation. I can see this shield being quite useful for lots of folks wishing to control water using one of the fairly inexpensive Orbit 62035 garden hose valves.
A new way to control water – [Link]
I recently built a custom central heating / hot water control system. It has a web based scheduling / control interface (along with a physical interface), and features such as temporary/permanent override, schedule support for any combination of weekdays, or just a specific date for a one off event, and control support for Cisco 7960 phones (via Cisco XML browser).
Building A Web Accessible Heating / Hot Water Programmer – [Link]
If you’re looking for more control than the average shutter release cable, then you should check out this DIY Bluetooth shutter release from YouTuber Scott Wallace. Using an Arduino Uno, BlueSmirf Bluetooth transceiver, and some perfboard, Scott fashioned a device capable of accepting commands over the air from his Android handset. [via]
The camera I’m using is a Nikon D90, but this same controller would work on all Nikons that have the same shutter release/GPS port as the D90. Additionally, I’ve read about Canon and Sony DSLRs also having a wired shutter-release port that operates in the same way, you’d just have to find the pin-out of those ports and make your own connector .
On the Android side, right now I’m using SENA BTerm as the Bluetooth terminal. This isn’t a long term solution, but for now is a proof-of-concept that camera control from the phone is possible.
DIY Bluetooth Shutter Release – [Link]
One of the biggest hurdles for the mythTV community seems to be providing an IR receiver so that you can use your remote control with it. I had been using a serial ir receiver but decided to try building my own USB receiver. This is based on the work by Dick Streefland found here: http://www.xs4all.nl/~dicks/avr/usbtiny/
USB IR Receiver – [Link]