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]
This is a picaxe-controlled LCD thermostat. The cheap heating pad I bought didn’t have any sort of temperature control and I couldn’t find a cheap thermostat online that would do what I wanted : easy push-button controls and a simple LCD to show temperature info. Of course it could be used for things other than brewing beer, for example as a pet bed heater, aquarium heater, etc. The temperature sensor works from -55 to +127 degrees celsius.
Home Brew Heater Controller – [Link]
It’s fairly easy to program a replacement keyless entry remote. Even better, what if you have two vehicles the same make, can they use the same remote? Absolutely! Also when the battery goes bad remotes may require to be re paired with the vehicle.
Programming a Replacement Keyless Entry Remote – [Link]
Armandas has posted his masters project. [via]
The design is based around a PIC18F66K22 microcontroller. The board has a switching power supply supporting an input voltages of up to 34V, five thermocouple channels, HD44780 LCD interface, a battery backed RTC and a microSD card slot.
The control unit interfaces with an electrical system (designed by my colleague) to control solenoid valves, motors and heating elements.
The programming was done in C and there is support for all the hardware except the RTC and microSD card.
Biofuel reactor control board - [Link]
Turn off the Heater behind Me… [via]
Ed Nauman had a bad habit of leaving his workshop at night without turning off the heater. His wife would get up in the morning and find – to her consternation – the workshop was plenty toasty. In the interest of keeping peace in his household, Ed decided to create a gadget that would save the energy spent through forgetfulness. He knew he could buy an off-the-shelf solution, but as he says, “Where’s the fun in that?” Instead, Ed turned to the world of thermostats and microcontrollers.
Turn off the Heater behind Me – [Link]
Smartphone garage door opener: [via]
The tuxgraphics garage door opener is not limited to just one type of smartphone. It does not require the installation of an app. It works with any phone that has a web browser built-in. This garage door opener can be used from an iPhone, from an Android phone or any data capable phone. It does not even have to be a smartphone.
Smartphone garage door opener – [Link]