I finally got round playing with my AVRASP v2.0 boards. The ones Sleepwalker3 mentioned. Thanks mate!
I bought three USBASP v2.0 on ebay for under £1.50 each. They each came with a short cable (5×2 sockets at each end). However, they do not come with the JP2 header soldered on. Solder it or you won’t be able to re-flash the on-board ATmega8 chip. JP3 on the other hand has been deprecated. It may still have some use in your own projects. You decide!
Then download some software (this is for Windows): To use the USBASP programmer with the Arduino IDE, you will need to download the driver, latest firmware and WinAVR-20100110-install.
Using a USBASP v2.0 as a cheap ATmega8 Arduino platform - [Link]
This Arduino Nano controlled solar battery charger can charge a standard lead acid 12V battery and runs with 90% efficiency under 70ᵒC (158ᵒF). The circuit can take up to 24V input from the solar panels. The maximum power point tracking is implemented in the circuit by measuring the output voltage and current from the solar panel to get the maximum possible power from it.
Solar battery charge controller - [Link]
Meter clock: keeping “current” time. Read more about the clock:
I’ve seen a few meter clocks in my travels of the web, and I love the idea. A few days ago, I decided that I must have one of my own. Such began the “How to do it” pondering cycle. I had seen builds where the face plate of the meter is replaced. This works, but I wanted to try and find a way to do it without modifying the meter, if possible. After some more ponderation, I came up with what I think is a serviceable idea.
I came across this style of milliamp meter on Amazon. They’re not quite 0-60 mA, but the 0-100 mA (a 0-20mA meter for the hours) is close enough. And they were cheap. So yay.
Part of my requirements were that the clock run off of an Arduino Pro Mini I had lying around, and with minimal additional parts. In order to drive the meters with some degree of precision, I would use the PWM pins to vary the effective voltage across a resistor in series with the meter. This would, by the grace of Ohm’s Law, induce a current that, based on the PWM duty cycle, would be scaled in such a way as to move the needle on the meter to the corresponding hour, minute, or second.
One minor issue came up in the form of the max current the GPIO pins on the ATMega328 chip can source/sink. The pins can source/sink a maximum of 40mA, a bit far from the 60mA needed for the minutes and seconds meters. Enter the transistor.
Using a simple NPN transistor switch circuit, I was able to provide the current for the minute and second meters from the 5V supply. The PWM signals switch the respective transistors on and off, effectively varying the voltage across the resistors in series with the meters.
The resistor between 5V and the meter is actually 2 1/4 watt 100 Ohm resistors in parallel for an effective resistance of 50 Ohms. The two in parallel was necessary as 5V x 0.06A = 0.3W (more than 0.25 that a single 1/4W resistor can handle safely).
Meter clock: keeping “current” time - [Link]
by drmpf @ instructables.com:
The first instructable shows you how to use the free pfodDesigner available on GooglePlay to design Android menus to switch Ardunio outputs on and off from your Android mobile, without you having to write any program code at all. The Fish Tank picture above shows the example designed in this instructable.
The example project shown here is suitable for complete beginners. This instructable does not require any soldering and No coding experience is required.
Once you have finished this instructable you will be able to design whatever menus you need to switch Arduino outputs on and off. When you have completed the second instructable (to be posted later) you will be able to switch real things on and off from your Android mobile, via relays connected to Arduino’s digital outputs.
Code generator for custom Android/Arduino menus - [Link]
Brett’s new masterclock is Arduino-controlled and keeps very accurate time by periodically synchronizing with the DCF77 “Atomic” Clock in Mainflingen near Frankfurt, Germany. The DCF77 library for Arduino is used to decode the time signal broadcasted from the atomic clock. The time is displayed as hours, minutes, and seconds on six 1″ seven segment LEDs. A 4×20 I2C LCD display is also used in the project to display additional info such as display brightness, sync information, signal quality, auto tune’d frequency, auto tuned quartz accuracy, etc. Both the displays are auto-dimmed based on the surrounding light intensity using an LDR sensor and pulse width modulation technique. His clock also includes a bluetooth link for updating the Arduino firmware from a PC without an USB cable.
Very accurate master clock synchronized to the DCF77 time signal - [Link]
by Kathy Yang @ elecfreaks.com:
We could often feel frustrated when programming using the Arduino IDE. Why? Not because of how many errors we encounter in the program, but it is so difficult to find out the errors in source code, which is really something freaking out. For example Arduino IDE does not seem to display the number of rows, the prompt window can show us in which line the error occurs, but we just have no ideas where the line it is. If you can double click to find exact position of that line, then we will not care about which line it is: line 1 or line 10. But that just hasn’t happened. What’s worse, it cannot change the display font, which reads clumsy or neither too small or unclear enough, as a consequence, seriously affecting the efficiency of our programming. So I wanted to transfer to another editor and the new editor had better be able to take the place of the Arduino IDE completely. Then I found the Sublime Text 2. Here take a look at the overall interface of it.
Use Sublime Text 2 to Replace Arduino IDE - [Link]
By Dave LeClair @ gizmag.com
For tinkerers and people who love programming complicated projects, devices like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino are amazing, but for those without technical knowledge, they can be a terrifying proposition. A new device called Verve 2 aims to bring the functionality of these devices to the masses without the need for programming skills.
The crux of a lot of cool projects you see developed using Arduino is the device itself, along with some connected sensors. From there, someone with electronics and programming knowledge writes the code that tells the system what to do when the sensors detect something. The general idea for Verve 2 is the same, except it doesn’t require the programming step.
Verve 2 is like Arduino for people without programming skills - [Link]
This nicely-built quiz game buzzer system is Arduino-based and captures the fastest player or “first to respond” out of four players.
A good friend of mine who’s a teacher was doing quizzes in her class making students compete to answer questions… resulting in them complaining they raised their hands before the others. I decided to give her this quiz show type buzzer for Christmas to solve her problems. When one of the players press it’s button (the fastest player wins this), the led of the right colour lights up saying he’s in control… and no other buttons from the other players work, until the master of the game decides if the answer is good or not by pressing a little button on the main unit, giving a point or not to the player in control.
Arduino quiz show buzzer - [Link]
by jschrempp @ instructables.com:
Back in January 2014 I was at a meetup of Baby Boomer Makers at TechShop in San Carlos, California. We were going around the table, each taking a turn to talk about projects we’d like to do. Bob spoke up to describe a problem his elderly mother was having – she couldn’t remember to take her medicines on time every day. Each week Bob found that his mother had either forgotten to take her pills one day, or she had run out too soon because she had double-dosed. Both these problems are frightening. Bob is a retired electrical engineer and said to the group, “I have an idea for a device to help elderly people keep on their medicine schedule. I can make the electronics, but I don’t have a way to make a case for the project.”
The Pill Reminder - [Link]
Infrared remote control for home appliances is a popular project among hobbyists and students. Smart Outlet is a similar project that provides an infrared controlled AC outlet to connect any electric appliance and has an integrated timer in it. The appliance can be turned on and off from several feet away using an IR remote. The device is Arduino-controlled and has a LCD display to provide a menu based interface to the user for its operation and settings.
Infra-red controlled smart AC outlet - [Link]