I believe that kids (and not only kids) that have their hands on electronics, wanted at least once in their lives to make an electronic keylock system for their house or room. When i was a kid, i had bought a Smart Kit Keycode lock system, and i had adapted it on the external door of my house. But this door had already the automatic-release mechanism. I only had to find which wires actuate this mechanism and hook the relay of the kit in parallel to this.
Then, i discovered that making a key-code circuit, is simple, very simple. As a matter of fact, so simple, that i designed this very simple key-code circuit, similar to the one from smart-kit but much better (mine had automatic reset operation when wrong code was entered), which took me only a few hours to design. Not to mention the microcontrollers… But why don’t i have a keycode-lock for my apartment’s door? Simple because it is expensive and needs a great mod on the door or frame.
Servo-Actuated Door Keylock Hack with capacitance touch-pad – [Link]
Celebrating its second birthday this month, element14 has grown leaps and bounds, essentially becoming the Facebook for engineers. Over the last quarter alone, more than 500K people visited the online community, spending over 65K hours researching, collaborating and communicating with fellow engineers.
Driving element14 growth are creative strategies like:
- Celebrity Participation – OK, not Brad and Angelina, but geek alternatives like Ben and Jeri
- The industry’s first online design hub – the element14 knode – designed to help engineers accelerate design and development and bring products to market faster than ever before
- RoadTests – Allowing members to actually try out the latest new products for free and share their reviews with other engineers
- Focused sub-groups – scores of technical forums ranging from LEDs, robotics, FPGAs, engineering student design teams, etc.
These elements along with the community’s newest design offering – the element14 knode – make its birthday celebration that much sweeter. Beginning this week through July 28, new and current registered members will have the opportunity to win one of 214 special gifts by participating online.
Facebook for Engineers – element14 – Turns 2! – [Link]
The success of FlyPort WiFi module is due to the intuitive and easy programming essential software development environment thanks to the availability of APIs and functions already written and ready to be referenced in your code . The only bad thing is that you need to update the Framework to 4th version.
From the OpenPicus site you can, among other things, download a sample project that includes the use of Flyport as a web server through which you can monitor the status of analog and digital inputs, plus you can interact with the board enabling or disabling the 5 digital outputs. Looking at the html code, what we see now is that it is a stylish remake of a web server made available by the Microchip as example of what it can be implemented by adopting their TCP/IP stack, so nothing new to this point of view.
DIY Wi-Fi Open Source Web Server [FlyPort] – [Link]
Following the announcement here:
The Zigduino is a pin and code compatible OSHW Arduino variant based around the ATmega128RFA1. This gives it a number of useful features above and beyond a stock Arduino:
- Built-in 802.15.4 transceiver
- Hardware AES-256 encryption module
- 128K of flash
- 16K of RAM
Zigduinos for Sale – [Link]
We are not the first to make an Motor Shield for Arduino. But could be that we are the first that make a Motor Shield with a minimum of flexibility.
We reengineered the Motor Shield and we allow to user the choice of what pin use to drive the L298. Infact we provided some jumper to select the pin to use.
The main power can be selected by a jumper: if the motors work at 12V and the current is less than 1A you can chose the VIN input (INT) and power the Arduino with a 12V, else if the motors work higher than 12V you must chose the EXT input anche connect the power to PWR screw.
The main power is transferred to the analog input A5 through a voltage divider to reduce the voltage on A5. This can be useful e.g. for all the application that use a battery.
With the jumper DIRA and DIRB the user select the direction of the motor A and B.
The speed is controlled by PWMA and PWMB. All the pins conneted to these jumpers are obviously PWM pins.
The LD1 and LD2 are special leds that light on red or green in function of directions.
Motor Shield by Open-Electronics.org – [Link]
2 Watt Solar Panel Powers Bike Sharing @ Voltaic Systems – [via]
Social Bicycles released their revamped design for their bike sharing platform. It is a “GPS-enabled bike that you can find and unlock using your mobile phone.” What we like about it is that it enables companies, organizations and institutions of any size to easily create and manage their own bike share program. We think it also provides a great user experience.
The GPS locator and lock are powered by a battery system which is in turn powered by a dynamo and our 2 Watt solar panel. i.e. if the bike isn’t in motion for several days, the battery is going to stay powered up and transmitting its location.
2 Watt Solar Panel Powers Bike Sharing – [Link]
EDN always has fun hacky posts..this one could be handy for a DIY project that wants a bunch of LEDs controlled by a single pin…
Drive 16 LEDs with one I/O line – [Link]
Dual Boot LED Control, RGB to HEX Converter @ The Custom Geek…
OK, so a while ago I fell in live with these Nokia 5110/3310 LCD displays. They use a library from adafruit.com that you can find here. They are small, fast, and don’t gobble up a lot of current. So I needed a project to make so I could use one. The result? A massive overkill of an LED controler with all kinds of options and features.
So I was thinking about a RGB to HEX Color converter that I had made for the 2.8″ TFTLCD, and the fact that I might want to figure out values without erasing my sketch I’m working on. Although it’s nice to see the color displayed on the screen it will end up on, sometimes you just need a quick answer. Thanks to brookware2000 (in the Adafruit forums), there is a nice small program here that will do the trick. But it runs on Windows, and I’m kind of a Mac guy. The answer? Build one into my nifty little box that already has 8 buttons, an RGB LED, and a nice LCD screen! So here it is.
Download the code here. (Arduino 22 .pde file) This is a version of the code that just has the color converter, I’ll do a video sometime of how to do the dual boot/setup thing.
Dual Boot LED Control, RGB to HEX Converter – [Link]
Fiber optic cables: How they work – [via]
Bill uses a bucket of propylene glycol to show how a fiber optic cable works and how engineers send signal across oceans. You can learn more about the companion volume for series #4 at http://www.engineerguy.com/book/
Fiber optic cables: How they work – [Link]