Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 30, 2014

µVolume USB Volume Control Project

at 7:55 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

µVolume USB Volume Control Project

 

This neat µVolume project by Rupert Hirst of RunAwayBrainz allows you to control your tunes with a nice big knob that uses a rotary encoder to get the user input. You can see the previous version in action below.

Via: Electronics Lab

“Features:

              Arduino Compatible (Atmel Atmega32u4)
              Manual volume adjustment using the rotary encoder
              (IR) Infra red  remote control of volume and multimedia controls.
              Apple remote or user defined
              Visual and audible Feedback
               RGB Lighting Customization’s”

 

 

 

µVolume USB Volume Control Project _2


July 28, 2014

Portable Device for Measuring Hydration and Body Fat

at 9:38 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks

 

 

Cornell ECE 5030 students Uma Mohan, Sarvesh Sukhatme and Priyanka Venkatesh have designed a Portable Device for Measuring Hydration and Body Fat. The project passes a small current through the body to measure the amount of hydration in the person. A 940 nm LED is used to detect the amount of fat the person has by shining it through a part of the body, the amount of light that passes through allows them to calculate the body fat of the person.

“We used a LM358 Opamp to make a voltage dependent constant current source. Setting the resistor connected to pin2 as 200 ohms sets the current as the (voltage magnitude/200) A.  The voltage source used was a square wave with magnitude 0.2V and frequency 2Hz.”

 


July 13, 2014

How to Quickly Trace PCB Tracks

at 7:07 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

 

If you are trying to troubleshoot a PCB you probably don’t have the schematic and can just guess where PCB traces go, if you try to follow them manually it can be tedious as you follow vias from one side of the board to the other just to loose the trace under a chip. Sure you can probe around to try to find where the trace goes but with any substantial sized board that can take forever. The technique demonstrated above uses a large finger tip size piece of aluminum foil to quickly dab around the board covering a dozen or more points at a press looking for a common pin. When an area has been found you then just need to probe around and see where the connection was. If the board you are working on is mainly through hole you are probably best off probing around on the rear of the board since items such as electrolytic caps won’t be testable from the component side. 

I have never seen this technique used before, I wonder if a wand type probe tip could be made that would work a bit better than the foil finger. I am imagining a tip that looks something like a brush that girls use to apply blush, if the puffy thin strands of the brush were conductive this might be the ideal tool.

Via: Electronics Foru

 


July 10, 2014

Android Thermostat

at 12:32 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Android_thermostat

 

Yesterday we looked at an entry level DIY thermostat project. If you want to go all in with processing power and features have a look at the Open Source Android Thermostat Project. It is based around the IOIO-OTG and uses the TMP36 temperature sensor. A small custom PCB is used to hold the handful of components that make the control side of things work and you simply connect up your Android device for an instant great looking screen with touch interface.

 “Android Thermostat is an open source thermostat project ideal for programmers and electronics hobbyists. As the name suggests the application runs on Android phone that is connected to some basic electronic components for controlling your home HVAC system.It costs around $140 to build and can be assembled in an afternoon.

It has several advantages over a traditional thermostat including the ability to easily create multiple schedules that are as simple or complex as you like, remote control access, monitoring of usage and easy updates over the internet. It’s API and open source nature means you can further customize the thermostat to perform additional functions. “

 

 

Android_thermostat_2

July 9, 2014

Arduino Thermostat Project

at 5:33 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Arduino Thermostat Project

 

If your thermostat just stopped working you could go to the store and purchase a new one but why not make your own. You can add any feature you like, want to control it from your smart phone? Add an ethernet module and go for it. Want to add schedules? Add a RTC and you can program timed temperature settings to your hearts content. Want to make sure the average temperature in your house is kept to a certain temperature? Add multiple sensors in various areas and average them together or add some dampers to control the air flow in various zones. Your imagination if the only limitation.

This Arduino Thermostat Project by Dylon124 is just the basics but from this starting place anything can be done.


July 1, 2014

Bauxite – Add Automatic Skating Sound Effects

at 10:47 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

bauxitenew

 

If you like skating have a look at this cool Automatic Skating Sound Effects project called Bauxite over at Skate Hack
Via: Make

“Bauxite is an open source portable skateboard box embedded with piezoelectric sensors, customized hardware and software and portable loudspeakers. As the skateboarders ride on the box, the piezoelectric sensors convert physical vibrations into triggers and generate a selection of pre-recorded sound-samples amplified through loudspeakers. Skateboarders interact with Bauxite through tricks and movements transforming an ordinary skateboard box into a skateboard-powered music sampler!”

 

June 19, 2014

Arduino tracks Near Space Launch

at 11:18 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_3

 

  send this box of electronics 124,000 feet in the air. The view sure looks great from that height! To track the balloon he used the Space Near Us tracking system, a custom PCB was created to keep the circuit as robust and compact as possible. 

“Radio – in the UK there are only a few narrow frequencies you can use from the air and even then you are only allowed 10mW. The NTX2 is one of the few viable options for radio modules.

GPS – layout of a GPS module can be difficult and ideally you would keep it away from everything else. I opted for a pre-made module that could be soldered above and off to the side from the main board. It’s important to note also that many GPSs don’t operate above 14km height. Ublox GPSs have a flight mode that does work. For any others you will need to do your research before you buy/use.

Microcontroller – the ATMega 328 is a great option because it can be programmed from the very easy Arduino IDE. It will also run on 3v3 but only a 8MHz. However that’s plenty of processing power for reading a GPS and running a low baud-rate radio.

Temperature – a temperature sensor provides interesting data but many are not rated down to the -50′C that we could encounter at the tropopause. The DS18B20 is a good option because they are pretty cheap and are rated to low temperatures. You can get “external” ones which are sealed in a stainless tube for added protection. We’ll use one board-mounted one and one external.

Pressure – there are not too many “absolute” pressure sensors that I have found. The Honeywell HSCDANN001BA2A3 supposedly goes down to “0″ mBar and in practice performed well down to 8mBar on the flight. Its i2c interface is pretty easy to handle. Honeywell make about a zillion variants but many are “relative” sensors – they measure the difference between a certain pressure and atmospheric. You need an “absolute” pressures sensor because it’s atmospheric pressure we are measuring.

SD card – you could potentially surface-mount your own SD card holder but that’s pretty fiddly and I didn’t have enough board area anyway. SD-card breakouts are cheap and easily available so I elected to solder one underneath the main board to be compact and easy. A lighter approach would be to solder wires to the pads of a micro-SD adaptor and use it as a socket for a micro-SD card.”

 

 

Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_2

 

Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_5

 

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