Archive | February 2013

Moppyduino – the Arduino-based FDD music player

 In response to yesterday’s article about the music-playing switching valve we bring you Rupert Hirst’s “Moppyduino” project. This is a device that can control six floppy disk drives in order to create some credible music. Furthermore it has been built using a custom PCB containing a bare Arduino-compatible circuit. Even if you’re not interested in music the process of making a PCB at home has been included which is interesting reading in itself. In the following video you can see this process and the results of the player:

 

For more information visit Rupert’s website. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

 

 

If you’re wanting to reproduce the project above – we’ve got you covered with our new ATmega328P MCUs with Arduino Uno bootloader:

This is the same Atmel AVR ATmega328P microcontroller used in the official Arduino Uno, as well as our ElevenEtherTenUSBDroid, and other boards. Perfect for building your own Arduino-compatible project directly on a breadboard or on a custom PCB, or for replacing the MCU in an existing board. Comes with the Arduino Uno bootloader pre-installed. Better still, it even has a special label stuck on top with details of the pinout, so you don’t even need to look up the datasheet when connecting it up in your project! For more information and to order, click here!

Updated – Code::Blocks IDE Arduino Edition

Fans of the Code::Blocks open-source IDE or those of you looking for a more featured IDE will appreciate the updates to the latest version. Arduino integration has been included from having a project wizard that can import various libraries, run sketches through an API Arduino simulator, and also an inbuilt Arduino sketch uploader for a seamless experience. 

So if you’re looking for an IDE that can be used across all platforms and devleopment boards – Code::Blocks is a worthwhile contender. And it’s free – so check it out. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you’re new to Arduino, the first step is a solid board for your projects – our Freetronics Eleven – the Arduino-Uno compatible with low-profile USB socket, onboard prototyping space and easy to view LEDs:

Internet radio with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Each development platform has its’ own strengths and weaknesses, however synergy can be found when two platforms work together for a common goal. The following example demonstrates neatly how an Arduino board and LCD can work together with a Raspberry Pi to create an Internet-radio. The RPi receives the streaming audio, plays it through an external speaker – and displays relevant data on the LCD. It’s relatively simple and it works, for example:

 

Another interesting example of Raspberry Pi and Arduino working together. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

Want to make your own Arduino-controlled project, but not sure how to start? Then the best way to learn is with out new Experimenter’s Kit for Arduino:

The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit. However we don’t leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words – this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects! 

So to get started or for more information and to order, check out the product page.

DIY Valentines Day illuminated heart

Although Valentines Day is a long way ahead of us, it never hurts to start preparing early. The next project embodies that spirit – a motion-controlled LED-illuminated heart decoration that’s sure to show you care. Based around a small Arduino-compatible board it uses a simple passive infra-red motion detector that triggers the Arduino to turn on the LEDs for a period of time. With a little more work it would be possible to create a variety of visual effects to impress.

 

 

To get started on your own version, visit the project page. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

If you’re looking to make more creative designs with LEDs, consider the Freetronics RGBLED: full colour module. It includes a bright RGB LED on the top of the board and a WS2801 constant-current, addressable, multi-channel LED driver on the back. This smart module can be daisy-chained, so you can connect a number of these together in a string and drive each of the module colours individually from your microcontroller. For more information and to order, visit the product page.

DIY wireless remote for cable-release shutter cameras

Arduino enthusiast Andy has a camera with an older-style cable shutter release, and created a unique method of wireless remote control for the camera. By using a servo to pull and push the shutter release cable, and then controlling the servo via an Arduino-compatible circuit the mechanics of the remote were solved. And for wireless remote – a cheap RF remote control was hacked to control the Arduino. It’s simple and it works – well done Andy

Click here for more information, notes and the Arduino sketch. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

Want to make your own Arduino-controlled project, but not sure how to start? Then the best way to learn is with out new Experimenter’s Kit for Arduino:

The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit. However we don’t leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words – this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects! 

So to get started or for more information and to order, check out the product page.

Measure temperature and humidity with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi enthusiast Mark Wolfe was looking for a simple method of locally measuring both temperature and humidity, and found the answer with his RPi and our HUMID: module. As the module contains all the required circuitry, Mark simply had to connect power and data lines to the board and load the appropriate software. After building the library it was successful and we look forward to Mark’s exploration with the module. 

For more information and complete instructions, visit Mark’s website. And we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you’re looking for a sensor to measure temperature and humidity – check out our HUMID: humidity and temperature sensor module. Designed around the DHT22 sensor, it only requires one digital pin and power – and is easy to use with out Quick Start guide. With a temperature range of -4°C to +125°C with +/-0.5°C accuracy, and humidity at 0-100% with 2-5% accuracy you’re ready to measure. For more information and to order, click here

DIY remote-control indoor blimp with Arduino

If you can get your hands on an indoor blimp inflated with helium, then the next step is to add a propulsion system and remote control, and an example of this has been documented by Instructables member “masynmachien”. By creating large fins that are controlled by micro servos, and putting one on each side of blimp – it can “swim” through the air at a sedate pace. Plus with the servos being controlled by a bare Arduino-compatible circuit it was easy to add remote-control via infra-red. At first it sounded a little far-fetched, but it works – for example:

 

That’s incredible – and you can do it to by following the instructions from here. And for more, we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you’re making your own blimp or other Arduino-based project and don’t want to banish an entire board – instead get yourself an ATmega328 preloaded with the Arduino bootloader:

This is the same Atmel AVR ATmega328P microcontroller used in the official Arduino Uno, as well as our ElevenEtherTenUSBDroid, and other boards. Perfect for building your own Arduino-compatible project directly on a breadboard or on a custom PCB, or for replacing the MCU in an existing board. For more information to order, click here