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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dog exerciser...

Another ongoing project, a dog exerciser!
My dog loves to chase a laser pointer and needs regular exercise.
Built from:
-Arduino (duo)
-Custom sheild
-3d printed bracket and laser housing
-Micro servo from here:
-Home brew laser driver:  2N222 with laser connected in collector (+to 5v) and base connected through a 1k resistor to Arduino pin. Emitter to ground.
Laser diode with driver: Could use a laser pointer, this was easier and more rugged than taking a pointer apart and adding wires. Specs say it draws 25ma max mine measured at 15ma.
Current Features:
-Set the min and maxsweep-angle 
-Start and stop the sweep
-Laser turns on when sweep start, stops when it ends.
-Controlled from serial console, 
-BT Android app for remote control
-Pluggable BT radio so that I can use one radio and paring for many devices.
-Algorithm to adjust speed that is dependent on the angle. Insures that the linear speed is constant.
-Alarm to sound when laser starts, unit boots and on error.
-3D printed enclosure.
-Convert to a smaller Arduino like trinket
-A switch that my dog can activate
-A timer
Hint: I found that it is pretty easy to make a custom shield by taking perf board (RS) and solder pin segments just into the sections that you need for connection to the Arduino. If you do this right the board cannot- be installed wrong. I hate things that are not keyed.
As you will note this board becomes the mother board for the Arduino that plugs into it.  I leave the copper facing up and solder the parts on that side with solder bridges and wires in place of lands. I like that you can see the parts and wiring from the top making probing easy.
The only time that this is a problem is if you need all four connectors because one connector is not ion the same grid as the others (why did they do that?). In that case I cut a slot in the board with a Dremel saw and superglue the pin segment in the right place, then solder directly to the pin.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Watering sensor fail...

My watering sensor failed when water got in the battery pack..duh!
This is a new design that is smaller with a  watertight battery pack and a smaller momentary switch.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

UP+ heater failure

A few weeks ago my printers platten heater failed to heat.
As you can see from the picture below the connection to the platen and heater was poorly crimped, creating a cold joint, high resistance and finally it opened with the heat.
I recently got a new part from the manufacturer under warranty, replaced it and my printer is now up and running just fine.
-Prints warping
-Platen not heating but the printer thinks it is. Temp on printer software never changes but no error from printer.

UP+ experimental spool holder

It seems to make better sense to me to put this spool above the printer rather than on the side.
This is an experimental spool holder above the printer holds multiple size spools also think it should be mounted on a hub with

Friday, March 21, 2014

Snake Pit

I often work on display and interaction projects for our local Aquarium. This one is a simulated snake sound as a reaction to someone putting their hand in a hole in a snake put that is fabricated in the wall of an exhibit.

The project is made from:
I used the tutorials provided for the wave shield as the base code for the project and added code to convert the sensor analog value to a threshold function that will play the snake sound when the sensor is interrupted inside a preset distance.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Moisture sensor

This is an inaugural post to help me get set up for more fun things to come.