Archive for the ‘Machine Hacks’ Category

FireHero To Warm You Up In Winter

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Some time ago [Chris] was daydreaming in class about who knows what [...]

Then I thought of the game Guitar Hero, which uses five frets, and I had my idea! Simply interface a Guitar Hero controller to a microcontroller that would power some relays which would in turn fire off solenoid valves on five individual fire poofers! Now this could be cool; a large fire “sculpture” that is playable by anybody. Read on to see how I turned this idea into reality in a week’s time!

He managed to interface GuitarHero to arduino reading this article from Bill Porter’s website. The idea of controlling fire was inspired by this project on Mikey Sklar’s website.

via [FireHero]

Arduino As A Remote Shutter Release For RICOH Cameras

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Yet another arduino-based camera trigger, posted from [tObY!].

Some time ago I bought a RICOH GR III camera. Since I didn’t want to pay the amount for the CA-1 remote, I did a little research how this thing works. Soon I came up with Muttyan’s home page. This gives a detailed description of the CA-1′s internals and how it works. Good job, there you’ll find everything you need!

Basically a button half press, a full press and a release are signaled with three different patterns to the camera via its USB connection. No “real” USB protocol is used, just pulsing the USB +5V supply line. Emulating these pulses is an easy job with an Arduino board, so I did a quick proof of concept.

via [], electronics know-how of RICOH cameras [Mattyan]

Seg..Stick – A Stick-Controlled, Arduino-Based Segway

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

[scolton] made a nice self-balaced vehicle based on two DeWalt cordless drills and an Arduino Nano:

Segstick is a self-balancing…well, literally some kind of broomstick I found in the MITERS workshop. It is powered direct by two DeWalt cordless drills chucked to two 6″ wheels. The controller is an Arduino. Additional supporting devices include an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) from Sparkfun and two motor drivers from Pololu .

see the compete how-to on [Instructables]

BMW Instrument Cluster on PC via USB application Arduino MEGA board

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Here one of the more realistic car interfaces I’ve ever seen. But let’s start from what [hrsim] posted some time ago:

Browsing around the www, I came across this simple, easy to use development board, which seemed just right for my project. As I’ve said in an earlier post, I want to reduce my efforts as much as possible, so this Arduino MEGA board was just what I was looking for, as it is built around a powerful enough microcontroller, the ATMega1280, it exposes all I/O pins (analog, digital, PWM etc), and has a simple, open-source programming language, as well as a pretty bare IDE which also allows you to upload the software via USB.

The blog is an amazing worklog of a big physical game interface. Some tips about the programming side:

Both the Arduino and the PC side software are now updated to process the speed and RPM signals coming from Live For Speed.

What’s interesting, is that the Arduino (ATMega1280) being single-theaded, I had to write all the code in one function. So, there is only one thread which reads data from the serial port, and as soon as a complete package is received, it updates the control lights and speed / RPM signals.
The speedometer and rev counter are fed with clock signals, whose frequencies vary according to the speed / RPM to be displayed on the dial (the actual speed and RPM sensors on the real car read their values from the rotating wheels/engine crankshaft, thus sending clock-like signals to the instrument cluster). These signals are generated by means of two dedicated timers, also implemented in the same single thread.

some more videos.

via [microcontroller] source [hrsim]

Arduino-controlled diesel powered firewood processor

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Over the last few years, my machining mentor Rick has been constructing a diesel powered firewood processor from scratch.The machine is capable of cutting and splitting a cord of wood per hour through precision orchestration of hydraulics and internal combustion. After a few design iterations, all of the mechanical components are bullitproof.

a step by step explanation of a simple yet time-saving process fullfilled by an Arduino and a lot of work.

Shared by Michael and “machining mentor” Rick for the rest of the world

more info after the break.