Growing algae with an Arduino

algae_grow

We’ve seen automated grow boxes of all shapes and sizes, but all were for growing plants. [Jared] over at Inventgeek wanted to do something similar for his algae. He started off with an Arduino-based solution that allows the controlled pulse of LEDs connected to his standard bioreactor as a prototype. Once he determined his proof of concept worked, he began work on a design based on the Arduino Pro Mini that has more advanced features such as temperature monitoring and algae culture density monitoring via some fancy IR voodoo. The code is open source and the hardware is easily obtainable, all that remains is the desire to grow algae.

How to build your own lathe

diy_lathe

[bongodrummer] wanted to use a lathe to make some gifts for his family. Instead of buying one, he decided to make one and recycle some parts in the process. More info after the break. [Read more...]

Pickle lighting for fun and profit

2oct09_mitpickle (Custom)

The fantastic people at MIT have taken it upon themselves to explain how an OLED works. Their visual aide in this explanation is an electrocuted pickle. This helps describe how OLEDs are actually constructed from organic material.  Many of you probably already know how they work, but for those who don’t this video will clear up any questions you might have. Even if you do know how OLEDs work, you may learn something too. We hadn’t realized how amazingly thin the displays are.

[via Engadget]

Halloween prop: portable black light

blacklight

[Joshua] wrote in to show us this great Halloween tip. He wanted to take his 4 foot long black light along with him on Halloween. You can buy portable versions, but he realized he had enough parts laying around to slap together a portable one himself. He pulled the inverter from a scanner light and wired it up to a couple of 9 volt batteries. Knowing he would probably need a fresh set during the night, he actually wired in some extras with a switch to control which was powering the unit. We know this isn’t the best solution, but you could probably toss this together in just a few minutes.

Arduino DMX controller

Arduino_DMX

This Arduino powered DMX controller came along at just the right time. We had shown you a project earlier that involved the DMX system and several commenters remarked on the price to get into DMX hardware. If you happen to have an Arduino around, you can build a DMX controller. He found a schematic for a DMX driver, and built some custom code to control it all. You can download his code on the project site.

Clock knock block full of puns

clock_knock_block

This Clock Knock Block has a bit of everything; milling, Arduino, sensing, solenoids, and plenty of dirty puns. Just knock on the box or on the table right next to it and the time of day will be played back to you in a series of crisp, clean knocks. A big part of the fun here is that the box is a musical instrument.

If you take a look inside you’ll find an Arduino, a piezo sensor, a solenoid, and a nine-volt battery. The piezo sensor detects your knocking as an input. It can even listen to and repeat back a series of your knocks. The Arduino actuates the solenoid, which strikes the wooden enclosure, producing the knocking sound.

We’ve embedded a video of this useless machine after the break (that’s where all the puns are). One note for your own build; this box is made out of mahogany and because it is used as a resonance chamber, this may not work as well if it isn’t milled from a piece of quality lumber. [Read more...]

SMD LED matrix

3573544803_03000843fc

Everyone loves a good LED matrix hack, and we’ve seen our fair share, but never a 16 by 24 hand soldered SMD one. [bear24rw] and his team needed a project reflecting the interests of one of his classes, being an EE major, an LED matrix was just the ticket. Based on this instructable, he was able to cobble together a driver board; the code however was unacceptable, and he came up with a double buffer array solution. You can grab the eagle file and source code here, while you’re at it check out a quick video after the break.

[Read more...]

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