I need someone to explain this to me.

LED Dog Collar

LEDs make everything better, right? What about your dog? [Ken] tries it out on one of his frisky dogs who loves to run whenever she gets out with a LED dog collar. It’s an off the shelf dog collar sporting 5 blue LEDs, and is powered by an attiny2313 micro controller, which makes adding / changing light sequences quick, easy, and also allows for future upgrades. Small PCB’s are made and to help keep minor amounts of the wild from frying. the electronics parts are encased in hot glue, and the whole thing is powered by 3 AAA batteries.

While it’s an early test of the device, and there is more to come, like an automatic trigger as [Sunshine] bolts for the door, but it seems like a great help while chasing after a runaway dog in the dark.

Join us after the break for a quick video.

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NESBot video game automation

nesbot

If you happen to enjoy video games, but don’t actually like playing them, boy do we have the hack for you! [pjgat09] shows us how, armed with an Arduino, you can force a Nintendo to play games by itself, not unlike an old-time player piano. The hack involves programming an Arduino to accept commands mapped out in “movies”, which are actually scripted sets of button presses that one would perform while playing a game. These sorts of scripts are available from TASVideo, a community specializing in “tool assisted” speed runs of video games. These movies are typically used with emulators, so there are some adjustments that need to be made in order to make them work with a console, since the button presses are mapped to each frame that is drawn on the screen. While we are not sure quite how useful this hack is, it is a pretty novel concept. You can see video of the 5-minute SMB speed run after the jump.

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Launchpad serial Morse code transmitter

LaunchPad-Serial-Morse-Transmitter

LaunchPad dev boards from Texas Instruments are cheap and easy to program, making them a great Arduino alternative if you can do without some of the bells and whistles. [ech0s] put his to good use by constructing a Morse code transmitter with dual operating modes. The transmitter can not only encode and transmit messages entered in a terminal client, it also allows the user to send messages by manually operating the key switch. Inspired by the high altitude balloon transmitter we featured last summer, this project uses similar components for signal amplification and transmission. Text can be entered in a Putty terminal window, which then is encoded into Morse by the MCU before transmission. At the moment, the speed of the radio transmission is about 15 WPM, which is reasonably quick. Even though his system performs quite well [ech0s] has some improvements planned, including having a proper PCB built as well as some software tweaks to improve buffering and bandwidth. Be sure to check out his video of the transmitter in action after the jump.

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