Automated pH Control

pH Controller

Controlling the pH level of a solution is usually a tedious task. Adding an acid or base to the solution will change the pH, but manually monitoring the levels and adding the correct amount isn’t fun. [Reza] rigged up an automated pH controller to keep a solution’s pH steady.

The build uses an Arduino with a LCD shield, screw terminal shields, and [Reza]‘s own pH shield attached. A peristaltic pump is used to pump the pH down acid into the solution. This type of pump isolates the fluid from the pump parts, preventing contamination of the solution. The pump is controlled using a PowerSwitch Tail, allowing the Arduino to control the flow of fluid.

An Omega pH probe is used to read the pH level. [Reza]‘s open source firmware has support for calibrating the probe to ensure accurate readings. Once it’s set up, the screen displays the pH level and the current state of the system. The pump is enabled when the pH rises out of the desired range.

After the break, check out a video walk through of the device.

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Tickle-Me-Elmo… Frozen In Carbonite

elmo-in-carboniteWe at [HAD] love any hack that combines children’s toys with science-fiction technology, so seeing a Tickle-Me-Elmo “frozen” in [Carbonite] is a definite win in our book. It’s also a great argument for joining your local Hackerspace, or just getting together with some like-minded friends. This idea came out of an impromptu brain-storming, or “talking about crazy ideas session” at the [Baltimore Node] hackerspace.

Fortunately [Todd] had access to all the tools necessary to make this “crazy idea” a reality. A [Shopbot] was used to cut out the box, and the side panels were 3D printed with help from these files on Thingiverse. For processing, an [ATtiny85] programmed using an Arduino was used to power this project.

There’s no mention of whether [Todd] would be willing to part with his creation, however, we would guess that there would be no bargaining with him. He’s not going to give up his favorite decoration easily.

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An industrial RepRap


It may just be another 3D printer, but [Jonas] and [Simon]‘s Kühling & Kühling RepRap Industrial is a cross between a work of art and a beautiful machine tool. It also looks to be a pretty nice 3D printer, to boot.

The Kühling RepRap is built out of 20mm t-slot aluminum with plastic sides that keep the machine’s internals at a toasty 70° C, just about the optimal temperature for making large, complex prints. The machine has two extruders with all the cables tucked away in 3D printed cable carriers. One really interesting bit of innovation is the tool less belt t tensioning system.

On the list of upcoming features, [Jonas] and [Simon] say they want to add a touch screen controller powered by a Raspberry Pi, and a controller that’s even more capable than RAMPS electronics boards. No word on how much a Kühling & Kühling RepRap will cost, but like any quality-looking tool, we don’t expect it to be cheap.

WeMo without a smartphone


[Matt Galisa] decided to try his hand at setting up the Belkin WeMo outlet without using a Smartphone app. The hardware is a pass-through for mains voltage which allows you to switch the plug over the network. It has a built-in WiFi module which normally connects to your home network. But the first time that you power it up it announces its own SSID designed for an iOS (and recently Android Beta) app to connect to in order to enter your AP credentials.

He started with this Python script used for WeMo hacking. It was originally meant to issue commands to the outlet once it had passed the initial setup. [Matt] followed along but couldn’t get an answer on the port he expected. It turns out that the device listens on a different port until the initial setup is complete (probably so that you don’t mess up other outlets on the network that are already working correctly). His next challenge was to manually set the WPA credentials. This never really worked and he ended up using a virtual AP without password protection through DD-WRT. From there he was able to set up a Python script to turn on, off, and toggle the state of the outlet.

If you’re looking to dig deeper into the device’s security check out this project.

Watching 50 teams build something cool

Last summer, we here at Hackaday participated in the Red Bull Creation Contest. Basically, twelve teams were given webcams and instructions to build something cool. The teams live streamed their build process, and the best of the bunch won a trip to the New York Maker Faire. [Jason Naumoff], the guy behind this build-off is doing it again right now. It’s called The Deconstruction and it pits 50 teams on 6 continents to build something cool while streaming their project to the Internet.

The Deconstruction is a little bit different from Red Bull’s contest – first, the teams don’t have access to ludicrous amounts of energy drinks. Secondly, there’s no set theme for the group entries. It’s a free-for-all build off where teams can make anything they’d like.

We’ve really got to hand it to [Jason] for pulling this off. He MC’d the Red Bull Creation Contest live stream – nearly all 72 hours of it – and was entertaining right up to the very end. You can check out the official stream on the main Deconstruction site, or you can check out the individual team streams here.