Solar-powered Weather Station Knows Which Way The Wind Blows

Bob Dylan may not have needed a weatherman to tell him when the wind blows, but the rest of us rely on weather forecasts. These, in turn, rely on data from weather stations, and [Vlad] decided that his old weather station was in need of an upgrade.

His station, which uploads live data to the Weather Underground, needed to be solar-powered, weather-proof and easy to install. He seems to have succeed admirably with this upgrade, which is built around an ATmega328 and the 433 MHz link from the old station. As part of the upgrade, he built a 3D-printed enclosure and installed all-new sensors on a home-made PCB that are more accurate than the old ones.

He looked into upgrading the wireless leg to WiFi, but found that the school’s WiFi had a login page that he couldn’t get around. So he re-used the old 433 MHz radio and connected the other end of the link to an old laptop on the wired network. Good enough, we say. Now how about a snazzy display to go along with it?

A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]

[Chris] has been hard at work building his own version of Simon called [Nomis]. Although [HAD] has featured an ATiny Simon clone before, the article does an excellent job explaining how the system works.

The ATTiny85 is used to control this game, which, for now is laid out on a simple breadboard. A PCB version of this game has been ordered from [Seeed], so be sure to check back to see the results of this forthcoming upgrade. It’s really cool that this kind of small scale manufacturing is available to the masses.

A parts list is provided as well as a code overview and schematic. To see it in action, check out the video after the break. There’s an explanation at the beginning, but skip to 1:55 if you’d rather just see the machine in action. The game can reportedly run until a 100 “move” limit is reached. This was arbitrary, but it should be enough for most people! Continue reading “A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]”

Simple robot knows its bounds

table_top_bot

The [Dallas Personal Robotics Group] recently put together a set of tutorials for their members, including the build process of a table-top robot, they call the Tiny Wanderer. The bot can be constructed pretty easily, and is meant as an introduction to robot building.

The small servo-driven bot uses simple edge sensors to ensure that it doesn’t fall off a raised surface. The sensors were built using a small IR LED and photo transistor, which is partially isolated from the LED by a piece of shrink tubing. An ATiny micro-controller takes two measurements of the amount of IR light entering the photo transistor – one with the LED on, the other with the LED off. The difference of these measurements is compared to determine if the edge sensors are hanging off the side of the table. The logic used here is pretty simple – the difference will be high if the sensors are hovering over a surface, due to reflected light, and low if the sensors are hanging over open space.

The writeup contains templates for building the bot’s structure, as well as source code and schematics for all of the electronic bits.

Be sure to stick around to see a video of the robot in action.

Continue reading “Simple robot knows its bounds”