Some think that grinding the beans and filling the coffee maker is part of the coffee-drinking ritual, but [Jamie] isn’t one of them. Instead, he’s been working to make this coffeemaker a web-enabled device. He built it as part of a class project, and has implemented most of what you need to make a cup of Joe automatically.
You can see a small pump attached to the back of the coffee maker. It sucks water from a pitcher (slightly visible to the left of the coffee maker) to fill the reservoir. He experimented with a couple of different water level sensing solutions. His most recent is a PCB with several traces of different length. As those traces are covered by water, a voltage can be read via ADC to establish water level.
He’s using an Arduino and Ethernet shield to add connectivity for the device. The problem is that there aren’t enough ADC pins left on the Arduino to read the water level sensor. Because of this, he added a self-build shield that uses a PIC to do the ADC measurements and push digital data across to the Arduino. A bit complicated, and it doesn’t load the grounds automatically (yet?). But that’s not to say we don’t appreciate complicated coffee hacks.
Are you feeling a little MacGyver-ish and have access to a film camera? Perhaps you want to try developing your pictures using coffee and vitamin C instead of a traditional developing solution. [Danish Puthan Valiyandi] does a great job of walking us through the steps he took, including precise measurements, temperatures, and timings involved in achieving great results. This is probably not for the first-timers, as he does use special equipment associated with traditional developing methods.
The process uses a couple of easily obtainable materials: instant coffee, vitamin C powder, and washing soda (sodium carbonate). Once the roll of film has been exposed, it’s put onto a jig for developing (Danish does this with the lights on to make the video after the break worth watching, but you’ll need to do it in the dark). Once nestled inside of the development container, he mixes up a batch of his diy developer and agitates according to a times schedule. When the development is finished, a chemical fixer–no diy alternative used here–is added to set the film. Dry out the strips and use a scanner to digitize your work. We’re surprised by the quality of the finished product, but we shouldn’t be… he certainly knows what he’s doing.
Continue reading “Can you develop film with coffee and vitamin C?”
Disposable coffee maker
[Sepehr] didn’t have a coffee maker, and the local coffee shops were all out of joe. He got his fix by making a drip coffee maker out of disposable cups and knives.
Flexible braille display
Thin film technology is being developed to help the visually impaired. This flexible OLED display has embedded muscle cells which create a braille display. [Thanks Aaron]
Printable iPhone tripod mount
Looking to make those iPhone videos a little more stable, and the pictures a little less blurry? Try out this printable tripod mount that [Chris] came up with.
Arduino macro photos
Speaking of photographs, [Daniel] wrote in to share some macro pictures he took of an Arduino. They’re sure to be of interest to those readers who love everything Arduino.
Carpeting a mouse
Add a unique texture to your mouse by covering part of the body with fabric. The lower half of the mouse case above is covered in a carpet-like material [translated]. [Thanks Clicker]
[John Park] over at Make posted a short story about coming home from vacation to find his espresso machine non-functional. After beating his head against the wall for a while he joined a forum and posted a video. As has happened so many times, another user had seen this exact issue and was able to send him in the right direction.
We realize that this is just a simple capacitor replacement, though we understand his frustration, the original looks perfectly fine. The point here, is that there is usually someone out there on a forum that has experience with whatever your problem is. So don’t waste any time, go join the most awesome forum on the planet and get hacking!
[Arthur Benemann] has the worst part of making coffee licked. His add-on for a drip coffee maker fills the water to the proper levels for you, saving the drudgery of rinsing out the carafe, carefully filling it to the appropriate level, then pouring it into the machine without getting everything wet. This isn’t limited to a full pot, but is user selectable by the cup based on how many times in a row you hit that red button. One LED gives feedback on the selected mode, then the device uses a washing machine water valve to turn on the tap for the appropriate amount of time. We’re a little bit leery of connecting homebrew hardware to the water pipes in our house. Make sure you’ve done a good job of debugging so that an infinite loop doesn’t flood you out.
A fresh pot of coffee is never more than a tweet away with the Tweet-a-Pot. It works in much the same way that our Troll Sniffing Rat does. For that build we used a Python script to monitor our comments, and this does the same except that the script read tweets through the Twitter API. It watches for a specific hash tag (#driptwit) and when found it sends a serial command to an Arduino. The microcontroller then writes a digital pin high to actuate a relay, powering up the coffee maker.
Sure, you have to preload the pot with grounds and water, but what do you expect, automatic coffee roasting and brewing? That’s quite a bit more work.
There are already a lot of different ways to brew up a decent coffee at home, from the humble saucepan to the elegant vacuum flask. In an office environment the choice of coffee-making technique can have a major impact on workplace harmony—how can people be expected to work happily when the kitchen is filthy with grounds and the coffee is always stale? “Someone have mercy,” [Christian Finger] lamented, “and boil a pot of fresh.”
In the end he took extreme measures, building a machine that grinds whole beans, measures out a dose, brews a cup and self-cleans. He used all sorts of odds and ends to put the thing together, detailed in his long and hilarious build log (english translation—and check out the dude’s sweet ride). Refer to his shockwave animation for a summary of the intended operation.
The end result is an extremely impressive Goldbergian contraption—download the video from the build log. It is pretty noisy and probably energy- and water-hungry, but that wouldn’t stop us from using it every day, if given the chance. Hell, this here could form a major part of your next breakfast machine.
We’re sure that there is further potential in this, because to get the really freshest possible cup of coffee you’d want to roast the coffee beans just before grinding them. Then you’d be well on your way towards something else entirely: a delicious breakfast machine.