Sometimes too much overkill isn’t enough. [Jesus Echavarria] hacked an IKEA Lampan light for his daughter to add color LEDs, a timer, Bluetooth control over the hue, and a local override knob. The result: a $5 lamp with at least $50 of added awesomeness. Let’s have a look at the latter.
The whole lamp system is based around a PIC microcontroller and WS2811 LEDs for the color light show. Since the lamp was already built to run a 40W lightbulb, and [Jesus] wanted to retain that functionality, he added an SSR to the build. Yeah, it’s rated for 5,000W, but it’s what he had on hand.
Next comes the low-voltage power supply. [Jesus] needed 5V for the PIC, and used the guts from a cheap USB charger as a quick and dirty 5V converter — a nice hack. To power the HC-05 Bluetooth module, which requires 3.3V, he wired up a low-dropout voltage regulator to the 5V line. A level-converter IC (74LVC07) gets the logic voltage levels straight between the two.
A fuse for the high-voltage power line, screw-terminal connectors all around, and a potentiometer for manual override round out the hardware build.
On the software side, [Jesus] set up the knob to turn on and off the built-in lamp as well as control the colors of the LED ring. That’s a nice touch for when his daughter wants to change the lamp’s color, but doesn’t want to go find her cellphone. But when she does, the SPP Pro app sets the colors by sending pre-programmed serial commands over Bluetooth to the PIC in the lamp.
All in all, a nice build, well-documented, and with enough rough edges that none of you out there can say it’s not a hack. Nice job [Jesus]! We can’t wait to see what he does next… robot lamp anyone?
If this Internet of Things thing is gonna leave the launchpad, it will need the help of practical and semi-practical project ideas for smartifying everyday items. Part of getting those projects off the ground is overcoming the language barrier between humans that want to easily prototype complex ideas and hardware that wants specific instructions. A company called Things on Internet [TOI] has created a system called VIPER to easily program any Spark Core, UDOO or Arduino Due with Python by creating a virtual machine on the board.
The suite includes a shield, an IDE, and the app. By modifying a simple goose neck IKEA lamp, [TOI] demonstrates VIPER (Viper Is Python Embedded in Realtime). They opened the lamp and added an 24-LED Adafruit NeoPixel ring, which can be controlled remotely by smartphone using the VIPER app. To demonstrate the capacitive sensing capabilities of the VIPER shield, they lined the head of the lamp with foil. This code example will change the NeoPixels to a random color each time the button is pressed in the app.
Check out the lamp demonstration after the break and stay for the RC car.
Continue reading “IoT Chameleon Lamp Does It with Python”
[Daniel] and his coworker [Chris] were interested in the concept of standing desks — unfortunately, the company wasn’t about to buy them a new desk to test it out — so they decided to modify the tables themselves!
The IKEA tables they are using have three adjustable legs — just not that adjustable for standing. The challenge was to modify these tables in such a way that it can easily be reversed — they didn’t want the facilities department to get mad at them! Originally they wanted to use steel legs for structural stability, but discovered they’d have to do quite a bit of modification to the steel tubing with tools they didn’t have. So they chose PVC instead.
[Chris] had remembered seeing a hack here on heating up PVC pipe to make it malleable — try as we might we weren’t able to find what he was referring to, but a quick search on YouTube brings up lots of tutorials on how to do it.
Continue reading “Clever Use of PVC to Make a Standing Desk at Work”