Shower Occupancy Sensor Keeps Peace/Eliminates Odor at the Office

When the first two prototype ingredients listed are paperclips and Post-it notes you know it’s going to be good. The problem: one shower stall at work with numerous co-workers who bike to the office. The solution: a occupancy monitor that is smart enough to know that someone is actually in the room. You know what we’re talking about, a sensor that knows more than whether the door is open or closed. [James] got wise and built a sensor to monitor whether the door is bolted or not. We think this method is far superior to motion-based systems.

This uber-smart sensor is simply a pair of paperclips anchored on a rolled Post-it note substrate and shoved in the receiver on the door jamb. When the bolt is locked from the inside it pushes the paperclips together completing the simple circuit. This is monitored by a Spark Core but will work with just about any monitoring system you can devise. What we’re trying to figure out is how to ruggedize the paper-clip hack which we can’t think will perform well for very long. It looks like there’s room to bore out a bit more inside the receiver hole. Perhaps leaf switch with a 3D printed mounting bracket?

Oh, and kudos on the Ikea food storage container for the enclosure. That’s one of our favorite tricks for hacks which are installed for the long-run.

Basic IKEA Wall Light Turned Smart and Colorful!

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[Daniel Grießhaber] just finished his latest electronics project and we love it. He’s taken a cheap IKEA wall/ceiling light and completely revamped it with RGB LEDs and intelligent control!

The light he used is called the LOCK, and is a mere 1.79€ or about $4 USD. It has lots of room inside and a nice frosted glass dish which results in some excellent color diffusion. He’s designed a nice big circular PCB to mount inside off of the original mounting points. To do this, he used Eagle software to create the circuit and his trusty desktop CNC to mill out the pattern.

To control the lights he used an old ATMega8 board he had lying around, with the Arduino IDE and WS2812 Library. He’s outlined all the parts, diagrams and program sketches you’ll need to make your own over on GitHub.

Unfortunately the LEDs aren’t quite as bright as he hoped so it can’t be used to replace a regular room light — instead he plans on turning this project into sunrise timing light in one of the bedrooms — still pretty cool!

Koch Lamp is 3D Printed with a Twist

Koch Lamp

[repkid] didn’t set out to build a lamp, but that’s what he ended up with, and what a lamp he built. If the above-pictured shapes look familiar, it’s because you can’t visit Thingiverse without tripping over one of several designs, all based on a fractal better known as the Koch snowflake. Typically, however, these models are intended as vases, but [repkid] saw an opportunity to bring a couple of them together as a housing for his lighting fixture.

Tinkering with an old IKEA dioder wasn’t enough of a challenge, so [repkid] fired up his 3D printer and churned out three smaller Koch vases to serve as “bulbs” for the lamp. Inside, he affixed each LED strip to a laser-cut acrylic housing with clear tape. The three bulbs attach around a wooden base, which also holds a larger, central Koch print at its center. The base also contains a PICAXE 14M2 controller to run the dioder while collecting input from an attached wireless receiver. The final component is a custom control box—comprised of both 3D-printed and laser-cut parts—to provide a 3-dial remote. A simple spin communicates the red, green, and blue values through another PICAXE controller to the transmitter. Swing by his site for a detailed build log and an assortment of progress pictures.

 

MacGyver Made IKEA Camera Slider

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It’s not hard to drastically increase the production value in your videos by adding a camera slide to your shot — in fact, [Derek] shows us how to make a decent camera slide using parts from IKEA for less than $30.

The hack makes use of a cutting board, glider and hook accessories, a triple curtain rail, and two ceiling fixtures. The ceiling fixtures are simply used to make a mount for the curtain rail to rest on. [Derek] shows us an easy way to make the carriage with some careful drilled holes in the cutting board — he’s added a 3D printed tripod head for mounting the camera, but really you can use whatever you want.

It’s a pretty simple and easy to build rig, and the results are quite impressive — just check out the following video to see!

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IKEA LED Table Mod Doesn’t LACK Awesome

Some people look at IKEA LACK tables as cheap furniture. Our readers look at them as a blank canvas. [Klaas] has turned a LACK Side table into an interactive LED table featuring 144 RGB LEDs. After attending a class on WS2801 pixel strings at his student IEEE chapter, [Klaas] was inspired to design something of his own. He settled on an IKEA LACK table and started sketching. He didn’t actually have a table on hand, so he had to deduce the size from the website images and dimensions. He calculated a usable size of around 45cm, which was pretty close to the mark. After running a few tests, [Klaas] determined that a 12×12 grid of squares 35mm on a side would provide that enough resolution to play simple games. The 35mm x 35mm grid would also be small enough for the LEDS to illuminate. He used a laser cutter to cut the an interlocking grid from 3mm MDF. A base plate with 144 12mm LED holes was also cut out, and the entire assembly was glued together.

For illumination, [Klaas] settled on WS2812B LEDs, as they were cheaper than their WS2801 couterparts. The WS2812B’s also snapped easily into his 12mm holes. At this point [Klaas] actually purchased his IKEA table and proceeded to cut a huge hole in it. The grid glued right in, and some aluminum L-profile cleaned up the top edge. Driving all those LEDs would need a bit of processing power, [Klaas] chose a Teensy 3, and the well-known OctoWS2811 library. He also added a USB host shield, which allowed him to use an Xbox 360 USB game pad as his controller. For software, he created a simple Tetris clone, and ported snake from the Arduino game shield. A menu and some scrolling text ties everything together. The only thing left to add is a glass top. [Klaas] hasn’t settled on clear or diffuse glass yet. We a suggest clear to avoid hiding any details of this great build.

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Build your own metal detector

[Dzl] and his rather serious looking son are metal detector enthusiasts. But when they couldn’t find their store-bought metal detector earlier this summer they just went ahead and built their own. [Dzl] starts his write up with an explanation of how most oscillator based metal detectors work. This one differs by using an Arduino to read from the metal detecting coil.

The circuit starts with an oscillator that produces a signal of about 160 kHz which is constantly measured by the Arduino. When metal enters the coil it alters the frequency, which is immediately picked up the Arduino. Instead of that characteristic rising tone this rig uses a Piezo buzzer, issuing the type of clicks you’d normally associate with a Geiger counter.

The last part of the build was to find the best coil orientation. They settled on thirty turns around a metal bucket. An old Ikea lamp is the perfect form factor to host their hardware which seems to work like a charm.

Wall wart computer mouse

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This rather bulky looking wall wart is actually a computer mouse. Sure, it may cause your hand to cramp horribly if used for any length of time. But some would say it’s worth that for the hipster value of the thing.

The rather odd shape is somewhat explained by the fact that this was sourced from Ikea. After gutting the transformer found inside the plastic case he had plenty of room to work with. He drilled a hole so that the sensor from a Logitech USB optical mouse can pick up the movement of the mouse. He also got pretty creative when it came to the buttons. The two prongs of the wall plug pivot horizontally to affect the momentary press switches inside.

After the break you can see a quick demo of the project. [Alec] doesn’t consider it to be complete. He wants to make a couple of improvements which include adding weight to make it feel more like the original wall wart, and finding a way to hide the hole he drilled for the sensor.

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