Knockoff game controller makes a fine remote shutter release

remote-shutter-release

[Duncan Murdock] received a Canon DSLR camera for Christmas and wanted a remote shutter release to go along with it. Since nary a store was open on Christmas, he was pretty much out of luck. Scrounging around in his parts drawer, he found all sorts of goodies waiting to be reused, including a knockoff Wii nunchuck.

He pulled the original cable from the nunchuck and replaced it with an old telephone wire, attaching a 2.5mm plug to the end. The plug goes directly into his camera’s control port, allowing him to trigger the auto focus and shutter mechanisms with the push of a button.

We like the idea of a junk controller being recycled for use in a camera, though we think it has far more potential than being used as a simple wired trigger. If both the nunchuck and camera were fitted with some sort of wireless interface (Bluetooth, IR, etc), we think it would make a great addition to any hobby photographer’s kit.

Wireless rover has two guns…one for each of ya

texas_ranger_airsoft_rover

We never really get bored with remote-controlled rovers around here, especially when they involve reusing some old hardware as well as lasers. [Tycoon] wrote in to share his creation, which he has dubbed “Texas Ranger”.

Texas Ranger is built around an old Linksys WRT54GL router, which provides the rover’s WiFi connectivity as well as the serial interface through which everything else is controlled. The rover features a pair of PIC microcontrollers, which handle all of the servo control as well as telemetry calculations.

An onboard camera gives the operator a driver’s seat view of the action, allowing for precise control of the vehicle. Laser triangulation is used to help measure object distance, and a pair of airsoft pellet guns straddle the camera for whenever [Tycoon] feels like making his presence known. One feature we are especially fond of is the pair of Wii nunchucks which the rover uses to monitor its position. Always aware of its operating angle, it auto-adjusts the camera to compensate for uneven surfaces, guaranteeing that [Tycoon] doesn’t have to tilt his head to see straight.

Keep reading to see a quick demo video he shot of Texas Ranger in action.

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Nokia LCD, nunchuck, and MSP430 join forces

[JB's] driving a Nokia 6100 LCD using an MSP430 with input from a Wii Nunchuck. He’s using the G2211 microprocessor that came with the Launchpad, and developing his code with MSP-GCC. As you can see in the video after the break, this works but there’s some room for improvement. That’s being said, he is bumping up against the code memory limit, with just around 500 bytes left to work with. The LCD screen is SPI and currently it’s hogging the pins that are used for the hardware i2c. Since he needs an i2c bus to talk to the nunchuck he had to go with software i2c which explains part of his program memory troubles.

We’re in no way experts on this, but it seems like he could save space (and improve the input responsiveness) by rewriting his LCD drivers in order to remap the pins. Then again, it might just be better to move up to a larger MSP430. If you’ve got some advice, make sure to share it by leaving a comment.

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Evalbot nunchuck control

[Martin] got his evalbot recently and wanted to try controlling it with his Wii nunchuck. After some trial and error, he finally got it working. He’s shown that controlling the bot with the nunchuck was actually pretty simple, but there are some other tips that could be pretty helpful in the process. One was the fact that the point where he’s taking power for the nunchuck could easily be shorted on the motor. He wrapped his in tape, but we could see this little bug pestering us for a while before we figured out what it was.  You can download his code and see his build process on his site. Be sure to catch the video of it working in both accelerometer and joystick mode after the break.

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Halloween Prop: Mario Bros. with full sound effects

Creativity abounds in putting together this pair of Super Mario Bros. costumes. [Rob] and his wife didn’t stop with a well-assembled troupe of familiar wardrobe items, but decided to go for authentic sound effects as well. It started by finding a few of his favorite Mario sounds on the Internet. From there he grabbed a greeting card that allows you to record several message. He recorded each of the sounds and removed the electronics from the card. From there an Arduino mini was connected to the playback buttons and to a Wii nunchuck. After the break you can see that when the kids press a button, the card plays back the sound of jumping, shooting fireballs, etc. So far it’s the best use of an audio greeting card that we think eclipses its intended use.

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LEGO host for all of your prototyping projects

[Deadbird] decided to use a LEGO 8880 Super Car as a host for all of his electronic tinkering. Throughout his blog (translated) you’ll find the vehicle with an Arduino MEGA interfacing various prototyping bits. It starts with the motors for locomotion, closely followed by a servo for steering. From there we see the addition of a breadboard and graphic LCD screen. So far he’s worked out the use of a PS2 keyboard as a controller and, most recently he’s interfaced a Wii Nunchuck.

We’re more used to seeing NXT kits adapted for wider use, but if you’ve got a nice kit like this one it makes a great base onto which you can add your own robotic elements.

Arduino iPod library work continues

[David Findlay] has been hard at work on his Arduino iPod remote library and is now showing off some Wii Nunchuck control in the video after the break. When we looked in on his work in September he was using a Staples Easy Button to control the iPod. Now he’s added all of the functionality for iPod simple remote mode, and most of the advanced mode.

Advanced mode works well with his iPod Photo but the iPhone just returns errors. We know that Apple uses some tricks to keep unauthorized accessories out, so we hope that [David] finds a way to sniff out the necessary accessory protocols from an approved model.

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