Building your own replacement refrigerator thermostat

refrigerator_thermostat_repair

[Ron’s] refrigerator broke shortly after he came home from his weekly grocery trip, and since this was his second dead fridge in three years, he wanted to fix it rather than buy a new one…again. It turns out that the thermostat was toast, and a replacement would cost him $80. That was well more than he was willing to pay, but his groceries were starting to get warm, so he had to do something.

Being the tinkerer he is, he figured he could rig up his own thermostat that would work at least as well as the one that died on him. He scavenged an ATmega328 from a failed project, and after digging around online, put together the most barebones Arduino setup he could find. The microcontroller is tucked away in the back of the refrigerator where the old thermostat used to live, and takes input from a TMP36 temperature sensor, triggering a relay to start the refrigerator’s compressor whenever the the temp goes above 4°C.

[Ron] says his fix is just about the “worst kludge ever”, but as he saved $80 in parts and $150 in labor, we’re inclined to think it’s a job well done.

Effortlessly troll your friends each time they reach for a snack

trolling_your_friends_abusive_refrigerator

If you’re trying to lose some weight, [Grissini] has got the just the thing you need!

He recently tweaked his refrigerator to throw out insults each time its opened, though not for his own physical well-being. While we imagine that an abusive refrigerator would help curb your appetite for late night snacks, [Grissini] makes no bones about the fact that he simply wants to effortlessly and automatically troll his roommates.

The device is pretty simple, consisting of an Arduino and an Adafruit wave shield stuffed inside a styrofoam coffee cup. A photocell is used to detect when the refrigerator door has been opened, triggering the Arduino to play a sound bite from the on-board SD card. [Grissini] even spent a good chunk of time working with a text to speech engine in order to create a customized list of insults that point out his friends’ idiosyncrasies – what a guy!

Continue reading to see his abusive fridge in action, and be sure to check out his Instructableto learn how to make your own.

[Read more...]

iTalkman Refrigerated Franken-phone

italkman_frankenphone

[Jani] over at MetkuMods was commissioned to build a prize for an on-air contest held by MTV3 in Finland. Well known for some of his previous work, he was a natural choice for this project. The only stipulation for the build was that it contain three specific items: a Mobira mobile phone, an Apple iPhone, and a refrigerator. For those of you who don’t know, a Mobira Talkman is an old-school “mobile” phone built by Nokia in the 80’s that weighed in at 11 pounds, and was far from convenient to use. In this case however, the size of the phone is an advantage since he was able to gut it and use the frame to make up the body of the refrigerated compartment. He sacrificed a soft-side portable heater/cooler bag, removing the built-in peltier cooler and associated components, later grafting them onto his Talkman case.

The next task was to add the iPhone to the Talkman. Rather than have the old handset sit there uselessly, [Jani] decided to mount a small Bluetooth hands-free module inside the handset, allowing it to answer calls, adjust the volume, and change music tracks on the iPhone. The iPhone was put in a hard plastic case, then mounted to the Talkman handset where the keypad and display used to reside.

All in all, the iTalkman is a pretty cool looking device, though we wouldn’t want to be tasked with lugging that thing around all day!

Replacement refrigerator controller

[Michael] got his hands on a refrigerator that he intended to store beer in but found that it ran constantly. Instead of buying a new thermostat he and his friend [Doug] set out to build an Arduino-based controller for the fridge.

The finished project will switch 240v so they’ve used a transformer to power the logic circuitry and a solid state relay to handle the load switching, with a Dallas 1820 for temperature data. Because the Arduino offers more capabilities than the average thermostat hack they also decided to tap into its potential by adding an Ethernet shield. We see the Arduino as a prototyping device and so do these folks. Once the bugs in their first PCB prototype are worked out the circuit will use the ATmega328 and do away with the Arduino.

[via @littlebirdceo]

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