HID Crafting With A PIC And A Joystick

[Amr Bekhit] converted his gameport joystick to use as a USB joystick. Much like a universal USB joystick interface, this uses an additional microcontroller to talk to the serial bus while monitoring the controls on the stick. [Amr’s] discussion about creating HID descriptors is clear and easy to understand. What he’s laid out can be translated to any custom HID your heart desires. Give it a try with that old peripheral that’s been gathering dust in the corner.

Easy Data Input For LabVIEW

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cKBdn4uHyY%5D

Props go to [Michael Nash] for establishing an interface between National Instrument’s labVIEW and an Arduino (an example video using a potentiometer is above). Personally, from the one time we were forced to use labVIEW, we hated every second of it.

One reason it’s so terrible, is the Data Acquisition Modules cost well into the hundreds of dollars, yet the documentation and help resources are very scarce. By using an Arduino instead of the modules, the price and difficulty decrease a considerable amount. Which begs the question why has it taken so long to get a decent (and so simple) of a setup working?

PartKAM Produces CAM Related Files Online

PartKAM is a Flash-based CAM production package created by [Jack Qiao]. There are a ton of computer aided manufacturing suites out there, this one is simple and requires nothing more than having your browser open. We played with it for a few moments and found it useful but still a bit buggy. Most notably, it lacks a ‘undo’ option. That being said, you can export as SVG or gCode for use when you just need to hammer out a few parts with that CNC mill you threw together.

Six Digit LED Clock

Got a bag of LEDs handy? Why not build a display with them? We’ve seen a lot of clocks that make use of LED modules but soldering your own is a fun pastime. [Vadim Suhovatih] did just that using 130 LEDs to build this clock. Each segment of the 7-segment digits consists of three LEDs in parallel which are switched by some 2N4401 transistors. An ATmega328 in the form of an Arduino controls the device with the aid of a DS1307 real-time clock for timekeeping and a 4017 decade counter to assist with scanning the display. Check out the demo after the break.

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LEGO Printer Built Without NXT parts


[Squirrelfantasy] built a printer using LEGO pieces. It’s not a Mindstorm project but instead depends on some type of development board and some auxiliary components on a protoboard. We couldn’t get a good enough look to tell exactly what makes up the electronics so start the debate in the comments. We feel this is a printer and not a plotter because the stylus moves on just one plane while the paper feeds past it but that’s open for debate as well.

Guess this answers the question of why aren’t we building our own printers? Some folks are.

[Thanks Haxorflex and many others, via DVICE]

HDSPs And Playstation 2 Controllers On Arduinos

There were a couple short Arduino tips in the mailbox this morning. We’ve combined them in this post since both are fairly short and sweet.

Over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, they’ve posted a quick breakdown of how to interface those neat little HDSP LED displays with an Arduino. This specific instance is for Mr. Stabby. Source code and schematic are included.

For those who would like a nice familiar input device for their Arduino, how about a Playstation2 controller? [Bill Porter] has written up the code and shown how to wire it up. This even includes the ability to read the analog stick correctly. Source code and schematic are available on the project page.

[via Littlebird electronics]

RC Car Taunts Man’s Best Friend

[Arkos] gutted an RC car from his childhood and made it into a dog-taunting remote platform. An Arduino replaces the original circuitry with a Bluetooth module for connectivity. He uses an Xbox 360 controller and has added a small speaker to act as a siren. But for our money it’s the camera that makes this hack. It streams video back to a laptop and because it’s mounted on a couple of servos the left stick controls where the lens is looking. The next evolution should replace the Arduino for a standalone microcontroller but what he’s come up with as a first prototype is delightful. See Fido run in terror after the break.

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