SteamPunk Factory Comes To Life With An Arduino

It is one thing to make an artistic steampunk display. But [CapeGeek] added an Arduino to make the display come alive. The display has plenty of tubes and wires. The pressure gauge dominates the display, but there are lots of other interesting bits. Check it out in the video below.

From the creator:

The back-story is a fictional factory that cycles through a multistage process. It starts up with lights and sounds starting in a small tube in one corner, the needle on a big gauge starts rising, then a larger tube at the top lights up in different colors. Finally, the tall, glass reactor vessel lights up to start cooking some process. All this time, as the sequence progresses, it is accompanied by factory motor sounds and bubbling processes. Finally, a loud glass break noise hints that the process has come to a catastrophic end! Then the sequence starts reversing, with lights sequentially shutting down, the needle jumps around randomly, then decreases, finally, all lights are off, indicating the factory shutting down.

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A Better Battery Arduino

We’ve seen [Johan]’s AA-battery-sized Arduino/battery crossover before, but soon (we hope!) there will be a new version with more MIPS in the same unique form factor! The original Aarduino adhered to classic Arduino part choices and was designed to run as the third “cell” in a 3 cell battery holder to relay temperature readings via a HopeRF RFM69CW. But as [Johan] noticed, it turns out that ARM development tools are cheap now. In some cases very cheap and very open source. So why not update an outstanding design to something with a little more horsepower?

The Aarduino Zero uses the same big PTH battery terminals and follows the same pattern as the original design; the user sticks it in a battery holder for power and it uses an RFM69CW for wireless communication. But now the core is an STM32L052, a neat low power Cortex-M0+ with a little EEPROM onboard. [Johan] has also added a medium size serial flash to facilitate offline data logging or OTA firmware update. Plus there’s a slick new test fixture to go along with it all.

So how do you get one? Well… that’s the rub. It looks like when this was originally posted at the end of 2017 [Johan] was planning to launch a Crowd Supply campaign that hasn’t quite materialized yet. Until that launches the software sources for the Zero are available, and there are always the sources from the original Aarduino to check out.