Don’t Tase Me, Keeb!

Okay, so this doesn’t really use a taser — that’s just click bait and we apologize. An actual taser would be a terrible way to train yourself to be a better typist, because depending on where you choose to deliver the shock, you could damage your typing nerves pretty quickly with a few milliamps at 50,000 volts.

Instead of a taser, [nobody6502] got a pack of prank gum off of Amazon that delivers a much more doable shock that is painful enough to get the user to type more carefully. [nobody6502] set up a simple no-pain, no-train website that presents random English words one at a time and checks for typos against an open-source list of nearly half a million entries. Misspell a word, and a get a relay-driven shock from the gum circuit.

The main brain of this pain trainer is a Particle Argon board which has I/O pins that can be controlled from the web. When the website detects a typo, it sends a signal to the Argon, which turns on a relay that activates the shock mechanism. What’s most impressive is that [nobody6502] doesn’t have a full-blown computer and programmed everything on an iPad. Check out the build video after the break.

Are you a hunt and peck typist? There’s a negative reinforcement keyboard for that.

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Home Brewing Rig Gets A Particle Upgrade

Home brewing is a pastime that can be as much an art or a science as you make it, depending on your predilections. [Brandon Satrom] is one who leans very much towards the science side. There’s plenty that can be done to monitor and control a brew, and [Brandon] is one of many who have built custom hardware to help get the best possible results. Now, that hardware was due for an upgrade.

[Brandon]’s original BrewBuddy system relied on the Particle Photon, a useful platform that was nonetheless getting on in years. With the launch of the new Particle Argon, [Brandon] set his sights on new features that were possible with the added horsepower available. Graphics were added to the LCD screen, and a piezo sensor to detect the start of the fermentation process. This is in addition to the original temperature monitoring and plotting features of the first build.

The upgrade from one microcontroller platform to another can be fraught with headaches, but in this case, only minor changes were needed. 3 lines of code were changed to account for different pin assignments, and the rest fell neatly into place. It’s a testament to the compatibility of the Particle platforms that this upgrade was so easy.

We’ve talked about the 3rd generation Particle boards before, and we expect to see them turning up in many more builds to come. Video after the break.

[Thanks to dcschelt for the tip!]

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