UV sensing amulet

Tiny Talisman Warns Wearer About UV Exposure

Given how important our Sun is, our ancestors can be forgiven for seeing it as a god. And even now that we know what it actually is and how it works, it’s not much of a reach to think that the Sun pours forth evil spirits that can visit disease and death on those who bask too long in its rays. So an amulet of protection against the evil UV rays is a totally reasonable project, right?

As is often the case with [mitxela]’s projects, especially the more bedazzled ones, this one is approximately equal parts electronics and fine metalworking. The bulk of the video below focuses on the metalwork, which is pretty fascinating stuff. The case for the amulet was made from brass and sized to fit a CR2032 coin cell. The back of the amulet is threaded to act as a battery cover, and some fancy lathe work was needed there. The case was also electroplated in gold to prevent tarnishing, and lends a nice look when paired up with the black solder mask of the PCB.

On the electronics side, [mitxela] took pains to keep battery drain as low as possible and to make the best use of the available space, choosing an ATtiny84 to support a TTP223 capacitive sensing chip and a VEML6075 UV sensor. The touch sensor allows the wearer to wake the amulet and cycles through UV modes, which [mitxela] learned were not exactly what the sensor datasheet said they were. This required a few software hacks, but in the end, the amulet does a decent job of reporting the UV index and looks fantastic while doing it.

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Mice with capactive sensors instead of buttons. Designed for people with low mobility.

Capacitive Mouse Built For A Friend Makes For A Touching Tale

Those tiny switches inside your mouse may be rated for 50 million clicks or more, but your fingers will likely wear out much sooner than that. Trust us — mouse arm and/or hand fatigue is no fun at all. If you’ve never had the displeasure, just try to imagine not being able to click or move the mouse around without extreme discomfort.

TTP223 touch sensor modules and the modifications necessary for this project.For this year’s Hackaday Prize, [BinSun] hacked together a capacitive mouse for a friend who has ALS. Instead of micro switches, it uses touch sensors to detect left and right clicks and LEDs to indicate when a click has taken place. That makes us think that haptic feedback could be cool, but it might get old quickly, or even worse, you might get used to it after a while and not feel it anymore.

This mouse would be a good alternative for anyone with limited mobility from any condition — ALS, arthritis, trigger finger, or carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome. It would also benefit anyone who wants to mouse much more stealthily, like in a library, a small shared space, or late at night. The only downside we can see is that you’d either have to get used to hovering your fingers, or else learn to rest them out of the way of the capacitive buttons. Otherwise, you’re gonna actuate them more often than you really want to.

If you want to build one of these, you’ll find a nice set of instructions over on IO that includes the minor modifications necessary to make the TTP223 capacitive modules sensitive enough to detect the presence of a finger. All you really have to do is bridge a couple of pads, add a capacitor and remove the SMD LEDs. [Bin Sun] says this is an ongoing project. He’s gotten a handful of beta testers involved at this point, and is planning to make a dedicated PCB pretty soon. Squeak past the break for a couple of brief demonstrations.

The right kind of mouse can save your limbs, sure. Hack together a different type of mouse, and you might be able to save your crops from elephant raids.

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A Simple Soft Power Switch Using Common Modules

If you want to easily control the power in a circuit, you’ll probably reach for the classic toggle switch. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, physical toggles are a bit dated at this point. A soft power switch that turns your gadget on and off at the tap of a finger is far more 21st century. You might think this kind of modern trickery is too difficult to implement on a DIY project, but as [Sasa Karanovic] shows, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think.

Now to be fair, that wasn’t actually his goal. All [Sasa] was trying to do was come up with a slick way to control the LED lighting in his 3D printer enclosure. Which, as you can see in the video below, he accomplished. But the hacked together circuit he used to do it could easily be adapted for other electronic projects. If you’re using a LM2596 DC-DC converter module to power your gadget, you can add a touch sensitive soft switch for literally pennies.

The trick is utilizing the enable pin on the LM2596. The common buck converter modules tie this pin to ground so the regulator is always enabled, but if you lift the pin off the PCB and connect it to the output of a TTP223 capacitive touch sensor, you can simply tap the pad to control the regulator. Power for the touch sensor itself is pulled from the input side of the regulator, so even when the power is cut off downstream, the sensor is still awake and can kick the chip back into gear when you need it.

If you’re not interested in touch control, you could try connecting the enable pin on the regulator to an ESP8266 and making a cheap Internet-controlled DC power supply. Continue reading “A Simple Soft Power Switch Using Common Modules”