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What do you do with this 'embedded electronics' thing? You scare cats. Fun random links and a few pictures of the SparkFun Pumpkin. Cause we're cool like that.

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Ray from shipping: 'Hey Nate - I need the SparkFun flame... Big'.
Nate: Wait - why do you need the flame?
Ray: I'm making a pumpkin.
Nate: Oh... Ok. I'll email it to you.


Hah! Nice job Ray. A handful of red LEDs, bread board power supply, wall wart, and you've got a sweet looking pumpkin.

Roaming around the internet looking for good Arduino literature, I keep running across Tom Igoe's website. Tom is the head of Physical Computing at NYU/ITP. Tom has some fantastic beginner FAQs to embedded electronics, physical computing, and Arduino - which led me to:

A fantastic project to keep cats off counters. Click! You must see these videos.

Blender Defender! Hilarious. And a beautifully simple project, the creator uses motion detection to sense when a cat is in view. When a feline is detected, a few commands over X10 and the blender kicks on to scare the cat off the counter. What I really enjoy is that it's a great, quick hack. I would have spend way too much time with a PIR, ATmega168, and a custom PCB - where really, it doesn't (and shouldn't!) take that much effort to pull off a really cool project.


And finally for today, the Snap key-less entry system. The door is not really opened by snapping, rather by careful touch patterns. Arduino + servo + touch sensor = slick way to unlock a door. I wonder if a touch sensor exists that can tell a different, unique capacitance between people...

Comments 4 comments

  • Donny Viszneki / about 14 years ago / 1

    I built an LED-driven Jack-O-Lantern using an ATMega32 and 64 green LEDs. Even cheap LEDs are bright enough to shine through pumpkin skin and show up well in the dark! (The diffusion offered by the pumpkin flesh even gives it a rather cool appearance.) I recommend buying some drinking straws and using them to insulate the LEDs and their electrical terminals from the moist pumpkin flesh. This project is simple enough for beginners IMHO as I'm a relative newcomer to embedded development.

    • Donny Viszneki / about 14 years ago / 1

      Here's a link to the part of my source code that drives the 64x64 display: http://codebad.com/display-driver.c
      The ATMega32 has 32 I/O lines. I dedicated 16 of them to controlling the display, which happens one scan-line at a time, exploiting persistence-of-vision to simplify the display control circuitry (a bus consisting of 8 rows and 8 columns.) This source code identifies identical scanlines and displays them simultaneously to decrease the number of "frames" that are needed to constitute the entire image.
      Possible improvements to the code: pixelput() and scanlineput() methods to update individual parts of the frame buffer.

  • CowboyBob / about 14 years ago / 1

    Where did you guys get the Peter Griffen vs The Chicken poster? LOL!

  • nonexist / about 14 years ago * / 1


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