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Page history last edited by nikki 11 years, 4 months ago

What sort of projects do people want to hack with at Howduino?  You're more than welcome to bring your current project along with you, but we expect lots of you will be looking for something to do.  Use this page to brainstorm ideas about what we could build.



There are loads of hardware hacking projects around on the Internet.  Add links to your favourite projects here to show the rest of us what's possible...


Beginners Projects

Ideas for projects that someone with little or no hardware or software experience could get up and running.  We'll probably run at least one of these projects in a workshop format to help people get started.

[word of caution: I've just started installing the arduino IDE on my computer and it is rather large - if you haven't already got it on your machine, make sure you leave plenty of time to get it unzipped and installed. Definitely something to do before you come to Howduino! nikki]

  • Basic toy hacking.  Bring along a simple electronic toy and make it respond to twitter like the one in my Alertuino talk [suggested by Adrian McEwen]
  • LED throwies.  If we can get hold of some of the strong magnets, these are a pretty simple but cool project [suggested by Adrian McEwen]
  • A Bristlebot
  • Camera Triggers - most decent cameras have a remote trigger function which is usually quite easy to wire up to an Arduino, then the camera can be triggered by a whole host of different kinds of sensors, or be triggered in sync with some other action
    • This I'd be really up for working on, have had  a vague idea in my head for a project that relies on cameras triggered by some sort of external stumulus for a while, but never managed to finish it, as my electronics knowledge didn't seem to be up to the task. Let me know if you'd like some help! --TimC
    • I probably won't be doing this myself but happy to help you out, if you're using a Canon SLR the two key components are a 2.5mm stereo jack and an optocoupler, a dual optocoupler if you want to control focus and shutter. Shouldn't cost any more than £1 altogether :) - Thom


Suggestions for hacks that someone/some people could do

Even if you have no idea whether they could be done

  • Light that will switch on when council is doing rubbish/recycling run (could be stuck to bin or in kitchen) (my fault: @hubmum)
  • Some kind of thing to go on a bike that will alert cyclists to areas of danger, i.e. high accident zones (data is available for this)... could go on cars too for that matter telling them to keep an eye out for cyclists (my fault: @hubmum)
  • Would anyone be willing to try and create a copy of Adrian McEwen's Drawbot? (You can see it in action on the Howduino homepage!) I belive that if some of us worked as a group we could have it made during the day. Adrian can you possibly let us know a parts list before hand? - Adam

    That's not Adrians drawbot, it's just a photo I found on flickr, but funnily enough I have been planning one using the same concept, I wanted to get the basics done before Howduino so people can play with it and create interfaces - Thom 

    I'd be interested in working on this but I'd need someone to point me in the right direction on stuff to buy/read before the day - Nick

    There's more info about the Drawbot over at http://www.as220.org/labs/drawbot/, including some code for the Arduino to control it. It looks like it's just a couple of stepper motors using the bipolar stepper motor circuit from Tom Igoe. So you'd need two stepper motors, two 1K resistors, an L239D dual H-bridge chip and two NPN transistors. You can often salvage stepper motors from floppy drives, CDROM drives or hard drives, but the one I pulled out of a CDROM drive recently was a bit tricky to solder wires to. Or you could get the motors and controller chip from here for about £17 - Adrian


Comments (10)

Adam Ray said

at 10:23 pm on May 10, 2009

Thom - Could you possibly let Nick and I know parts list? Nick - want to work on this on Sat?

Adam Ray said

at 10:26 pm on May 10, 2009

Nick - I will also bring my Ethernet shield :)

Nick Peters said

at 6:25 pm on May 11, 2009

Yeah I'm definitely up for it that.

Adam Ray said

at 9:23 pm on May 12, 2009

Adrian - thanks for that :) not sure if I will be able to get parts before Sat. Can anyone else supply?

Adam Ray said

at 9:26 pm on May 12, 2009

Adrian - wicked link to as220 thanks so much!

nick said

at 1:10 am on May 17, 2009

I will bring a supply of steppers and drivers over for folks to muck around with (approx 7), i will have a play with the drawbot code sometime this week, and hopefully be much wiser on the day than i am now. see you soon

nikki said

at 5:40 pm on May 20, 2009

Do we need any particular electronic components for the Alertuino project?

Adrian McEwen said

at 9:51 am on May 21, 2009

The Alertuino uses a 2N2222 transistor and a 1K resistor. If you want to bring some then that's cool, but we should have a few around on the day anyway.

nikki said

at 11:34 am on May 21, 2009

I've got a couple of resistors and a couple of transistors... but not those ones! Unless I can liberate some from some dead/just resting toys, consider this advanced warning that I'll be on the scrounge!

Adrian McEwen said

at 11:46 am on May 21, 2009

Hehe, I don't think it matters too much - the resistors are just to limit the current flowing to the transistor, and the transistors need to be able to cope with the amount of power going to the toy. If you aren't switching motors on and off then you can probably get away with less beefy transistors. Bring them along and I'm sure we'll sort things out on the day :-)

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