Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker
Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker

Arduino Playground: Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker

by Warren Andrews

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You’ve mastered the basics, conquered the soldering iron, and programmed a robot or two; now you’ve got a set of skills and tools to take your Arduino exploits further. But what do you do once you’ve exhausted your to-build list?

Arduino Playground will show you how to keep your hardware hands busy with a variety of intermediate builds, both practical and just-for-fun. Advance your engineering and electronics know-how as you work your way through these 10 complex projects:
–A reaction-time game that leverages the Arduino’s real-time capabilities
–A tool for etching your own printed circuit boards
–A regulated, variable-voltage power supply
–A kinetic wristwatch winder decked out with LEDs
–A garage parking assistant that blinks when your vehicle is perfectly parked
–A practical and colorful pH meter
–A ballistic chronograph that can measure the muzzle velocity of BB, Airsoft, and pellet guns
–A battery saver that prevents accidental discharge
–A square-wave generator
–A thermometer that tells the temperature using a sequence of colored LEDs

Each project begins with a list of required tools and components, followed by the instructions, full sketch, and circuit board templates for the build, as well as directions for building a permanent enclosure. You’ll even find the author’s design notes, which are sure to provide inspiration for your own inventions.

Gather your parts, break out the soldering iron, and get ready to take your Arduino skills to the next level with Arduino Playground.

Uses the Arduino Nano and Pro Mini boards.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593277857
Publisher: No Starch Press
Publication date: 03/15/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 344
File size: 36 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Warren Andrews received his first amateur radio license at age 12, and he’s been tinkering ever since. He’s done technical consulting for several major corporations, including Motorola and GE, and he’s been writing about electronics for more than 30 years, for publications such as EE Times, Electronic Design, Computer Design, and RTC Magazine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction xix

Who This Book Is For xx

How This Book Is Organized xx

About the Parts Lists xxii

Tools and Supplies xxiii

Drilling, Cutting, and Assembling xxiii

Prototyping, Soldering, and Testing xxiv

Online Retailers xxv

About the Online Resources xxv

0 Setting Up and Useful Skills 1

Preparing the Arduino Board 2

Affixing the 12C Board to the LCD 3

Uploading Sketches to Your Arduino 5

Installing the Arduino IDE 5

Using the Arduino IDE 5

Connecting and Programming an Arduino Nano 6

Connecting and Programming an Arduino Pro Mini 8

Using PCB Software 11

Making Your Own PCBs 13

Applying the Pattern 14

Etching the Board 15

Drilling the Board 17

Connectors Used in This Book 18

Using SOICs 20

What Are SMT Devices? 21

The Solder Paste Method 23

Soldering Directly 24

Closing Thoughts 24

1 The Reaction-Time Machine 25

Required Tools 26

Paris List 26

Downloads 27

Reaction vs. Reflex 27

How Does the Game Work? 28

Measuring Time with the Arduino Nano 28

Expected Speed Ranges 29

The Schematic 29

The Breadboard 30

The Sketch 32

Customized Reaction Commentary 35

What Happens in the Loop 36

Construction 37

Preparing a Sturdy Case 37

Mounting the Hardware 38

Ideas for Customization 40

2 An Automated Agitator for PCB Etching 41

Required Tools 43

Parts List 43

Downloads 44

How Automatic Motor Reversal Works 44

The Schematic 45

Determining the Reversal Threshold 46

Using an H-Bridge 48

The Breadboard 50

The Sketch 53

The Shield 57

PCB Layout 57

Shield Design Notes 58

Construction 60

The Limit Wires 62

The Crank Bushing 63

Packaging 64

The Etching Process 66

3 The Regulated Power Supply 69

Required Tools 70

Parts List 70

Downloads 71

A Flexible Voltage Regulator Circuit 72

How the Circuit Works 73

The Schematic 75

The Breadboard 76

Preparing the Arduino Pro Mini and LCD 76

Building the Breadboard 77

The Sketch 79

The Shield 80

Construction 82

Preparing the Enclosure 83

Mounting the Circuit Board 85

4 A Watch Winder 89

Why a Watch Winder? 90

Required Tools 93

Parts List 93

Acrylic 93

Other Hardware and Circuit Components 94

Downloads 95

Basic Watch Winder Requirements 95

Using an Arduino to Control Winder Revolutions 96

Using a Hall Effect Sensor to Monitor Rotations 96

The Schematic 97

The Breadboard 98

The Sketch 102

The Shield 108

Overview of the Motor Assembly 110

Construction 110

Preparing the Motor Mount and Bearing Box Acrylic 111

Bonding the Acrylic for the Bearing Box 114

Building the Stand 115

Preparing the Motor and the Driveshaft 116

Making the Watch Basket 120

Adding the LEDs 122

Leaving the Components on Display 123

Keeping the Watches in the Basket 124

Design Notes 124

Total Rotation Adjustment 124

How Many LEDs to Use and Where to Put Them 125

Motor Voltage 126

How Many Rotations Does the Watch Winder Make? 126

5 The Garage Sentry Parking Assistant 129

Required Tools 130

Parts List 130

Deluxe Parts 132

Downloads 132

The Schematic 132

Basics of Calculating Distance 133

How the Garage Sentry Works 134

The Breadboard 136

The Sketch 138

Inside the setup() Function 140

Inside the loop() Function 140

Determining Distance 141

Triggering the Alarm 142

Construction 143

Drilling Holes for the Electronics 144

Mounting Options 145

Soldering the Transistors and Current-Limiting Resistors 147

Wiring the Pieces Together 147

The Deluxe Garage Sentry 148

The Deluxe Schematic 148

The Deluxe Sketch 149

The Deluxe Shield 151

A Bigger Box 152

6 The Battery Saver 155

Boats, Tractors, and Other Vehicles 157

Required Tools 157

Parts List 159

Downloads 160

The Schematic 160

How the Battery Saver Prevents Draining 162

Arduino to the Rescue 163

The Breadboard 164

The Sketch 167

The Shield 168

The PCB Layout 168

Preparing the Shield and Pro Mini Controller 169

Construction 170

Preparing the Enclosure 171

The Contact Support 172

Preparing the Copper Contact Assembly 173

Mounting Supplies for the Solenoid 175

Preparing the Release Rod, Springs, and E-Clip 175

Making the Release Lever and Pylon 176

Assembling All the Parts 178

Installing the Battery Saver into a Vehicle 180

Operating the Battery Saver 180

Normal Operation 180

Setting the Threshold Voltage 181

Protection from the Environment 182

Applying Cool Amp 182

7 A Custom Ph Meter 185

Why Build Your Own pH Meter? 186

Required Tools 187

Parts List 187

Downloads 189

About the pH Probe 189

The Schematic 191

Integrating the High-Impedance Probe 193

General Design Notes 193

The Op-Amp Circuit in Detail 195

Some Notes on IC Selection 196

Preparing the LCD 196

The Breadboard 197

Calibrating the Custom pH Meter 201

About the Effects of Temperature 203

Adding a Temperature Sensor 204

Checking Accuracy 204

The Sketch 205

Smoothing the pH and Temperature Output 208

Centering an Analog Meter 208

The Shield 210

Construction 211

The Custom pH Meter Enclosure 212

Mounting the Circuit Board 214

Installing the Other Hardware 214

8 Two Ballistic Chronographs 217

What Is a Ballistic Chronograph? 219

Commercial Chronographs 219

Measuring Muzzle Velocity 219

This Project's Approach 220

The Chronograph Lite 221

Required Tools 221

Parts List 221

Downloads 222

The Schematic 222

Building a Test Bed 222

The Breadboard 224

The Sketch 226

Construction 230

The Full Ballistic Chronograph 233

Required Tools 234

Parts List 234

Downloads 235

Improving the Accuracy 235

Designing the Full Ballistic Chronograph 238

The Schematic 239

The Sketch 241

The Shield 242

Soldering the Full Ballistic Chronograph 244

Construction 245

The Sensor Channel 247

Building the Sensor Channel 247

Optoschmitt Light Sensors and UV LEDs 250

Sensor Umbilical Cable 251

Final Setup and Operation 252

Using the Full Ballistic Chronograph 253

Using the Chronograph Lite 253

9 The Square-Wave Generator 255

Why Build a Square-Wave Generator? 256

What Is a Square Wave? 256

Why Square Waves Are Useful 257

A Frequency Counter 258

Shortcomings of the Square-Wave Generator 259

Required Tools 260

Parts List 260

Downloads 262

The Schematic 262

Important Notes on the Pro Mini 263

How the Square-Wave Generator Was Developed 264

Deciding How to Generate Signals 265

Planning How to Display the Frequency 265

Signal Integrity 266

Fine-tuning with a Decade Counter 268

The Oscillator in Detail 268

The Breadboard 269

The Sketch 271

The Shield 272

Construction 273

Preparing the Enclosure 274

Wiring She Electronics 276

Design Notes and Mods 277

Displaying Frequency in Other Units 277

Reading External Input Frequencies 277

Battery Power 278

10 The Chromatic Thermometer 279

Choosing a Temperature Sensor 280

Required Tools 282

Parts List 282

Downloads 284

How the Chromatic Thermometer Works 284

The Schematic 284

The Breadboard 286

The Sketches 288

Sketch for the LM35 System 289

Sketch for the MCP9808 System 292

How the Temperature Readouts Work 296

The Shield 296

Construction 298

Using the Chromatic Thermometer 301

Index 303

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