A few weeks back, Redditor /u/doakey posted an insanely cool idea to /r/arduino of lighting up his toilet bowl with a red laser so that when he got up in the middle of the night to pee, he could see where he was “shooting”, so to speak. And it was a grand success!
Walk into the bathroom. Laser shoots into the bowl. *pew, pew, pew* Lights up the target like a spotter for some stealth aircraft to hit with a smart bomb. Night vision preserved. Mission accomplished. Laser turns off. Then you go back to bed.
Yet, he noted that the 9v battery only lasted a few days. Naturally, a few of us pointed out that an Arduino is overkill and that he could have done this using analog electronics.
And I get it. Analog is pretty hard. Arduino is relatively easy. There are plenty of resources out there on how to program Arduinos, but analog… well, it is kind of on its way to becoming a “lost art”.
A few people in /r/arduino asked me to write-up my proposed analog verson. After a few weeks of fiddling, here’s the analog circuit (and explanation) I came up with to reproduce the same effects…
Continue reading Bathroom Laser Light project — the analog version
Update Mar-2016: Most of the kits in the review now contain Raspberry Pi 3 models. The kits themselves haven’t changed significantly (minor SD card and power supply swaps), but the RPi2 has been swapped out for RPi 3. 🙂
Update 20-Feb-2015: All kits have been updated to include Raspberry Pi 2 models! (except for the Make kit.)
The Raspberry Pi is an amazing low-cost computer. Unlike the ever-popular Arduino microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi was designed to be a full-blown computer from the start. It can run various flavors of Linux/Unix, act as a Media Center, and even moonlight as a Microcontroller.
And what better way to get started with a Raspberry Pi than with a starter kit? The question is: which one to get?
Continue reading The best Raspberry Pi 3 starter kits compared and reviewed
The Arduino is arguably one of the best things to come to the “Maker” Renaissance that we are currently experiencing. The Arduino is a simple microcontroller that can allow the one who wields it great power and programmatic control over their electronic circuits and systems. Yet to be a great wizard of such things, one must start at the humble beginnings of the very basics.What better way to get started than with an Arduino starter kit? That’s the trick, though, isn’t it? There’s more than one starter kit out there!
Continue reading The best Arduino starter kits compared and reviewed
In “Exploring the Netduino #2: (Indirectly) Driving an LED“, we covered the electronic theory of how to use a Power MOSFET to turn the LED On and Off via a digital signal. In this post, we are going to walk the reader step-by-step on how to wire-up the circuit on a breadboard. If you’re using an Arduino, the steps are exactly the same.
As mentioned previously, you will need the following equipment and parts:
- An electronic breadboard
- A few common LEDs (like 5mm Red)
- A couple resistors (a 1 MOhm and a 68 or 100 ohm)
- N-Channel MOSFET (like RFP30N06LE)
- A 3.3v power supply or a 2-cell AA Alkaline battery pack (3v)
- Some jumper wires to connect the circuit together
- Multi-meter (optional)
- And a Netduino or Arduino, of course!
Continue reading Exploring the Netduino #3: Building the Circuit on a Breadboard