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1  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: Induction heater tutorial on: March 21, 2011, 07:57:18 pm
I wondered how the Arduino was involved, and it wasn't immediately clear. It's controlling the levitation - I was just skimming the tutorial, though, so I don't understand the details of it. (The induction heating itself, I think, does not require a microcontroller.)

@imsmooth: Impressive - floating molten metal! (I admit I'm approaching it just from a coolness-factor stance.) A table of contents at the beginning of the tutorial might be handy.
2  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: RFID Meter with ID-12, answers "Did I already take this pill?" on: March 21, 2011, 06:21:54 pm
Thanks for the comments, all!

I like the switched-lid idea. I know a couple times starting off she forgot to scan the bottle, but I think it's enough of a routine now. (I'll have to check in; I made it while I was staying at home for a few months, but now I'm in another city again.)

Also, I realized it'd be a pretty trivial smartphone app, especially with the zxing library for Java/Android – just scan the bottle's barcode when you take a pill. It suffers the same drawback that you have to remember to scan it, though; just obviates hardware cost, and makes IO easier.

@Federico: Thanks! I'd be interested to hear what she thinks. (I wonder if this just appeals to the gadget-minded and their accomodating mothers, or if it's enough of a packaged experience to seem generally helpful. Not that I'm mass-producing.)

@defsdoor: Thanks. I agree, the two major drawbacks are that it has to be on all the time (RTC would be great, but I was learning/experimenting enough that I didn't want to add RTC to the time/cost); and that you only get binary feedback (unless you have your laptop plugged in).
3  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / RFID Meter with ID-12, answers "Did I already take this pill?" on: March 21, 2011, 09:55:33 am
I put together an RFID Meter to answer the question "Did I already take that pill?" for my mother. (video, details, construction photos) Each pill bottle has an RFID tag on it, and she scans each bottle right before taking the pill. When she scans the bottle, the meter either says 'yes' (green LED, friendly tone, go ahead and take it), or 'no' if it was taken already (red LED, bad tone, do not take it).

image hosted by flickr

It uses the ID-12 reader from Innovations, and I tested it with both SparkFun's RFID cards and smaller tags from Trossen Robotics – see the parts list for details on those.

Although daily-pill holders solve a similar problem, this manages irregular pills, too, such as cold or headache medicine that is taken as needed but still should not be taken too often.
4  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Morse Library (non-blocking sending), Cyclocomp'r on: January 21, 2011, 03:55:24 pm
I wrote a Morse library, the key feature of which (to differentiate it from the many others) is that it doesn't block while sending; for example, you can check on a sensor value while a long message is being played on a speaker. On github.

In ultra-brief, you can use it like this:

#define PIN_STATUS  13
LEDMorseSender sender(PIN_STATUS);
void setup() {
void loop() {
    // do other work, while you...

I wrote it for use in a cyclocomputer (trip meter, histogram of speeds over a ride) project, also on github.
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Gather data on battery power; how to get it off? on: January 19, 2011, 06:07:25 pm
Thanks to both! I've implemented a solution using EEPROM, which seems sufficient; 256 ints (each being two bytes) should be enough for the data I want to gather.
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Gather data on battery power; how to get it off? on: January 17, 2011, 10:51:15 pm
I would like to gather/generate some data while my Arduino is running on battery power, and then later connect the Arduino to my computer to save and analyse the numbers. (Similar to this.)

Specifics: I am using the Arduino LilyPad as a bicycle computer. I want to put it on my bike, turn it on, and let it record wheel revolution counts and timings. (During this data collection, connecting it to my laptop is inconvenient!) Once back from the ride, I want to offload the numbers so I can make histograms etc – an easy way to do this during development is to dump the data over Serial.

  • If I plug in the USB (and adapter) while the battery power is connected, will this fry my computer/Arduino and/or render the serial data unusuable (as suggested elsewhere)?
  • If I plug in the USB after the fact, will it unavoidably reset the board, anyway?
  • Is EEPROM the answer? (The write/erase cycle note on the EEPROM.write() page made me hesitate, but I doubt I'll take the Arduino for 100,000 bike rides; who knows if I'll even power-cycle the device that many times.)
  • Wireless: are XBee or bluetooth worth investigating?
  • SD: is a simple microSD board enough to dump numbers to the card with minimal code / library-learning?
Thanks for any insight into the best way to approach this!
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bugs & Suggestions / Web site typo - LibraryTutorial on: January 17, 2011, 08:49:51 pm
There is a typo on the LibraryTutorial page. In the second sentence (emphasis added) there is a repeated phrase:

It starts with a sketch with a sketch for flashing Morse code

I apologize if this isn't the right place to report web site typos.
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Re: Cyclocomputer with LilyPad Arduino on: January 21, 2011, 10:37:32 pm
but I really like your craftsmanship!

I never understood the lillypad
I don't think this is the greatest use of it, but things like Leah Buechley's turn-signal jacket do seem to benefit from sewable components (including the main board). I'm still trying to come up with a properly e-textile oriented project; my current thought is a fuel guage for the water reservoir in my backpacking pack.
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Re: Cyclocomputer with LilyPad Arduino on: January 21, 2011, 07:16:42 pm

Although this project didn't capitalize on the sew-into-clothing aspect of the LilyPad, I am pleased by the look, and I'm better versed in constructing something to attach to a bike out of cloth than (say) perfboard. Thanks!
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Re: Cyclocomputer with LilyPad Arduino on: January 21, 2011, 04:30:31 pm

I'm not sure how it would fare in the rain; presumably it would short. The LilyPad folks say they wash their e-textile projects, but that's when they're off and the battery is out. I could conccivably make a plastic sleeve that would fit over it, though I think really the answer is to not use this model in the rain. (I did ride with it on wet streets without a problem, but the wheels weren't kicking up much water.)
11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Cyclocomputer with LilyPad Arduino on: January 21, 2011, 04:16:49 pm

I made a cyclocomputer to track bicycle speed/distance, using the LilyPad Arduino. More photos, a video, and code. It stores a histogram of speed values which I can offload over serial (for example, to graph in R); and has two trip meters which can be reported in Morse while riding.

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