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1  Topics / Product Design / Re: Creating a finished product on: January 30, 2013, 10:15:37 pm
Wow, great information guys.  I am grateful you all took the time to share that.  This is going to help me GREATLY!!!  I'll keep ya posted smiley
2  Topics / Product Design / Creating a finished product on: January 29, 2013, 05:52:08 pm
So I have a hobby of indoor gardening smiley-wink  I've spent a lot of money on these microcontroller systems that help automate a few devices.  I think I can improve/add-on to the existing concept with a couple of ideas of my own.  After doing some preliminary research, it seems all the devices that I want to be controlled have an arduino compatible counterpart.  Is it possible to build a device and have it look professional enough to wholesale/retail in the open market?  What I'm concerned about is the aesthetics of the the interface.  The devices on the market now have a plastic case with analog buttons and a small LCD screen that produces readouts of the measurements taken by the sensors.  They are produced in China. 

So what do you guys think?  doable?  I have no engineering background or computer science.  I am willing to learn and do have a science background.  Also, I'll probably outsource a lot of the work.  Has anyone ever sold a home made microcontroller and made it look like it rolled out of the factory and not your garage? 

Any input would greatly be appreciated.  If I said something totally inept, please excuse me.  This type of thing is not my specialty, but I do see a potential in the market.

3  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Invention Help. Need 8 hour delay off with 5 minutes on and then repeat on: March 05, 2012, 10:30:11 pm
It doesn't need to be accurate, give or take 10 minutes is fine.  it can even be a 6 hour delay, and turn on 4 times a day instead of 3.  What specifications do you mean?  Like what kind of air pump?  The cheapest aquarium pumps would work fine, so I'm not concerned with any pressure problems.  Even if it pushes air out at a couple psi, that would work. 

Is it really gonna cost that much?  I need to build prototype anyway, but yeah, I'd like to eventually get the electrical components under $20 bucks. 

I've researched things like the 555 timer, which isn't suitable for long delays. 
4  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Invention Help. Need 8 hour delay off with 5 minutes on and then repeat on: March 05, 2012, 08:23:45 pm
Hi, I'm working on a project that I need help with.  First off, I am a newb at this sort of stuff, so sorry in advance for my ignorance.  I'm a biologist working on a simple device.  I need to turn an airpump on for 5 minutes and then off for 8 hours.  I think I can construct something of value with this, if I could pull it off super cheaply.  So I've been doing some searching online and getting familiar with electronics, and I see that a microcontroller of sorts is what I need.  An arduino might be overkill for my application but I do not know. So.....

What it does and what's needed.
1) A battery powered device that when turned on will turn on a pump every 8 hours for a duration of 5 minutes.  Then it repeats.  Simple on off toggle switch to activate.
2) Needs to hook up to an air pump.  I have no idea what to buy here.  Do I buy any battery powered air pump?  Is there a specific air pump that is designed for Arduino or other hardware specific to what I need? 
3)So there must low power requirements but have enough capacity to power an air pump when on the "on" mode for the 5 minutes, and be able to repeat many many times

I don't even know how to state some of the questions I have.  Like how exactly can I make it battery powered, what parts do I need, and what is the feasibility with regards to cost.  I am completely clueless to electrical engineering or computer programing. Also I'd like the whole project to cost under $20 for each one.

Any help, comments would be appreciated.
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