Category Archives: Arduino

Open Source – Non-Invasive Glucose Meter Project

Title_NIRCGMProject can be followed via, Click here to view it.

I’m sure we are all now aware of the rapidly increasing epidemic that is Diabetes. I myself am part of those statistics. That is just my way of saying I also have it. We’re all just statistics to our healthcare systems. We’re not individuals where they care about how our lives work and if they’re actually able to help or not. They look at some statistics, and then make everyone conform to the average. I personally don’t agree with this practice. Humans are not the same, we are all different. One thing that works for one group of people, isn’t going to work for another group. We need variety in our choices on how to manage our personal lives for a number of reasons. One of those major contributing factors in this is money(isn’t it always?). In North America alone there are many people struggling to pay for their medical expenses and have a lower quality of life because of it. Test strips alone are a huge nuisance on a person who is managing their Diabetes. Knowing this information, and the fact that it also directly affects me as well, I decided to look into other methods of glucose monitoring. Video after the jump.

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I have 5 bare PCBs that I will be sending out to some lucky winners. They are for the PIDDYBOT so you can build your own! The raffle is below, requires you to follow on twitter, you can get other entries by tweeting about it as well. You need to use your email to sign up, but I won’t email anyone about anything other than this raffle. This is a trial run for me using RaffleCopter, so hopefully it goes smoothly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TI CC11X 868/915mhz RF Breakout.



After looking around for some eagle files for the CC110L, I failed to find anything that was as simple as”copy and paste”. I found the design notes for it and decided to create my own breakout board for testing. For those who don’t know, the TI CC11X are a series of low power RF modules. They are used in the Anaren boost pack and are great for low power RF projects. There are a bunch of development boards to work with but there are no open source eagle files(that I could find) for easily placing this module into your project. I just finished and ordered a set from OSHpark. If you’re brave(I haven’t tested them yet) you can order a set for $5.00 for three,by clicking the link above or using the eagle files below. Its up to you to check the files yourself. Or you can check back in a month when I have had time to test the board layout. Be warned the design calls for 0402 components, which I have used in the eagle files. Click more to get to the Eagle files!

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Reverse Entropy: Candy Sorting Machine Gift


Every so often while browsing the internet I will come across a project  that I absolutely have to make. When I stumbled upon IVC’s Candy Sorting Machine, this was absolutely the case. When my girlfriend eats skittles, she does so by colour – don’t ask me why, she just does it that way. When I watched the video of the candy sorting machine on YouTube, I knew it was going to be the perfect gift for my girlfriend for her birthday. Since this was going to be a gift for someone I really wanted to create it as if it was a consumer product in terms of design. I wanted it to be simple to use and designed so anyone can just turn it on and and it will sort. Video and pictures after the Jump!

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PIDDYBOT – A Self Balancing Teaching Tool.


After I built the tiny balancing robot using an IR sensor for stabilization, there was a comment on the youtube video about how it would be a good thing for kids to build and learn about PID controls. I thought that was a great idea, the only problem was that that tiny robot was the simplest of balancing robots. It was just an on off switch for telling the motor which way to move. There was no actual PID implementation in that system. So that got me thinking about how it would have been really cool if in one of my classes where I was learning about control theory I had a robot that actually let you see the changes in a PID system in real time. I decided to take it upon myself to create such a robot.

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Quick Project: Stepper Time Lapse Rig + Christmas Movie


I built this quick rig last year using a pre-made camera slider, some plastic I had laying around, and some electronic components. I wanted something simple where I could just put in the amount of time delay and set the camera for the same delay so that it would take a picture when the stepper wasn’t moving; simple yet effective. Read on to check out the movie I made last year using it.

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Quick Project: 3x3x3 LED Cube

3x3x3 LED Cube

3x3x3 LED Cube

Had all the materials laying around and had a bit of time so I decided to make an 3x3x3 LED cube. Its something I have been meaning to do for a while. Eventually I will move up to 8x8x8 or something huge and more time consuming. For now this is good enough.

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Energy Scavenging Ring – Part 1 PCB Design

First Scavenge Boards

First Scavenge Boards

The moment I discovered Peltier units I was amazed. First it was at the fact of how cold something could get just by applying a current. As I extended my research, my focus turned to the other effect – or SeeBeck Effect – as it’s called, which is the process or generating a current or voltage through temperature differentials. I know this technology has been used for some time, but the average person is not aware of what electricity, or energy for that matter, really is. Every time I show someone what the peltier unit is able to do just by putting my hand on it, they are amazed. I wanted to design something that would be able to find wasted heat energy from my body and transform it into usable electrical energy. A very simple proof of concept.
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Quick Project: Arduino Mini Pro Balancing Robot using IR sensor

I have been meaning to make a self balancing robot for awhile so the other day I decided to see what I could do with some stuff I had laying around. I also had not seen overly small ones made so far so the real goal was to make it as small as possible. Basically I ended up with a Arduino Mini Pro with some components literally soldered to it. I found the wheels and motor from one of those small IR vehicles, cut it in half, and soldered the old battery mount to the lower part of the arduino. For the balancing part I need to note that I did not have a gyro/accelerometer on hand which is why I decided to use the IR switch. I just placed an order at SparkFun for a Gyro, so it should be here in a week or two for me to update this little bot and really make it perform.
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Arduino Vine Time-Lapse Rig


Vine is a bit of a rage at the moment, and I have to admit I find it kind of cool. Except the whole making a 6 second video isn’t really my thing, as they are not the kind of ideas that come into my head. One of the most used type of videos I make are Time-lapse. I make them with my DSLR for when I’m working on projects, and have even made a slider rig using an Arduino(I will post in the future). I wondered if it would be possible to do a time-lapse on the Vine app. I haven’t seen it done yet(I didn’t look very hard, as to not discourage my motivation) so I came up with an idea to make it work. Since you are confined to using the Vine app, and for those who have not used it, you have to touch the screen to record video, and when you stop touching it the recording stops. This makes doing scenes and cuts really easy, but hard to do anything but simple video. Instead of making quick videos I had the idea to make stills instead. The design would have to be something that would mimic a quick tap of the screen with a finger. Continue reading