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Bit Twiddle Stick

Wondering what to do with that accelerometer? Build a twiddle stick. It has two buttons, 8 LEDs, and a wireless link. When it is up, the LSB is on. When it is down the LSB is off. Press the 'shift' button and it shifts the LSB up one. Get all 8 LEDs set the way you want, then press the 'send' button. Or forget the send button, add a second accelerometer and twist the stick to send.

This makes entering data more like conducting music. Maybe there is a second idea here: put the accelerometer on a conductor's baton and see where that takes you.

(LSB is least significant bit)

... Link

Audible Packet Sniffer II

Looks like Atmel may have the hardware to build this device.

The Audible Packet Sniffer listens for certain packets and 'rings a bell' when the desire packet is detected. It also measures overall network utilization and reports that using a 'background' white noise.

The Atmel NGW100 includes two ethernet ports and a stereo DAC. This gives an incredible flexibility for the sniffer. It could play back sound clips from an SD card instead of ringing a bell. You could have a client program that would set up packet filters and turn the background on or off. The client would just upload the data to the sniffer over tcp/ip. I gotta get one of these!

... Link

'Talking' Voltmeter

Create a voltmeter that will read a voltage and report it in morse code (either regular 5 symbol morse or 4 symbol BCD). Then I can connect it to my solar projects and keep track how the charging is going.

Use the A-to-D converter on an Atmel AVR, and some code to send the morse signal to a beeper or piezo speaker. Add a switch to alternate between standard morse and the 4bit stuff.

... Link

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7953 days of detection
mod: 12/3/08, 5:42 AM

days of detection

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Randall Bohn lives in Orem, Utah, USA. He works as a Software Quality Engineer. He is a big fan of the AVR line of microcontrollers. He has been in the computer industry since 1989. Randall is married and has three children.

rsbohn can be reached via

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May 2024
recent updates
Arduino Starter Kit
MAKE Blog How-to Tuesday posted a challenge: Optimize the sketch code for a pressure sensor bar graph. Here is my second attempt: int gate[] = {10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 32767}; void setup() {DDRB = 0b00111110;} void loop() { int dval = 0; int rval = analogRead(2); for (int x = 0; rval...
12/3/08, 5:42 AM
Measuring Supply Voltage
I'm running my latest handheld computer on solar power. It starts up when the sun rises and runs all day. I started wondering how I could measure the voltage coming in from the solar panel. I came up with a way to use a diode and a resistor and the...
7/29/08, 9:53 AM
Ten Pin ISP adapter
I've already built a six pin ISP adapter, but my Olmex cards use the ten pin ISP. I put a header on a scrap of perf board, added an LED for the heartbeat, and then connected the ten pin cable. Actually it is a fifteen pin cable, off a joystick...
7/16/08, 10:00 PM
Hello 5x7 Style
Wrote a new firmware for the 5x7 display. Now it scrolls out 'hello' over and over again. I'm running it on a solar panel, so it wakes up with the sun and runs all day long. When I built the LED matrix I put resistors on the five columns. I'm starting...
6/17/08, 12:48 PM
Provo, Utah
With a walkable downtown and access to two Universities, Provo Utah is a great location. I live next door in Orem. Kipplinger: Provo: Pristine Tech Mecca (Video) (Text)
6/2/08, 10:07 AM
Another release of AVRISP sketch
There is a new release of the AVRISP emulation sketch for Arduino: This one should work with Mega8 and Mega168. mega-isp
5/28/08, 4:48 PM
Sorting Out Page Sizes
There is a new release of AVRISP Emulation for Arduino. This is an Arduino firmware that allows you to program other AVR microcontrollers. The new zip file ( should compile on the current Arduino IDE, and I changed the comments that put the wrong labels on the SPI pins. Go ahead...
5/27/08, 11:31 AM
Flash Problems
I'm building a project using the AVR ATMega8 microcontroller. Once I got the thing wired up to where I could write firmware to it I found that it was always failing. I made a .hex file full of 0x10 values (256 bytes worth) and tried uploading that to the chip....
5/16/08, 2:56 PM
William's Arduino Board
I'm building an Arduino-compatible board for William. I'm building it on the Evil Mad Scientist MegaXX8 business card. It will have four built-in LEDs and a USB interface. It will also have connectors so he can use it with a breadboard. Perhaps we can connect it to some of his...
5/15/08, 7:26 AM
Cybord Signal Detector
Some digital radio signals use Frequency Shift Keying (FSK). This often has one frequency for a Mark and one for a Space. I plan to build a cybord or other chip that will decode an FSK signal, producing three different values: NO_SIGNAL, MARK, and SPACE. The signals would then go...
5/15/08, 7:20 AM


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