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Steve Garratt
14 followers -
Software Engineering, Electronics and Marketing
Software Engineering, Electronics and Marketing

14 followers
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http://homediyelectronics.com/projects/arduino/christmas_icicle_lights/iciclesketch

This started out as an investigation into how long I could run an Arduino on a small battery and still get it to do something useful. I had to choose the right Arduino board and figure out how to use the 'SLEEP_MODE_PWR_DOWN' mode.

With a little bit of gentle hacking of the board, editing a file in the Arduino IDE and flashing the fuses in the Arduino I managed to get the power consumption down to less than 5µA. At this level a 3v button cell should last for years but I still needed to make it do something.

"A christmas decoration" I said. I will make an LED icicle that drips every few seconds. Perfect I thought. Read on to find out how you can build one too.




Christmas Lights Icicle Sketch
Christmas Lights Icicle Sketch
homediyelectronics.com
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http://homediyelectronics.com/projects/arduino/pro_mini_carrier/

One of the most versatile of the Arduino family is the Pro-Mini. Its tiny footprint and low power make it ideal for many battery powered devices. However it lacks a USB port and an ISP programming connector which makes it a little more difficult to program.

You can either attach an FTDI USB to serial converter and program it using the bootloader like other Arduinos or you can program it using the ISP programmer built onto this break out board. Don't worry, the ISP programmer is no more difficult to use than the bootloader and it also allows you to reprogram the bootloader and the configuration fuses. This is most important when configuring the board to run at very low current consumption and you can't do that with the bootloader.
Arduino Pro-Mini Carrier With ISP
Arduino Pro-Mini Carrier With ISP
homediyelectronics.com
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http://homediyelectronics.com/projects/arduino/arduino_promini_programmer/prominiprog

The Arduino Pro-Mini is a tiny microcontroller with similar features to that of the UNO. It has a bootloader for uploading programs but unlike the UNO it doesn't have a USB interface so you need to use a USB to serial adapter to use it.

Why not use an In System Programmer (ISP) instead? You can use a cheap UNO as an ISP and you can then program the bootloader and fuses as well as the application program. Sounds like a win-win to me.
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http://homediyelectronics.com/projects/arduino/voltagemultiplier/
Driving an LED from a 5v microcontroller is no problem. Flashing a red, blue, green or yellow LED should be possible even with a microconroller running at 3v but what if you want to drive a white LED that doesn't strart to illuminate until it's voltage gets to about 3.1v?

Worse still what if you are designing a battery operated device and you wanted to squeeze every last second of juice from the battery by allowing the voltage to drop to the minimum the microcontroller will work at? This would be 1.8v in the case of an Arduino chip which is way short of a glowing white LED. The solution is to add a voltage multiplier to the controller output driving the LED.
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Serial Voltage Level Converter - Arduino

Have you ever needed a serial FTDI adapter for a 3.3v microcontroller but you only have a 5v adapter? Build yourself a voltage level converter and solve the problem http://homediyelectronics.com/projects/arduino/seriallevelconverter/

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Let me show you how servo motors work and what you need to do to drive them. There's a handy library that you can use with Android which makes things very easy called 'Servo'. But what if you need to drive the servo some other way? If that's the case then you will need to know something about how they work.

I will show you how to connect one up and write a very simple Arduino sketch to experiment with. I explain exactly what goes on inside a servomotor and I finish up with a set of oscilloscope traces. If you want to know more about servo motors then read on.
http://homediyelectronics.com/tutorials/howtodriveaservomotor/servomotors
Servo Motor Control Systems
Servo Motor Control Systems
homediyelectronics.com
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LSOR2EE
Build yourself a cheap but impressive pc based sound card oscilloscope that you will use time and time again when building electronic circuits.

This is my new book inspired by interest in computer oscilloscopes.
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Watch me as I blow up a resistor to explain why resistors have a maximum power rating.
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