My First Instructable

January 9, 2018 electronics

I made an app-controlled alphabet board (inspired by Stranger Things) as a Christmas gift for my niece. Before I was done I decided I wanted one myself, so I went ahead and made an Instructable so anyone can build one. Enjoy ūüôā

YRTL-T3 – Remote Control

May 13, 2015 electronics, robots , , ,


A remote controller is something I’ve been wanting/meaning to build for quite some time now. Like years. I just never really had anything that required one. Now the Wall-E project is at the point where a remote would come in rather handy. So I guess it’s time I get something done.

The original, back-in-the-day idea was to use infrared, but they’ve since made¬†this 2.4GHz thing easily available and I now have a handful of el cheapo knockoff NRF24L01+ modules. So Wall-E gets one, and the remote will get another (leaving me two more to play with). I’m going to use my knockoff Arduino Mega to run the thing. I’ll throw the SeeedStudio touchscreen¬†and protoshield on it, and probably a couple of pots and switches and buttons. I’ve been hanging on to old r/c parts for ever, including the¬†remote for my old Sabre helicopter which is busted and hanging from the garage ceiling, so it will at least donate it’s joystick(?) and battery pack parts. I think I may try to hack up the top portion of the remote to hold the Arduino and screen bits. If that fails I guess I’ll have to make a custom housing out of something. That 1/8″ fiber board worked pretty well for the power supply (also visible in this picture, as well as the old calculator that prompted the PS build) so I may go that route if necessary.

Parts from Atmel

March 10, 2015 electronics , ,

(My phone’s autosuggest wanted to title this post “party’s from atmel”, mwahaha)

UPS came today with my recent free sample order. It includes a little WiFi module that should be a blast to play with. I don’t know much about it, but it seems this is to be the basis of the next Wi-Fi shield from arduino. Though many things I read suggest that it should have become available in January.


The phone camera isn’t quite cooperating, but that’s an ATWINC1500 WiFi module and an attiny85. There was also an atmega1284 for kiddo to use. The tiny85 is interesting though, as it was supposed to be a 328p, and the packing slip says a 328p was shipped. Oops. Oh well.

I think it may be… interesting… to get the atwinc1500 to work. First off, I’m already tired of typing atwinc, so I’m gonna call it twinkie from now on. Second, it’s got that itty bitty castellated solder pad getup going on. I think I’ll just solder some wires on so I can breadboard it. If the project it’s for ever goes anywhere there’ll be a real PCB to footprint it on.

Da Bench Homey — deal breaker

February 20, 2015 electronics ,

Yeah, I discovered the death knell of Da Bench Homey as it exists today. Seems that when a late-model Arduino is externally powered¬†while also plugged in via USB to a computer it will no longer communicate serially over said USB connection. I needed Homey to power a couple of my MG996R servos (yes, I fixed the previous issue) while spouting back servo positions to the serial console. Except when I go to read that data my Win7 laptop no longer sees the Arduino’s COM port.

It also seems that the Servo library would bugger with the motor shield to boot. I didn’t dig into this very far, but the Seeed motor shield uses pins D8-D13, presumably relying on the PWM capabilities of 9 and 10 (or 10 and 11, whatever) for speed control. But the servo library uses that timer and clobbers PWM on 9 and 10. So, my big plan of having a sketch load Bitlash to command a 2 channel motor driver + 2 servos may not have worked out well anyway, since I can’t change the pins used by the motor shield. However, given the power/serial issue above this is now a non-issue anyway.

Guess I’ll give Homey a re-think. Maybe I’ll use up one of those Pro Mini knockoffs I have to be able to use different PWM pins. That’ll make it a bit smaller too, as well as being able to talk serial again.


February 15, 2015 electronics, robots , ,

Yeah, I know better. Seems I had a brain fart and powered the two servo headers from the Arduino’s 5V rail instead of VIN. So the power hungry knockoff MG996R servos cause a brownout when they run. So far T2 only does one thing, and it doesn’t do it properly… argh.

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