Monday, July 27, 2015

How to Make Custom Microcontroller Shields



Microcontrollers such as Arduinos are a great way to control your custom electronics projects. But you always need some way to connect the external components to the microcontroller board. Jumper wires can work for this, but having too many loose wires running around is just asking for trouble. A good solution for this problem is to use some kind of a shield. This is a circuit board that uses a set of pins to connect directly to some (or all) of the pins on the microcontroller.

A shield is an easy way to connect all of your external components together. You can use shields to control motors, relays, LEDs, or anything else. You can even use proto shields to prototype your whole circuit directly on the board.

In this project, I am going to show you how you can make your own custom shields for your microcontroller.

For step by step instructions on how to make this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Custom-Shields-for-Your-Microcontrolle/

Monday, July 13, 2015

Test Tube Chandelier


A while ago I picked up a bunch of glass test tubes that were being thrown out. At the time I didn't have a specific project in mind for them but I figured that I could come up with some way to use them. Then later I came across a design by Etsy user PaniJurek for a chandelier made from test tubes that were filled with colored water. I really liked the way that you can use the test tubes to make any color pattern that you want. So I decided to make my own version of the project.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Test-Tube-Chandelier/

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Motorized System for Raising and Lowering Hanging Plants



Hanging plants are a great way to add some green around your house. But there are a lot of great locations for hanging plants that are just too inconvenient to utilize. For instance if you have really high ceilings, you don't want to have to get up on a ladder every day to water them.

So I designed a simple system for raising and lowering hanging plants with an electric motor. That way you can raise them up to the desired height. Then whenever you want to water them, just press the button to lower them down to a convenient working height.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instrutable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Motorized-System-for-Raising-and-Lowering-Hanging-/

Thursday, July 2, 2015

31 Unusual Uses For Coconuts



When I was in college, I got a job as a student researcher in my Engineering department. My job was to research coconuts. My professor was trying to find ways to turn coconuts into value-added products. The goal was help promote economic development in countries like Papua New Guinea where coconuts are plentiful but are not fully utilized. We researched all aspects of coconuts and how they can be used. As a result, I gained a lot of random knowledge about coconuts. So I thought that I would share some of the more interesting things that I learned in a project on Instructables. You can check it out here: http://www.instructables.com/id/31-Unusual-Uses-For-Coconuts/


Monday, June 29, 2015

Add Light Up Effects to Backyard Games Like Cornhole



Backyard games like Cornhole are a lot of fun. But you can make them even better by adding lights and sounds. By hooking up some simple electronics, you can make the board light up and play a victory fanfare whenever someone scores. Here is how to make it.

For step by step instructions on how to make this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Add-Light-Up-Effects-to-Backyard-Games-Like-Cornho/

Friday, June 19, 2015

Collapsible Cornhole Boards



I wanted to make a set of cornhole boards that I could take with me to picnics and cookouts. Unfortunately, my car is too small to easily transport a set of standard cornhole boards. So I designed a set of board that will fold in half. That made them a lot easier to transport and store. Here is how I made them.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Collapsible-Cornhole-Boards-1/

Monday, June 15, 2015

Electronic Water Tag Game



Everyone loves water gun fights in the summer. But you can always make something better by adding electronics to it. So I designed a set of water sensors and buzzers that will beep when they are hit with the spray of a water gun. This lets you play a game similar to laser tag but with water.

And if you want wondering, no it won't shock you or electrocute you. The circuit is well sealed in its housing and the amount of electricity that we are working with is so small that it couldn't shock you anyway.

For step by step instructions on how to build this project, check out the Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Electronic-Water-Tag-Game/