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Standard boring post... with a twist!

I've been waiting for something interesting to post but have found out that I don't really have anything interesting to really say. I've been reading Ali's blog and I have to say that I'm rolling on the floor laughing every time he posts something new. Ali's blog is great for people who know the guy. I'm not sure how people who don't know him would react to reading it. But, I'm digressing. My point is that Ali always has something to say. I on the other hand do not. Judging by this post I have probably bored all one of you to tears sooo from now on I'm going to post cool things.

Cool things (and probably geeky) things like Making a Reprap Robot. What is a Reprap robot you ask? Simply put it is a self-replicating rapid-prototyping robot! Okay maybe not so self-replicating but the whole point of the robot is able to make it's own parts. Cool huh? Go check it out. I'm really thinking about building one. Oh so many projects... so little time.


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Ardunio and the SHT15

For my ongoing thermostat project I require some sort of temperature and humidity sensor. Because I'm fairly new to all this I decided to get a 2 in 1 sensor from Robotshop called the SHT15. I went with the SHT15 because it had both a temperature and humidity sensor and uses a "digital 2-wire" interface. When I first purchased it I didn't realize that "digital 2-wire" didn't mean I2C, but that's another story.

In order to get the sensor to communicate with the Arduino I needed to write some custom code that manipulates the data and clock lines by pulling them high and low at the correct times. I haven't had any experience doing this before so it was a learning experience for me.

Connecting the SHT15 to the Arduino is pretty simple. The data and sck lines each goto a digital input/output on the Arduino and the VCC goes to +5V. Pretty simple. Here is a picture of my breadboard.

As you can see I had to solder on some breadboard wires onto th…

Arduino LED MIDI Controller

It's been a while since I've made a post so I have decided that it was about time I did. This time I'll be talking about my Haunted House I made.

I started with the idea to take a Halloween decoration (small haunted house) and add some LEDs to it and make them blink. What I ended up with was a haunted house with 6 LEDs in it all controlled by MIDI. I used an Arduino to receive MIDI signals from my computer and turn on/off LED lights based on those signals.

Check out the video...

The "MIDI to Arduino Breakout Board" as I call it in the video I designed myself. I used various resources on MIDI around the web and came up with this schematic.

Digikey Part list:

2 x DIN5 - CP-2350-ND
2 x 6N138 - 516-1600-5-ND
1 x diode - 1N914B-ND
2 x 220 ohm resistor
1 x 270 ohm resistor

As you can see it isn't very complicated. The hardest part was finding in DIN5 part numbers at Digikey. The code on the other hand was a bit more complicated. The trick was to decode the …

Reprap part 2

I'm back... with the second post about the Reprap robot. I did warn you that this blog would be full of geeky things didn't I? They actually renamed the Reprap robot to Repstrap. You can check out part 2 here.

It truly is an amazing idea. The mechanics and electronics that go behind these robots have always baffled me. Even now when you watch the video it looks really complicated. At work I take care of and administer something very similar to this robot called a tape silo (IBM 3584). It operates on the same principle as the Repstrap robot does. There is a robot arm that moves along an X and Y axis to move tapes around. The difference is the Repstrap robot is a 3 axis robot. When you look at the tape silo the mechanics behind it are actually quite simple. A rail for the X axis and a screw for the Y axis.

The more research I do on these type of robots the more I realize what a simple concept they really are. Whats really cool is you can use the same concept as the…