Relay Boxes for Controlling 120V Power with a Microcontroller

For one of my recent projects, I needed a way to control some lights powered by a 120V household wall socket. Rather than reverse-engineering some commercial “smart outlets” for the task, I decided to try and do this the old-fashioned way by embedding relays in electrical boxes.

Continue reading “Relay Boxes for Controlling 120V Power with a Microcontroller”

Making a Custom PCB and Case for Adalight

So far the hardware side of the Adalight setup has been a nest of wires on my desk, with the Arduino on a breadboard and the power running through a terminal block. Now it’s time to wrap up this project by getting everything off of the breadboard and onto a dedicated PCB in its own custom case!

Continue reading “Making a Custom PCB and Case for Adalight”

Happy Halloween 2016! Building Reaper’s mask from Overwatch

Just in time for the holiday, I finished work on my replica Reaper mask from the video game Overwatch!

The base of the mask is a wonderful 3D design by Ricardo Salomao, which you can download here.  I wasn’t originally planning on building a Reaper mask, but I found this fantastic model and just had to make it.

Continue reading “Happy Halloween 2016! Building Reaper’s mask from Overwatch”

NeoPixel Prototyping Board

While the final version of the footwell NeoPixel project calls for a long strip of ~60 pixels, most of my time is going to be split between programming at my desk and testing the pixels’ response to telemetry from the car.  I didn’t want to have to wrangle a large strip every time I wanted to test an idea, and I figured most of the patterns for the 60 pixel strip could be replicated on a shorter one.

My solution is this small prototyping board.  It’s a 3D printed part with mounts for an Arduino Uno, a small breadboard, and a NeoPixel stick.  The NeoPixel stick is a nifty PCB with 8 of the same type of RGBW leds as the strip I plan to use, and includes input/output pads and a resistor for the data line.  The breadboard lets me wire a 1000µF capacitor to protect the pixels from voltage spikes and allows me to hook up a second power supply if I’m reaching the power limits of the Arduino (which I should note is absolutely possible if you’re using all of the pixels at full brightness).

Continue reading “NeoPixel Prototyping Board”

LED Light for Printrbot Simple Metal

For the inaugural post on the blog, I thought I would post a small completed project that I made awhile back.  Last year I finally purchased a 3D printer of my own – a Printrbot Simple Metal #1403.  The printer itself works fairly well, but it sorely needed a light so I could see what was going on under the extruder head.

Continue reading “LED Light for Printrbot Simple Metal”