Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Whistle and Wag!

 Detect sound generated by

 Buccal Wetware

 [brain; purse lips; exhale; whistle]

A very simple and Fun Hack for Whistle and Find Device

This is a fun hack for those whistle and find devices. The type you attach to your remote control so you can always find it eg whistle and find device.

That ones quite expensive, but you can often find them on offer in bargain shops for a couple of quid. I bought a set years ago and had one left rattling around in one of my junk drawers. I decided to play with it because I was looking for a way to add an interactive waggy-tail to a small robot.

You also need a small servo, arduino (or similar) a photo-resistor and a 10K pull down resistor - simple!

Whistle-n-Wag Circuit

Place the led of the device right next to the sensor surface of the photo-resistor and shade it.
When you whistle the device flashes it's led and that light is picked up by the photo-resistor, this makes a circuit with the 5v supply and this voltage is detected by the analogue pin of the arduino. The video is not good quality but you can get the gist. NB you can use the whistle hardware provided with the sets, but notice I used buccal wetware to generate the sound in the video [brain->purse-lips->exhale = whistle] : )

Whistle-n-Wag Video

Arduino Code:
Servo myservo;
int wag = 0;
int pos;
//PhotoResistor Pin
int lightPin = 0;

int servopin = 7;   //the pin the servo is connected to
void setup()
  pinMode(servopin, OUTPUT); //sets the servo pin to output
  digitalWrite(servopin, LOW);  //servo OFF

void loop()
 int lightLevel = analogRead(lightPin); //Read the
                                        // lightlevel

if (lightLevel > 450)
   wag = 1;

 if (wag == 1)

   for (pos = 0; pos < 180 ; pos +=2)




Friday, 9 August 2013

Positronic Brain Sim requires no MCU?

A Diamond Flashing LEDs Update II

Christmas lights, Halloween, Mood Light, Baby Light

This is a screen-shot of the positronic-brain-sim PCB design [R = red, G = green, A = amber P = pink] The LEDs are diamond cut flashing leds available here: Rapid [UK]

The design is copyright of Craig Turner 2012, 2013. But feel free to make some PCBs for personal use and enjoy them. No PCB copies should be made for sale or any commercial use.

This could be a costume Idea for Halloween (I plan to put them in a model of a human head), Christmas lights, a mood light, baby lights or any other cool lighting idea application. It's so simple, and works on the principle that each colour has differnt power requirements hence no MCU is required. It reminded me of a positronic brain you might find inside an android. See here for more details of  How it works. 

NB that LED D18 is in fact Green and not Yellow. It was mistakenly shown as yellow in an earlier post.

Here is the circuit diagram again in it's simplest form. As you can see it's just a grid of these special LEDs with a power supply (eg USB) and a switch. It runs quite happily and brightly off 5v so a USB is perfect.

I'm looking into getting some PCBs made of this simple design so I can easily share it with friends and family, the Scouts and anyone else, for that matter. Here is the art work in .jpg format if you want to etch one yourself, on my Google Drive.

See comment on Hackaday

Friday, 2 August 2013

Positronic Brain Sim requires no MCU?

Costume Idea for Halloween

A Diamond Flashing LEDs Update I

D1 to D35 are diamond flashing LEDs. D36 and D37 are multicolor cycling LEDs. 

Just a quick update to the diamond flashing LEDs. I hacked a USB cable and attached this as the power source. I also added some two lead colour-cycling LEDs (not shown on video).

A bit of fun and very pretty. It might be good as a baby mobile or a calming mood light - it's quite relaxing and almost hypnotic. I decided to make it as a "pick-me-up project" for those long winter nights in 2012.  I'm now looking to use this idea to look like a positronic brain for halloween 2013 [positronic brain] inside a model of a human head.

The video speaks for itself. A very simple circuit with no MCU - the arrangement of led's makes the flashing pattern. I think it's the slightly different power requirements of the different colours that makes the pattern work.

I reasoned that blue and green need more power before they switch on, so red goes first. The red and yellow ones are last to go off as I gradually drop the power using a variable PSU.

Slowed down the video shows that red and yellow come on first before the pattern stabilizes. I'm not sure if this explanation of the pattern is correct. Please comment if you agree or not, or have any more ideas.

The design is copyright of Craig Turner 2012, 2013. But feel free to make some PCBs for personal use and enjoy them. No PCB copies should be made for sale or any commercial use.

You can get the led's here: