Domotics (home automation) control systems are among the most innovative and rewarding design projects creative electrical engineers can undertake. Let’s take a look at an innovative Beagle Board-based control system that enables a user to control lights with a 10.1˝ capacitive touchscreen.
• An I/O board for testing purposes
• An LED strip board for controlling an RGB LED strip
• A relay board for switching 230-VAC devices
• An energy meter for measuring on/off (and also for logging)
ELektor editor and engineer Clemens Valens recently interviewed Koen van Dongen about the design. Van Dongen describes the system’s electronics and then demonstrates how to use the touchscreen to control a light and LED strip.
As Valens explains suggests, it would be a worthwhile endeavor to incorporate a Wi-Fi connection to enable cellphone and tablet control. If you build such system, be sure to share it with our staff. Good luck!
CircuitCellar.com is an Elektor International Media website.
It’s officially summertime when Elektor’s special summer issue hits the newsstands. This year the team put together an attention-grabbing issue—complete with a redesigned layout—that’s packed with articles on projects such as a wearable distance-measuring device for swimmers, a music-making application with an Arduino, an “e-smog” detector, an innovative two-transistor regenerative receiver project, and more.
The two-transistor regenerative receiver
Editor-in-Chief Wisse Hettinga presents the issue in the following short video.
In other news, the Elektor team announced a new book on BASCOM-AVR is in the pipeline.
AVR microcontrollers are popular, easy to use and extremely versatile. Elektor magazine already produced a wealth of special applications and circuit boards based on ATmega and ATtiny controllers. These were mostly finished projects. In this book however the programming of these controllers is the foremost concern. BASCOM is an ideal tool for this. After a minimal preparation phase, you can start right away putting your own ideas into practice.
BASCOM and AVR microcontrollers — it’s an unbeatable team! Whatever you want to develop, in most cases the ATmega has everything you need on board. Ports, timers, A/D converters, PWM outputs and serial interfaces, RAM, flash ROM and EEPROM: everything is in plentiful supply, and with BASCOM their use is child’s play. More challenging peripherals like LCDs, RC5 and I2C can be used as well with just a handful of instructions. A wide hardware platform is available, too. Whether you’re using Atmel’s STK500 kit, the Elektor ATM18 or your own board, you can instantly turn the examples from this book into practice. For less exacting tasks controllers from the ATtiny are series used. That way, you can realize your own projects quickly and with little expense.
The companion CD-ROM with this book provides sample programs and software including BCAVRDMO, AVR STUDIO, LCDTOOLS, and TERMINAL.EXE.
Where do you design, hack, create, program, debug, and innovate? Do you work in a 20′ × 20′ space in your cellar? Do you share a small workspace in a lab at a university? Do you design in your dorm room? Do you work at your office after hours when the 9-to-5 employees are long gone? Have you built a “design cave” in your garage? Do you construct your projects at your local hackspace facility? We want to see where you design and program! Show us your personal circuit cellar or whatever you call your design space!
Email your pics, as well as a short description of the space, to email@example.com
We might feature your space on our website!
Check out these spaces:
Inside the Elektor lab in Limbricht, The Netherlands (November 2011)
Circuit Cellar columnist Robert Lacoste’s workspace in Chaville, France.
Do you have sound programming skills and an interest in assisting a fellow electronics designer with an creative image projection project? If so, the Laser TV Project posted on the “Elektor Projects” website is for you.
The Laser TV Project (Source: Elektor-Projects.com)
Website editor Clemens Valens writes:
Some people use electronics to build something they need, others just want to find out if something can be done. These projects are often the most fun to read about because of their unusual character and the creativity needed to accomplish the (sometimes bizarre) goal. The laser TV project posted on Elektor Projects is such a project. It is an attempt to project an image by means of 30 rotating mirrors mounted on a VHS head motor. Why you would want to do such a thing is not important, can it be done is the thing that matters.
According to the author the main challenge is the phase synchronization of the top plate on which the mirrors are mounted, and the author is looking for interested BASCOM programmers to develop the motor PLL (or a similar software solution). The motor rotates at 750 rpm and must be precisely synchronized to a pulse, which is available once per revolution.
Do you want to help with this project? Have you done something similar with Atmel and BASCOM? If so, go to Elektor-projects.com and help “hpt” with the project. You can also review other projects and vote. Your vote counts!
Do you want to add a powerful wireless Android device to your own projects? Now you can, and doing so is easier than you think.
With their high-resolution touchscreens, ample computing power, WLAN support, and telephone functions, Android smartphones and tablets are ideal for use as control centers in your projects. But until now, it has been difficult to connect them to external circuitry. Elektor’s AndroPod interface board, which adds a serial TTL port and an RS-485 port to the picture, changes this situation.
The Elektor AndroPod module
In a free webinar on June 21, 2012, Bernhard Wörndl-Aichriedler (codesigner of the AndroPod Interface) will explain how easy it is to connect your own circuitry to an Android smartphone using the AndroPod interface. Click here to register.
Elektor Academy and element14 have teamed up to bring you a series of exclusive webinars covering blockbuster projects from recent editions of Elektor magazine. Participation in these webinars is completely free!
Webinar: AndroPod – Bridging Android and Your Electronics Projects Date: Thursday June 21, 2012 Time: 16:00 CET Presenter: Bernhard Wörndl-Aichriedler (Codesigner of the Andropod Interface) Language: English
CircuitCellar.com is an Elektor International Media publication.