Learning in the MakerSpace: Arduino, Day 2 (PM)

Project 8: Digital Hourglass

This project used a tilt switch and LEDs along with the code to create a timer. The initial code set the LEDs to illuminate every 10 minutes, or 600,000 milliseconds. I adjusted the code to speed the process up to 6,000 milliseconds, or 6 seconds. Shaking or tilting the board resets the clock.

Project 9: Motorized Pinwheel

I will have to return to this project when I have a 9V battery to power the motor. The battery was not included in the kit.

Project 10: Zoetrope

This project also requires a 9V battery.

Project 11: Crystal Ball

This project required a lot of wiring. There is a lot of room for error, which was alarming when the LCD screen did not illuminate. I double- and triple-checked my wiring, but it looked good. Eventually, I realized that I forgot to plug the Arduino power and ground into the breadboard. Tech Support 101: Is it plugged in? I felt pretty silly, yet relieved.

The idea behind this project was to recreate a Magic 8 ball using the LCD screen. The code creates 8 possible answers and the Arduino chooses one at random each time the switch is activated. The potentiometer adjusts the contrast of the LCD to make the text easier to see.

Project 12: Knock Lock

Well, the good times had to end sooner or later. I ran into another roadblock with this project. The idea for this one is to use a piezo to sense knock sounds that would cause the servo to move and LEDs to light up. Mine doesn’t do either of those. I can’t tell if the piezo is even picking up any sound. The wiring had to be adjusted from what was illustrated because the servo wires are attached to each other, unlike in the book. In addition, the piezo is quite large and the additional components are underneath it.

The code for this project was complex as well. A lot of variables and conditional statements along with a few boolean terms. Searching through the forums did not lead me to any solutions at this point. I may come back to this project next time and see if I can figure out how to get it to work.


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