Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arduino "Uno" is ready! (and more)

A new replacement for the Duemilanove called the "Uno" (easier to pronounce, thank you), a new usb-serial adapter (with Arduino USB Vendor ID), the new Arduino Mega 2560, Tinker Toolkit (modular system of sensors and actuators) and more!

From -
This board will replace the Duemilanove. We decided to be nice to the non-italians and use a name that was simpler to pronounce and write. Uno means one in italian and this board for us is the basic building block of the Arduino product line. We replaced the aging FTDI chipset with a custom made usb-serial converter built with an Atmel ATmega8U2 this provides lower latency and doesn’t require to install any drivers on mac and linux (on windows all you need is a simple .inf file) more advanced users will be able to reprogram the USB chip to make the board show up as a variety of USB devices (Keyboards, Mice, Joysticks, MIDI etc)

Arduino - PBX 2-way communication

I found a neat hack that allows a Arduino to call out, as well as receive communication from the open source Linux PBX, Asterisk.

I’ve been able to get Asterisk grab info about sensors connected to an ethernet-enabled Arduino, but how about the other way around? What if you could allow your Arduino to make outbound calls through your Asterisk system to make a make-shift alarm system, or over-powered doorbell?

Read more at, and watch the video!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arduino DS1307 Real Time Clock Module

Sparkfun is sending us their DS1307 Real Time Clock Module. This will add date and time functions to our Thermostat / Weather Station, for logging and set back functions, and time/date display.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Barometric Pressure Sensor BMP085

We ordered a Barometric Pressure Sensor (BMP085) from Sparkfun, And the Protoshield (piggyback prototyping board) from Hacktronics is on it's way. We have a software library that enables us to run two I2C data buses so we can communicate with the two SHT21 temp/humidity sensors (same I2C address) from MisensO.

Discussion concerning how to use this chip can be found at and the library with examples at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DIY Logic Probe

A logic probe is a useful tool for troubleshooting digital circuits like the ones found in Arduino projects. You could buy one, like on the left, or make your own. Here is one of our DIY favorites:

How much water is in my tank / cistern?

Living in an rv, we have 3 water tanks; fresh, grey, and black. The typical rv sensors can get goofy when crudded up with debris and residue. I'd like the Arduino to accurately determine the level in my tanks. Here is an option from the book at left:

It uses a device called a differential pressure transducer to measure the water pressure at the bottom of the tank, and from that to calculate how full the tank is. Water pressure increases by about 9.8067kPa per meter of depth so a full tank 2m tall will have a pressure at the bottom of about 19.6134kPa above ambient atmospheric pressure. The "above ambient atmospheric pressure" part is important: it's not enough to simply measure the pressure at the bottom of the tank because varying climate conditions will alter the reading. That's why this project uses a "differential" pressure transducer that has two inlets. By leaving one inlet open to the atmosphere and connecting the other to the bottom of the tank the transducer will output the difference between the two, automatically compensating for varying air pressure and giving a constant reading for constant depth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dual Humidity / Temp I2C Sensors

We are adding a second temp/humidity sensor (outdoor) to our digital thermostat / weather station. It arrived today from MisensO, and they are helping us with the code for reading two I2C sensors with the same bus address. Stay tuned for progress, and check out their site as well. We will be ordering our barometric pressure sensor shortly to add to this project, and a prototyping shield is coming from Hacktronics.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Arduino, New IDE - This Weekend?

Rumor has it there is to be a announcement this coming weekend of a whole new upgrade in hardware and software. Not an incremental upgrade, but a big jump in the evolution of the platform. It's said to be mostly backwards compatible. Stay tuned!

Control the Arduino with IR TV Remote

Use a TV remote to tell your Arduino to do various things, like turn lights on/off, lock doors, close blinds, and more.


Background Info

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wordle - Arduino Blog Art

Wordle: Arduinotronics.blogspot.comThe Arduino was designed for artists and architects originally, so here is our nod to Art. Wordle takes our blog feed, and converts it to this representation, based on the popularity of keywords. Make your own Wordle maps at

Easy storage of your components

Want a inexpensive and easy method to store your variety of resistors, capacitors, transistors, LED's and more? Get a three ring binder, and some of these zippered inserts to store your components. Ziplock baggies can subdivide the various devices further by part number or capacity.
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