Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Arduino LCD Clock

Lots of projects require a battery backed time and date display or stamp. In this project we took a SainSmart DS1307 RTC Module and connected it to a SainSmart UNO & LCD Shield. We are displaying the date and time on the lcd display.

Normally, on a lcd, if you print 35, then 7, you'll get 75, as the 7 slides to the left, and leaves the old digit. I'm using a if statement to detect if a number is less than 10, then inserting a 0 first. This maintains the placement. You can insert a space if you prefer.

We used a Real Time Clock library from Adafruit as the base project, and made our modifications to that.

To set the time, pull the battery from the unpowered clock module, reinsert it, and upload the sketch to the Arduino. The clock module will be set to your computers date and time at the time the sketch was compiled / uploaded.

The 4 connections necessary are:

+5vdc to RTC VCC
Gnd to RTC Gnd


You can add a relay, buzzer and alarm code to turn things on and off or notify you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weather LCD Shield

We took our LCD Keypad Shield, and added our Weather Shield that we used with the web server project. Now we have temperature, humidity, pressure, and more displaying on the LCD. Just press the buttons to see the various readings.


SainSmart RFID Sensors

I have a couple 13.56 mHz RFID modules coming for different projects I'm working on. One project is key-less entry for auto or home use, the other is for object tracking. A lot of fun for under $10.

Let us know what you would do with one of these in the comments, and we may send you one!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Image Recognition & Path Tracking

Ever wanted to do image recognition, and path tracking? You don't need expensive processor power or complicated programming. The Pixy recognizes color patterns, and can process 50 frames per second. It tells the Arduino what object it's tracking, and the x, y co-ordinates of that object. We have one coming this month, and will have several projects based on it. Read more ....

Screw Terminal Blocks, Great for any project!

I'm always trying to scrounge screw terminal blocks for various projects, and finally found my favorites. I use them on my prototype and permanent projects where temporarily sticking a sensor wire into a header is no longer appropriate. These are rated at 8amps up to 250v, so will work great with the many low voltage, low current applications we build. At $8 for 30 two pole blocks (that clip together for more poles) you can't go wrong!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Arduino UNO & LCD Shield Raffle

Congratulations to our winner, Anthony from Ohio!

In order to fund our next project, a keyboard based morse code encoder / decoder, we are raffling off a Arduino UNO with a LCD Keypad shield. The UNO comes programmed with a working example sketch and the sketch will also be emailed to you. Tickets are $5, winner will be announced March 31st.

The Morse Code kit we are developing receives morse code and displays the text on a LCD screen, and you type on the keyboard and it transmits morse code. This is based on our PS/2 Keyboard Shield we built a while back.

Every participant will get a series of Arduino eBooks and Tutorials / Datasheets.

Decoder functions based on Budd Churchward's excellent work at: