SMS to Cheap Scrolling LED using Arduino USB Host Shield and Android App

This project shows how to send SMS text messages to a cheap scrolling LED display via an Android app and arduino with USB host shield.

The project was originally inspired by a friend wanting to make a “sexting themed” costume, with a scrolling LED display of live texts sent from people at the party.  We found a $13 LED belt buckle online, which looked cool, but only had a few buttons to manually enter in messages. A couple wires and lines of arduino code later, we were able to automate entry of messages.
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Josh creates waterproof LED staircase with 16X PWM LED Fader


Josh Nijenhuis shared a video of the really cool lighted stairs he made using our 16x PWM LED fader board. http://store.curiousinventor.com/16x-pwm-led-fader.html He made custom machined and anodized 6061 Aluminum LED light holders that are waterproof. The lights will eventually be installed on a real staircase outdoors.

Click Read More to see more pics.
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Controlling a Hand Drill with Arduino to Spool Solder

Here’s an instructable showing how to Control a Hand Drill with an Arduino / roboduino to spool solder. This may not be on the top of everyone’s project list, but a hand drill is strong enough to do a lot of tasks, so we hope this will be helpful to someone with another project idea,… maybe spooling guitar pickups.
Rather than use TRIACs to mess with the 120VAC, we found a servo was an easy and safe way to control the drill’s trigger / throttle.  The setup also uses a home made optical encoder that triggers an interrupt in the arduino code.  The code is available Solder_spooler_v3_pde, and contains some useful bits like lookup-table speed control, state machine menu system, and interrupt based speed sensing.

 

Program-o-duino = Arduino + ZIF Socket


We program boot loaders on a decent number of ATMEGAs for our roboduino kit, which involves a lot of pin bending and IC pulling. To speed up the process, Oren transformed this arduino into a program-o-duino by soldering on a ZIF(Zero Insertion Force) socket.  Now it just takes a quick pull of the lever to pop the chip in and out.

Radio Shield Skips Commercials using RDS data

Here’s a quick demo of our new FM Radio Shield, featuring its ability to read the RDS text data off the radio stream and display it in the Arduino Serial Monitor.
The FM Shield also:

  • digitally control station, volume
  • read station strength to find good stations, or empty bands
  • head phone amplifier, uses headphone wire as antenna

The FM Radio Shield is available for purchase.

FM Radio Shield for Arduino

We’re happy to release a new FM Radio Arduino Shield that lets you listen to and control FM Radio.  With its abilit to read RDS info, the station / artist / song names can be displayed, and with a bit of code, you could have it automatically change channels when commercials play.
You can also digitally change the station, volume, and read the signal strength to find the strongest or weakest stations.  Finding weak stations could help you find a good transmission gap for your FM transmitter.
If there’s a station broadcasting traffic info via RDS, that would also be available.
FM Radio Arduino Shield

About

CuriousInventor launched in late 2006 (pre-arduino era!) as a place to enable hobbyists, students, and musicians to create their own technology. We sold open-source kits and tools, and offered numerous guides & videos on things like soldering, metal working, screws, electronics, and more. 

The store is now mostly empty, but we’ve kept the product pages and guides up since they have useful information. Many of our guides and videos still rank on the first page of google searches and have been seen millions of times. Content on this site and the CuriousInventor YouTube channel produced by Scott Driscoll.

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