Adam, Kevin and I have been working on a secure kegerator project. We made a kegerator that uses an Arduino Duemilanove with an RFID reader for access control, a solenoid for controlling the tap and a flow meter for recording how much beer was dispensed. We are reusing our Makerspace keycards and fobs for access. The system is pretty simple and only has a few components. We’ve done a couple of iterations on it so far and are currently working on a custom-etched Arduino shield for the components. While the system currently uses a little Nokia 5110 screen from AdaFruit, we are also working on a version that uses an android phone for display, data logging and cloud-connected goodness.
The old, tired way of storing and dispensing beer relies on cans and refrigerators. This simply won’t do for today’s tech-savvy connoisseur.
Nokia 5110/3310 monochrome LCD + extras. These displays were used in old Nokia 5110/3310 cell phones (before the smart-phone fad turned every cell phone into a TV). It’s a 84×48 pixel monochrome LCD display. These displays are small, only about 1.5″ diagonal, but very readable and come with a white backlight. This display is made of 84×48 individual pixels, so you can use it for graphics, text or bitmaps. These displays are inexpensive, easy to use, require only a few digital I/O pins and are fairly low power as well.
To drive the display, you will need 3 to 5 digital output pins (depending on whether you want to manually control the chip select and reset lines). Another pin can be used to control (via on/off or PWM) the backlight – the backlight LEDs are wired to a transistor.
The display driver is a PCD8544 chip, and it runs at 3.3V so you’ll need a 3V supply handy (you don’t need that much current though, maybe 10mA tops). Logic levels must be 3V to prevent damage but we include a free level shifter chip so you can easily connect it to 5V logic such as an Arduino.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.