Community Corner: This Week in Adafruit’s Community


There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 52,126 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!

Don’t miss the chance to catch up with great pieces from the community from this past week! Click the link below!

From the Google+ Community

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jake strichek shared two Adafruit kit builds! “Two new +Adafruit Industries kits complete! #mintyboost #tv-b-gone” (read more)

Jason Birch shared: “A simple and cheap battery powered, transistor audio amplifier for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. Powered from a rechargeable NiMH PP3 battery. This demonstration shows the Raspberry Pi playing a video using the omxplayer under Arch Linux.” (read more)


Mark Miller shared: “My acrylic madness continues-In case you missed the earlier post, I have been spinning all my scrap lexan into pulleys, bearings, spacers, capstans,spacers and such so I can rapid prototype(play) with shafts, torque, speed and drive mechanisms quickly. I have made a BUNCH very quickly and with all the various bores and sizes, I am also making some storage nests to keep them in neat and tidy(yeah,right). The cutouts keep them flat for storage and each palate has a different bore size. The bearings were an afterthought, but handy to make up line shafting. I put brass tubing in the bores to make them accurate and lasting, and made the flange 2 screw mount. Still have to paint most in this picture, but plan to make them very colorful whilst they spin my next creation to life. I am also making some various shafting lengths of each size, so the whole thing is almost like erector set-plug and play. Also have made some compound pulleys, but paint is too wet to photo/handle right now. If this were a product I would name it “thinker toys”. It begs you to set some thing up and attach a motor…….” (read more)


Richard Freeman shared: “Ugh…. The hardware part of this project is easy peasy…. Most of the software as well.. But integrating them seamlessly? Not so much…. When I first started this project I had never programmed anything…. Like at all. I’ve always been intrigued by electronics, and when I read about arduino in my roommates subscription to wired, I simply couldn’t resist. I guess I’ve always been a “hacker”, but when I finally got my first arduino, I got bit…. And I got bit bad. It’s been crazy ever since….” (read more)


Erik Kringen shares a tip: “Measuring Current Without Breaking Your Multimeter” (read more)

Steven Hickson makes the Jetson’s Rosie a reality: “My talking (and listening) Robotic bartender. Runs off an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi. Talking Robotic Bartender — Bottender alpha” (read more)


Joel Richard shared an extensive “ATF-34143 Balanced Amplifier Layout and Simulation” tutorial (read more)

Pierre LucDespresMicro

Pierre-Luc Despres shared: “Trying to read a ds2344. It’s been a while that I use a microcontroller” (read more)

Jan De Coster shared: “Meet HERB” (read more)


Pete Prodoehl shared: “I’ve glued most of the pieces together (on the inside) and then magnets are glued to one panel on each piece that attach to small bits of wood with nails in the on the inside to the hold them in place. (A full post on this thing will happen when it’s done in a few weeks. ;)” (read more)

Ken Romero shared: “Here’s a video I helped capture from last weekend’s Maker’s Faire. Enjoy!” We did! (read more)


Lucas Martín Treser shared: “Access control with PICmicro” (read more)


A great way to keep up to date with Kris Kortright‘s creations, is to watch the Adafruit G+ Community! Here’s a picture of a tweak he made to his RFID wand: “Uploaded a revised back-end to the RFID wand, the gripping-teeth were too long on the model that I uploaded last night! I love 3D printing!!” (read more)

ATtiny arduino servo

Jeremy Cook shared: “Crude servo control with the ATtiny using the “delay” command. Method would work for any microcontroller” (read more)


Ricardo Lagos shared his second handmade watch strap: “This time made from scratch, 100% handmade. I think this one turned out much better than my previous one, straighter stitching, straight holes cleaner cuts, and just better feel since the leather was a bit thicker. The leather I got from e-bay from someone selling smaller pieces, I’d like to make some blue leather straps next. Took a few pictures of the process, enjoy.” (read more)


Max Valentin shared: “One of our more fun projects is soon to have its premier. Indie Arcade started out with a crowd funding campaign one year ago with the aim to build a couple of #arcade machines for games with alternative stories compared to the mainstream. And made in a format suitable for pop-up presentations of #interactive productions in galleries. The opening will be at a art center in the small coastal city of Karlskrona, Sweden. Not to likely you will pass by, but I hope you would like to see some pics. (read more)

Jaidyn Edwards shared: “I just did a write up on this little guy and I’m feeling a little sad. I have had him for a while now but the time has come for his guts to be used in another project. You will be missed.” (read more)


Jason Bedard shared: “Arduino Robot! A few days ago I mentioned the new Arduino designed and built robotics platform. Well, I now have one in my hands thanks to some good friends who just returned from the Bay Area Maker Faire. My first impression is of slight disappointment, but with overshadowing awe and amazement…. Overall though, this looks to be a very well thought out robotics platform that will change what educational robotics is all about. I am very much looking forward for tomorrow morning when my children have a chance to play with this bot for the first time. That will be the real test of the design.” (read the rest of his review here)


Jay Doscher shared: “My robot prototype wasn’t quite ready for #makerfaire, but maybe next year. I’ve got some bugs to squash before I’m ready to move ahead. In this pic you can see my beagle watching it closely!” (read more)


He also shared a cool Raspi project here — an outdoor data logging project.


Mike Barela shared: “Raspberry Pi camera connected to a Raspberry Pi Model B with a PiBow Adafruit edition case (the ribbon cable snakes between layers). PiDock/Atrix display/keyboard/”laptop”. Now to see about the Element 14 Raspberry Pi Camera Board Photography Competition.” (read more)

Pierre Villeneuve shared: “I just wrote up on my blog how I put together my dancing Lego robot. Its based on my Raspberry Pi, five servo motors, and Lego parts stolen from my son’s collection. The robot dances to some pretty groovy music, and there is a special appearance by Lego Batman. Video included.” We love it! (read more)

DrewLawton Arduino

Drew Lawton shared: “Now were getting somewhere! Finally was able to get my Arduino connected and communicating with my Android phone using” (read more)


Sean Carolan shared: “Aquarium pump + LeBistro pet bowl = circulating water for outdoor pets. Drill the water bottle lid to fit the power cord, insert the pump into the lid and you’re done.” (read more)

Samer Shawar shared his new Instructables project “Tissue Box Guitar – Light Strings” (read more)


Daniel Would shared: “Woohoo! After a couple of weeks with no time to fix my cnc, today I got it back up and running. With a new, beefier 24v power supply and a new laptop to drive it. Also a new tool bit for text engraving. I tried to see how small I could engrave text in wood. As it turns out, not terribly. But everything worked smoothly. Though in glad I put some heatsinks on the stepper drivers as things got pretty warm. Time to get a proper enclosure sorted for electronics and a fan to keep things cool. So much to do and so little time to do it in!” (read more)


Scott Strahan shared: “Rainy Sunday, working with my daughter to show her how to make some LEDs trace when the light goes out. Shortly after the pic, we added a potentiometer to speed up the loop the LEDs light. I’m basically a novice myself so I’m not sure which one of us lights up more when things work like they should.” (read more)


Andreas Backx shared a new software project for using Adafruit hardware with the world! “I just put my WIP project Comodi on Github. It’s my first Python and Raspberry Pi project that makes use of your char LCD display to do various stuff. Feel free to help me out by forking the project and trying it out!” (read more)


Steven Hickson shared: “Woke up this morning to find I’d been put on hackaday! (read more)


Ken Olsen shared a cute JunkBot project: “Anybody heard of a RumbleFX? Found a couple in the recycle bin. After 12+ years in the shrink wrap he was ready to make a break for it.” (read more)

RaizzieN opened up more of his fun Transform Quadcopter Robot so that you can build one, too: “Thank you everyone for watching my videos. Today, I open all parts of my new transformable quadcopter robot to the public. If you are interisted in this robot and want to make the robot like this, please check this video. I hope you find this video informative.” Members of the Community cheered and thanked him. (read more)


Rifle Creek shared a project in progress: “Wall sconce digitally designed in Sculptris and Sketchup, This a work in progress, with the intent to 3d print and post finished. The rubbed bronze look will be accomplished by wax polish application to printed material (for the appearance). 3 LED bulbs will line the back portion of the light diffuser, and a small 800 amp battery will be hidden in the back of the base. I think adding a small microcrontroller could add color sequences to the LED array, maybe an Arduino mini?” (read more)

jon sanford shared that he is “developing a method to find out what a given scrounged Transistor will do. I say I don’t use math to do this , but the Potentiometers can be considered Analogue Calculators. The parts have ratio requirements that I have to find.” Lively discussion follows. (read more)


Matt Heilman shared: “A transformer I modified to output 35Vac instead of 48Vac. (by removing winding from the secondary coil)
and yes it does work :)” and commenter Skip Jenkins wrote “I’m a bit in awe of people that can deal with ac, especially so in a case like this where you really have to know what you’re doing. Nicely done.” (read more)


Davide Candiloro asked the Community some thoughts about some chips: “Today I could find some time for making some breakout boards. Any ideas on how to put these guys together in a circuit? I will start uploading the BlinkStick firmware and start from there. Do you know if the 2313 can handle usb without oscillator?” (read more)


phenoptix shared an animated gif of a build in progress: “Still fairly rough but not sure when I’ll get the chance to work on it again so I thought I’d share the work in progress.” (read more)

Community Projects from the Adafruit Blog


Les Orchard shared on flickr: “I need to blog about this. This photo includes: A Raspberry Pi with a T-Cobbler, Two 74HC595 shift registers, and a 20×4 LCD display with negative RGB backlight (currently hard-wired to purple). Put together, this is a Raspberry Pi running a Python script that uses 3 GPIO pins to control 16 outputs. Driving the LCD itself is a dirty, dirty hack that fools some code from Adafruit into thinking it’s talking directly to GPIO pins, when really it’s talking to my shift registers.” (read more)

Great news for those curious about “soft robotics” — Matthew Borgatti shared his Trefoil Tentacle project as Thingiverse Thing 92103, a project he created code for via discussion here on the Adafruit Forums as he went. (read more)


Check out the latest 3D printed project with embedded electronics from Kris Kortright — one of my favorites of his to date! (And a great demonstration for using Blender to creating electronics projects.) You can find it at Thingiverse Thing 91160: “This is a wand/protector for the Adafruit RFID Breakout Board that I’m using in my RiderScan project. (The 10mm LEDs (2) for them can be found here.) It’s one of the best RFID/NFC breakout boards around, and since I’ll be using mine in a Horse Barn environment, I needed an enclosure that could stand up to wear and tear, as well as be functional and easy to use. This is my 2nd attempt to make such an enclosure using Blender and my trust MakerBot Replicator – I have ideas for a 3rd design in the works now…” (read more)

Quentin Harley released SCARA based “RepRap Morgan” 3D printer and its design (read more)


A sighting of a Hacker Scouts badget board at Maker Faire! (read more)

Here’s a wild treat from the community — an Instructable for creating your own PT and Ladyada puppets! “A favorite webshow is Ask an Engineer hosted by Phil Torrone and Limor “Ladyada” Fried of Adafruit.It’s a weekly windup of maker world happenings, news, products and projects. Although the primary focus is on electronics, it showcases itself as a premier resource and business in the maker community. And it looks like they have fun at it…the reason this art imitates life.” (read more)


Check out this neat analog, manually operated status board for consumables at the Milwaukee Makerspace. (read more)


We shared a massive update of the community photo show: the Cats of Engineering. We’re caught up and have added the latest rounds of cats. If you’d like to add your cat just scroll down to the bottom and send a photo (link) in! Pictured above: Missy guards her Arduino fireflies prototype. (read more)


In our neighborhood, voltaicsystems created a “Solar Powered Charge-Up Station On Wheels” in celebration of New York’s Bike to Work Day. A 60 watt solar panel mounted on the back of an old-school road bike and rode the streets of the city, distributing a free charge-up. It’s good for everything from phones, tablets to laptops, as pictured. (read more)

We shared images of the Minimal Punched Tape Reader: “The rig is composed of a Teensy++ 2.0, eighteen red LEDs, eighteen resistors, and a few bits of laser-cut plastic. LEDs are used to both illuminate the paper and sense the holes. The sensor design is based on the classic Arduino LED sensing code. It’s not very reliable, but it’s a fun afternoon proof-of-concept.” (read more)

Vittorio Cuculo shared the Mood Lamp project: “a system using interactions to communicate an emotional state to a physical object and receive back a coherent response. In particular, through your facial expression you communicate your emotional state to an RGB color lamp . The lamp, at this point, will respond to the interaction by changing the color of the light emitted in accordance with the emotional state inferred. The aim of the systems is to remove the mediation between human and machine typical of classic interfaces. Among the modes of natural interaction we usually have gestures, gaze tracking and facial expressions. The latter are particularly relevant because they play a fundamental role in nonverbal communication between human beings.” (read more)

little-scale shared how to use an Infrared Distance Sensor as MIDI Controller: “This is a simple example of using an infrared distance sensor as a MIDI controller. The hardware setup is simple – analog out to analog input on the Teensy, ground to ground and 5V to 5V.” Source code and photos here! (read more)


We learned about kitesurfing: “you never know whether or not there will be wind unless you live right by your favorite kitesurfing spot.
I live in Córdoba, Argentina, approximately 130 kilometers (~80 miles) away from the lake where I kitesurf. That’s roughly a two-hour drive, which I can deal with. But I can’t deal with the fact that weather forecasts are inaccurate. And where I live, good wind conditions last just a couple of hours. The last thing you want to do is clear up your Monday schedule to go kitesurfing and find yourself cursing the gods on a windless lake after two hours of driving.” (read more)


MakerBlock shared an open source PlotterBot – Arduino Drawing Robot display, which is chock full of Adafruit goodness. (Read more about PlotterBot.) And TinkerGirl shared small spinning drawing robots made with motors and markers. (Read more about Spinning Robot Drawings.) (read more)


Thomas Clauser shared: “The LighTouch is a ‘touchless’ music player based on Arduino that is controlled by ultrasonic sensor. The distance of your hand determines pause/play, volume control, or next track.” From the project page: “LighTouch was an idea I had as I was just diving into Arduino. Like anyone getting started, I bought an Uno and three random shields just to play with (music shield, bluetooth, and ultrasonic range finder). To that end, I got each of them up and running in record time and got bored. So what was the next logical step? Right… figure out how many of these shields can I use at the same time. In this case, a music shield and ultrasonic range finder made the cut. The idea is pretty simple; an mp3 player that you never have to touch. Simply hold your hand over the device to adjust volume, pause, and move to the next track. All the commands basically key on the distance of your hand from the sensor. (read more)


Jay Silver‘s “The World Is a Construction Kit” Talk at Maker Faire Bay Area: “While we wait for the Center Stage video archives to go up, here’s a little treat from the ImageThink “graphic facilitation” team who were creating simul-illustrato-casts of the Maker Faire Center Stage talks on poster board: Jay Silver’s “The World Is a Construction Kit” Talk.” (read more)


Adafruit’s Phil Burgess‘s LED matrix + voice changer projects were among the maker projects featured in the Make’s photo wrap-up from Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 (read more)


Shared with us in freaklabs’s tweet/photo from Maker Faire: “so this strange guy named bunnie was wandering around maker faire & showed me the new project he’s working on!” (read more)


Jeri Ellsworth shared her augmented reality glasses at Maker Faire Bay Area: “Former Valve hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth and programmer Rick Johnson spent over a year working on the project at Valve, and have been putting in six days a week, 16+ hours a day on the project ever since. “We believed in it… that this is going to change the way that people interact with computers and play games,” says Ellsworth. “This is what I’m going to build come hell or high water. It was just a no-brainer that when we were not at Valve… we just had to do it.” They formed a company, Technical Illusions, to commercialize the tech. This weekend, they flew down to Maker Faire to show their crazy prototype to the world for the very first time.”
(read more)

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