Introduction: Advanced Useless Machine

Hi everyone today I'd like to present my unusual useless machine. I hope everyone heard about useless machine, but I built advanced version with seven toggle switches.

The idea of doing this box came up the husband of my cousin. As approached their wedding, I decided to do this them as a gift.

Elements I used:

  • Microcontroller Atmega8
  • capacitors (electrolytic and ceramic)
  • resistors to reset pin
  • quartz 16MHz
  • connectors
  • many wires
  • DC motor driver L298
  • 7 toggle switches
  • limit switch
  • power connector
  • two wires supply switch
  • power supply - I have witch four wires - GND, "-", 5V/2A, 12V/2A
  • two servos - I dismantled from old toy
  • stepper motor
  • from old printer
  • rail on which the carriage moves - also from old printer
  • arm - I made of the nail
  • boards, screws, hinges, timbers - everything needed to build the box

Step 1: Box Construction

Build my box started by gathering all the items I needed. It included elements from old printer, motors, servos, etc. Many items I took from recycling. At first I had to found old printers. I asked my friends and they gave me three printers. outside stepper motor and rail I dismantled capacitors and many wires. Testing my elements lasted a very long time. I wrote testing programs for servos, stepper motor, switches. When I was sure that all working I started to build wooden box. Everything else I bought at a DIY store.

For this I used:

  • Planed board(?) with dimensions 2000mm x 80mm x 15mm (78" x 3.14" x 0.5")
  • Planed board(?) with dimensions 2000mm x 120mm x 15mm (78" x 4.7" x 0.5")
  • Timbers with dimensions 2000mm x 30mm x 15mm (78" x 1.2" x 0.5")

Also I needed two hinges and many screws Torx T25.

My rail is 400mm(15.7") long so size of my box is:

  • Width 430mm (17")
  • Height 120mm (4.7")
  • Length 160mm (6.3")

Before installing all the elements in box I had to adapt the stepper motor to the transtainer. Originally there was DC motor with perforated tape and encoder. Unfortunately I had problems reading value of the encoder, so I exchanged DC motor on stepper motor from another printer.

The next step was the location in the box all the elements. At the beginning Of the two wooden beams I have placed transtainer.

I screwed on the sides another two timbers and to one fitted a servo, which open the flap, while the second contactor. Then I drilled holes for switches. Construction of the box was finished.

Step 2: Electronics

From the power supply 12V I connected by the L298 driver to stepper motor. At first I wanted to use L293 driver but it too much warming because my stepper motor receiver 2A.

5V I used to supply logic part and servos. I started tests on a breadboard. When everything worked I moved everything on the prototype board.

Program on Atmega I wrote in Arduino IDE. At the begin I wanted to do it in C in Eclipse, but I didn't have experience. (program code) In a large summary, box starts its operation in position "0", while holding the contactor. when is more switches on , flap does not close. If it turn of all the switches flap closes and a few empty loops scanning, arm returns to position "0".

Step 3: Program

Program on Atmega I wrote in Arduino IDE. At the begin I wanted to do it in C in Eclipse, but I didn't have
experience.

CODE

Program code is not so complicated. If you know a little bit C language or Arduino IDE you can understand everything.

In a large summary, box starts its operation in position "0", while holding the contactor. when is more switches on , flap does not close. If it turn of all the switches flap closes and a few empty loops scanning, arm returns to position "0".

Step 4: Conclusion

I built this useless machine for almost 3 months. Sometimes I had a big problems, which took me many days to solve, but I'm so proud of my box. It got me so much pleasure and knowledge during building it.

I know that article is not so long but I'm from Poland and I'm not writing in my language. If you have some questions, please ask me in the comments section, I will try to answer :)

Comments

author
SuperTech-IT (author)2017-07-07

For power saving (if wanted)
Replace power switch with a push-button. Push button bypasses a relay contact to give power to the microcontroller. Fist thing the microcontroller does is power on the relay, which now becomes the "power on" switch. After delay, arduino powers off the relay, disconnecting it from power completely (ZERO power draw). I did this in my "vampire killer" project - there is a schematic there for this complete power off / push button to start" circuit.

author
SuperTech-IT (author)2017-07-07

Nice twist on a classic creation!

author
larystoy (author)2017-02-28

English version of source code please, Google translate didn't help me with it, such as what is "frame", "flap", and other words? Thanks if you can help with this. larystoy

author
mysior103 (author)larystoy2017-03-01

Hi,

In the link below is translated code. I'm just changed the name, but I'm not sure the code is working.

https://www.sendspace.com/file/3fmzzd

author
ThanhD6 (author)2016-08-30

Link code is die, please give me new link code. Thank you

author
mysior103 (author)ThanhD62017-03-01

Here is a link with the code:
https://www.sendspace.com/file/qg4s1q

author
carlos66ba (author)2016-03-31

Wondeful. Thank you.

author
M. A.G (author)2015-10-26

Thank you that is the most awesome thing I have ever seen.

author
M. A.G (author)2015-10-26

Thank you that is the most awesome thing I have ever seen.

author
gawada (author)2015-10-21

hello,

I'm trying to build your machine using and arduino uno board that uses the atmega328p microcontroller along with an arduino motor shield. i'm having some trouble translating the connections from your schematic to the arduino board. can you help me with that please?

thank you.

author
mysior103 (author)gawada2015-10-24

Hi, If I good understood your qustion, I think it would be usefull for you!

atmega328-arduino-pinout.jpg
author
gawada (author)mysior1032015-10-24

thank you very much!

author
8Core (author)2015-10-09

Great project. Made me laugh. However, in your opening instructions you mention about having "to adapt the stepper motor to the transtainer" What is a transtainer? Its not something that I have come across before and Google didn't help me.

author
vincent.nylin (author)8Core2015-10-16

I believe that he means transformer.

author
mysior103 (author)8Core2015-10-09

track by which finger is moving:)

author
cepterbi (author)2015-10-14

hahahaha, best upgrade ever

author
turtleturtle (author)2015-10-11

hahaha lol

author
SushruthS (author)2015-10-10

lol It's alive...and annoyed !!

author
PatriciaD18 (author)2015-10-08

You have way too much free time, but you use it well. Good Job.

author
mysior103 (author)PatriciaD182015-10-10

I did it in my free time between work:) my girlfriend wasn't happy;)

author
Dale409 (author)2015-10-09

I love this but it is, I think, beyond my capabilities. Would you build me one, or perhaps make kits available?

author
Robboberty (author)2015-10-08

This is great! Now how about someone making one with two arms that are constantly fighting to switch them all the other way. :)

author
mysior103 (author)Robboberty2015-10-09

You mean this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=nUzbyYyxGUg

author
Gadget93 (author)Robboberty2015-10-08

That sounds awesome!

author
Zaacharia (author)Robboberty2015-10-08

It has been done:

https://youtu.be/UkgoSOSGrx4

author
Robboberty (author)Zaacharia2015-10-08

Awesome! The name makes it even better

author
LenaTom (author)2015-10-09

This is so great!!!!!!! I have a normal useless machine and if it would be possible to buy a set of all necessary parts I would buy them!!!!!! :-)

author
Olav AlexanderM (author)2015-10-09

maybe you can make a "knock box". If you knock on it, it knocks back :-)

author
TonyA3 (author)2015-10-08

Superb project for our Leicester Hackspace to build - plenty of old printers and servos to use. Thanks for posting.

author
dushyantahuja (author)2015-10-08

love it.

author
bd5 (author)2015-10-08

I LOVE THIS THING!!

author
oilitright (author)2015-10-08

Very nice and fun for a useless machine. When I was young and there was lots of surplus electronics available cheap we use to put huge 'Do Nothing Machines" together. Mostly lights, bells, gauges, nixie tubes and an occasional small oscilloscope CRT making 'Outer Limits" patterns. This was prior to personal printers so nothing of that mechanical nature. We did incorporate some Erector Set parts. Different signal generator frequencies sweeping around. We had a blast building and watching them do absolutely nothing. Use to put different warning signs on them "Tune For Maximum Smoke" and the best one ever read

ACHTUNG! Alles touristen und non-technischen peepers!



Das machine control is nicht fur gerfinger-poken und

mittengrabben. Oderwise is easy schnappen der springenwerk,

blowen fuse, und poppencorken mit spitzensparken.

Der machine is diggen by experten only. Is nicht fur

geverken by das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseenen

keepen das cotten picken hands in das pockets,

so relaxen und watchen das blinkenlights.

author
srilyk (author)2015-10-08

zomg I love this. The classic "bzzzzt" of a dot matrix printer as your stepper motors drive is so delightful. This is just cool

author
MiriamK1 (author)2015-10-08

There is an artform in Japan that is about making something that looks useful but is actually not useful at all. I once saw a small book showing a number of items that had been submitted. Forget the name of the artform but it really intrigued me. This useless box would fit right in! Well Done.

author
Noram27 (author)MiriamK12015-10-08

MiriamK - It is Chindogu! Very humerous!

author
wobbler (author)2015-10-08

"It's alive!!!!" (<<you have to use your best Dr Frankenstein voice). Love it!

author
Laral (author)2015-10-08

That's really hilarious. The only thing I could see added would be a hand with a pointing finger, like those joke machines of old.

author
Laral (author)Laral2015-10-08

This is what I was referring to. It is not just using a finger but the whole hand.

Monster Inside the Black Box (cr).jpg
author
Laral (author)Laral2015-10-08

Here's one I found that does use the index finger.

Little Black Box.jpg
author
Zaacharia (author)2015-10-08

I want something like this but I want Rube Goldberg to do it (and I want it on my apt wall)!

author
slippyblade (author)2015-10-08

It's soooo useless. I am in awe.

author
ManuelA9 (author)2015-10-08

Not useless enough. And it lacks a spoonful olive oil. I'm not building it.

author
boocat (author)2015-10-08

This is very cool.

author
TheGeekPub (author)2015-10-08

This is absolutely fantastic!

author
PyroMonger (author)2015-10-08

awesome...but no one shows videos of their creations working anymore...?

author
SpoonMax (author)2015-10-08

Brilliant idea, and wonderfully executed. It seems that Poles have a special sense of humour. A long time since I've something as funny as this. Uselessness can be useful too!

author
ai.roboticsltd (author)2015-10-08

Very funny very clever

author
Nikus (author)2015-10-08

Super projekt! Zagłosowałem :)

author
KookaiC (author)2015-10-08

I think the box is brilliant. But I am staring at one hugely "useless machine" already that I browse all day with only Chrome as such that all of this expensive windows complication is 99% useless in the background doing not much except relaying packets to and from the internet.

author
askjerry (author)2015-10-08

Excellent work! Great design too!

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