Introduction: Emergency SOS Beacon With Arduino

Picture of Emergency SOS Beacon With Arduino

Your lost, its dark and your cold. Suddenly you see a plane off in the distance it's flying towards you, What do you do? Its dark so you can't signal with a mirror. What if you had a devise that could be able to send a distress signal to that plane. Well, in this Instructable I will be showing you how to build just that using a battery some basic circuitry and an LED and it fit nicely in an Altoids tin.

I have made a small dish that will reflect the light from an LED towards whatever its pointing at. Using an Arduino Micro I will make this LED blink S..., O---, S..., where the LED makes three short blinks, three long blinks, and then three more short blinks. Just a blinking LED would probably work fine for signaling, But I wanted to make it blink the SOS signal.

Thank you for all your support, and tips to help me improve my instructables. Without you guys I wouldn't be doing this right now, you can expect many more Instructables in the future so don't forget to follow me and/or favorite this instructable. If you have any question or concern then be sure to comment, or if you just want tell me how awesome this is, that's fine too! Here it is, hope you enjoy it and Don't forget to vote for me, thank you.

Step 1: What Do You Need?

Picture of What Do You Need?

    To build this you will need the following:

Materials:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Thick paper
  • An Altoids tin
  • An Arduino Micro: here
  • A 9v battery+clip: here
  • A 5v voltage regulator: here
  • Red and black wire: here
  • An NPN transistor:
  • A 10 centimeter piece of copper wire: here
  • A strip board: here

  • Super bright LED's: here

  • A Socket with 40 pins: here

  • Scotch tape

  • A 220ohm resistor: here

Tools:

  • Soldering Iron+60/40 solder: here
  • A pair of scissors, or a knife your choice
  • A wire cutter: here

Software:

Arduino IDE: here

Step 2: Code

Picture of Code

copy this code and paste it to the Arduino IDE, then upload it to your Arduino Micro. I recommend testing it on a breadboard by hooking an LED to pin 5 and ground to ensure that it works, if it doesn't work then let me Know and I will fix it immediately.

Code:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

int o = 1000;
int s = 500;
int del = 1500;
void setup() {
pinMode(5, OUTPUT);
}
void loop() {
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(o);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(o);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(o);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
delay(s);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);
delay(del);
}

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Step 3:

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Next cut out an octagon that is 6.5" in diameter in the foil and the paper, then tape the two layers together with the shiny side of the foil facing up. next you must cut out one side of the octagon and you will get something that looks like Pac-Man.

Step 4:

Picture of

In this step you will cut two slits in the inner sides of the triangle you cut out in the previous step, these will allow the sides to lock and create what is seen above. You may have to crease the edges a bit to make it form the shape. Don't use tape to attach the two edges because you will have to undo the dish so it can be folded up. A hole will also need to be cut at the hole so the LED can be placed in the center.

Step 5:

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In this step you will poke a small hole in the top left corner of the tin (see picture). This hole will hold the copper wire which will hold the dish.

Step 6:

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As you can see the wire can be slid in between the foil and the paper and perfectly holds the dish.

Step 7:

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Now we will solder the socket the 5v regulator and the battery clip onto the strip board. make sure ground goes to ground, 5v goes to 5v, and the 9v is attached to the input pin of the regulator.

Step 8:

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Then you will need to solder the NPN transistor to the board with middle pin attached to pin 5 on the Arduino. The 220 ohm resistor from the out pin on the transistor.

Step 9:

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As you can see I soldered wires to the LED's and then I went to the bottom of the board and soldered the wires of the LED's to the 9v strip and the ground pin of the transistor.

Step 10:

Picture of

The next step is simple, all you have to do now is test it, so plug in the Arduino and the battery. If it doesn't work then check all your connections and make sure you cut the connections that shouldn't be attached to the Arduino. other wise send me pictures in the comment section down below and I will be happy to help.

Step 11:

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Now can trim down the board and put it inside the tin then attach the dish to the stand and feed the LED through the hole in the dish. It should look something like the picture above.

Step 12:

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This is what it looks like closed up, The dish is folded up and secured to the bottom of the tin with rubber bands. Like I said earlier if you have any comments, questions, or concerns then leave them in the comment section down below and I will be more than happy to respond. If you like this then please be sure to subscribe to me here and to my YouTube channel for more awesome content like this. there is link on my page to it so be sure to check it out. Thank you for checking out my Instructable and be sure to favorite this and vote for me in the outside contest, once again thank you.

Comments

TacticoolTillius (author)2016-03-21

I might make this, i have all the parts handy, thanks for the cool ible

You are welcome! Be sure to post pictures when you're done!

TacticoolTillius (author)2016-03-21

I might make this, i have all the parts handy, thanks for the cool ible

TacticoolTillius (author)2016-03-21

I might make this, i have all the parts handy, thanks for the cool ible

amackinnon2 (author)2015-07-25

If this is going to be a SOS beacon use these https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13106 and upgrade the battery to a 12v. You can lay them out in a string in a group of 3 one meter apart - use the arduiino and a tip 120 to flash each one in sequence and then all three at once - on and off three times ... pause ... repeat .... Warning do not look into the led it is super bright. Three of anything as a signal is a sign of distress...

Benadski (author)2015-06-17

If you put a capacitor across the resistor of the LED (about 47uF) the start of each flash is brighter so more attention, even with a 5mm LED. But it might kill it over time. Also, do not use red or blue LEDs. Green is more visible.

Pure Carbon (author)Benadski2015-06-17

I never knew that, I will defiantly try it and let you know how it goes. The human eye can pick up more shades of green then any other color, so it would be ideal.

Orngrimm (author)2015-06-16

I would use a more powerfull diode... It will drain the battery qucikly (Maybe 10-15mins) but hey... One little LED on the ground wont be noticed on a plane 500m up... Even with reflector... So i dont care to "waste" a battery quicker... and 10-15mins will be enough for multiple flyovers...

I saw good 9V-batteries putting out 1.2-2 Amps. Thats maybe around 10-15Watt (Voltage WILL drop at this current-level).

So i tought about:

www.dx.com/p/214310 for boosting the 9 to 7 Volts to 12V. Then using a sucker like

www.dx.com/p/228889 to REALLY get the attention of the plane... It will run from 9V but just barely... You can use the altoids tin as cooler for the LED...

OR... You can simply take one of the MANY flashlights out there which have multiple modes. Most have some lightlevels, fast strobe and ... Tadaaa! SOS!

www.dx.com/p/372071

as an example... 10W Waterproof, and always ready for action. Please dont misunderstand me: Such a altoids tin is great... But somehow i dont want to rely on a self-built thing if my life is at risk...

I have a really good and expensive (Non china-ware, but germany developed and built) 30W-Flashlight for hiking (Mostly set to 7W) but it also has a SOS-mode. Never needed it thou... Thankfully. :)

Pure Carbon (author)Orngrimm2015-06-16

I completely agree, one little LED wont be noticed by a plane, but the Idea is there. If I understand correctly, you suggest boosting the voltage and then using a High power flashlight to signal. I think that's a great idea!

script_coded (author)2015-06-16

Great!
This would probably work with an AtTiny aswell. Just cheaper :D

Pure Carbon (author)script_coded2015-06-16

Absolutely! And it could probably fit in an Altoids mini container as well.

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