Hey Gizmo

Introduction: Hey Gizmo

Hey Gizmo is a 'Steam Punk', version of 'Alexa', and'Hey Google'. It's a voice recognition Home Automation device that uses an Arduino Mega 2560 and an Arduino mini 3.3v. and an EasyVr 3 Voice Recognition shield. It wirelessly controls X-10 modules. Yes, I said X-10 that's part of why it's Steam Punk, aside from the VFD tubes, (Vacume Flourecent Display), and an old Grundig microphone converted into a speaker. I converted the microphone into a speaker by removing the broken diaphram and replacing it with a small 8 ohm speaker. In the following 2 videos you'll see it in action.

Step 1: Videos of Gizmo at Work

As you can see it can turn on and dim lights as well as play crazy recordings. I pulled the recording off Youtube and edited it with Garage Band. The easyVr software is a little difficult but there are plenty of instructional videos on Instructables and Youtube. The most important thing to remember is the Jumper settings. You can find the EasyVr 3 manual online, it's pretty thick but I managed to get it up and running just using the Quick set up guide. Pay close attention to the Mode Jumper settings on page 21.

Step 2: VFD IV-11 Clock Kit

The VFD clock as for aesthetics only. But now you don't have to ask Gizmo what time it is! The clock was a kit from Bangood. It's a medium hard build, not for beginners but you can buy them pre made. As you can see I offset the seconds. That's just my personal preference, now it looks less like the timer to a bomb.

Step 3: Arduinos and Power Regulators

These are pictures of the Arduino Mega 2560 and the Mini as well as the EasyVr shield connected to the Mega.You can power the Mini from the Mega with its 3.3 volt supply and ground pins. If you buy the 3.3 volt Mini MAKE sure you don't connect it to a 5 volt pin!! There are 5 volt Mini's as well. other than power there is no other connection between the 2 Arduinos

There are 3 adjustable voltage regulators that you can get on Amazon. I love these things, their cheap and adjustable. In the last picture you will see the inside of Gizmo. The regulator to the left is for the clock, I didn't have to do that but it's much more stable than the wall wort they provided with the kit. The other two regulators in the top right are for the mini VFD. One is 1.5 volt for the filament and the other is for the grid of the small VFD.. I power the whole device with a 12 volt DC, 2 amp wall wort. 12 volts comes in and goes to the inputs of all three regulators. I'll explain how the small VFD works in the next section.

Step 4: Small IV-8 Tube

The first pic is of the IV-8 on a board with the Toshiba 62783APG. The Toshiba is a great little chip, you can connect it directly to the Arduino Mini without limiting resistors. So you can control it with 5 volt inputs while it outputs up to 50 volts per pin! You can apply up to 50 volts to VCC on the chip. I apologize for the lack of a circuit diagram here but my hand writing is horrible and I think I can describe the circuit because it's so simple.

Starting with the tube;

pin 1 = +1.5 volts (filament)

pin 8 = - 1.5 volts (filament)

pin 7 = +30 volts (grid)

There is no negative 30 volts to the grid!

The way a VFD Tube works is by powering the Filament it creates a field of electrons, the 30 volt Positive Grid potential attracts the electrons, so when you apply power to the individual segments that make up the figure 8 pattern in the tube, the electrons are attracted to the phosphorous in the segment and that segment illuminates.

As for the Arduino Mini:

pin 2 Mini = pin 1 on chip

pin 3 Mini = 2 on chip

pin 4 mini = 3 chip

5 = 4

6 = 5

7 = 6

8 = 9

9 = 8

Step 5: X-10

The first pic shows the Firecraker X-10 transmitter a transceiver and dimmable lamp module.

the wiring of the Firecracker is as follows

DB9 pin 7 on Firecracker = pin 2 on Arduino Mega

DB9 pin 4 on Firecracker = pin 3 on Arduino mega

DB9 pin 5 on firecracker = grnd on Arduino Mega

As you will see in 'final program' the settings on the X-10 modules as far as unit number need to correspond to the X-10 case statement for each recognized word.

This is my first Instructable so forgive any grammatical errors and my apologies to any professional programmers who might read this. Feel free to contact me at edwelsh@mac.com plz put Gizmo in the subject line.

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