Introduction: Steampunk Picaxe Protected Sketchbook

About: Steampunk-Design builds and developed the most modern technical equipment, fine jewelry and futuristic devices implemented with funds and materials of the Victorian era.
A new artifact has left the Steampunk Design workshop and got a new place on my desk.

Everyone knows that Steampunker have countless ideas and projects which must be stored safely until all the parts are available or the last problems are solved.
From my experience, some ideas needs a few months of planning until they are really ready to be implemented.
In order to work in this time the ideas are not forgotten or are even get stolen from curious colleagues, they must be drawn and written carefully down and kept highly secured.

For this purpose, I have developed this sketchbook.

It has a two-way protection.
The first is a combination of four switches, each with 4 steps, thereby resulting 265 possible switch positions. If the right one is found, only the circuit is closed and the PICAXE starts to work.

Now the second security system comes to bear.
It must be entered the right knock code!
If this code entered incorrectly a fitting melody played and a cooldown time of 80sek starts. Only after this cooldown time a new attempt permitted.

When the right combination is found you will hear a different tune, and the book will open.
If you want to close the book you must push a small hidden pushbutton.

But look for yourself: In HD mode you can recognize all the small details.


- Paper Blanks book Grolier Grande 35€
- Picaxe 08M Modul (AXE230) 20€
- Piezo 1€
- Switch 4x 4-positions10€
- Servo micro 10€
- Nokia BL-5C battery 8€
- Brass pipe 4mm 6€
- Brass pipe 2mm 4€
- Brass pipe 1.5mm 2€

Step 1: Modify the Clip

First of all i buy one of this really great looking Paperblanks books from the Grolier edition.
The main reason is that they already have a metal buckle to close it.
With only two small modifications I was able to prepare it for my project.

First of all I remove the small magnet inside the buckle with a sharp knife.
Then I solder a brass pipe which I cut in a little bit over the half diameter instead of the magnet.

Then I push the old splint 1.5mm out of the buckle adapter.
This hole I drilled up to 2.1mm.
Make sure your 2mm brass pipe moves very smooth through both holes.
If you lift up the buckle and stick the 2mm brass pipe inside the book is locked.

Step 2: Build the Locking System

To make sure that the lever arms find the right way into the buckle and stabilise the complete arm you need a guide tube.

I placed the servo in the middle of the book with double side tape.
I used something a brass part from an old wall clock as a guide tube.
I also drilled it up to a little over 2.0mm and make sure that the 2mm pipe moves smooth through but is not too lose.
I file a small groove into the guide tube get a better connection with the book cover.
Then I glued it with second glue on the cover.

Then I build the level arms.
This was a really hard job because of the joint which I build myself. Maybe it is easier to buy in a model store a small knuckle joint for an engine and use the two single joints.

I cut a 3mm long 2.5mm wide slot into a 1cm long  4mm brass pipe.
Then I drill a 1mm hole in a 90 degree angel to the slot.
I stick a 1mm brass nail through both holes.
Make sure that you can turn the nail inside the slot without any resistant.
Then solder the 2mm Brass pipe on the 1mm Brass nail.
That is the most complicated work on this project!!!
Only get solder on the connection between nail and 2mm brass pipe if some solder stick into your 1mm hole and nail you failed. And the joint don’t move in any direction.

I need 6 to 8 times until I only solder the brass pipe it will help a little if you put some acrylic paint in the connection between nail and hole. It’s like a cover on the brass and prevent that you solder flow into the hole.

If you built this joint nearly all your work is done.
The last step is to stick a short 1mm brass bar into the 2mm brass pipe and figure out the right length to the servo adjust it in a position that the lock is completely open but don’t move out of the buckle adapter! I also use my solder iron to fix my bar into the right position.

Step 3: First Protection: the Switch Row

I get these switches in a German shop but I think you will find a similar one in USA and UK.
It’s a switch with four positions and a design to fit it directly on a circuit board
I glue the 4 switches to one big block.
Then I push it with the pins on my book and wait a few seconds. When I removed it I see the small dents. I mark them with a pen.
Later I drilled there holes with a 0.6mm drill.
Now I glued the switch row on my book.
I solder the connections with enamelled copper wire to a nice code.
Only with the right switch combination the power can flow from right to left side of the switch row…
Then I cut all pins as short as possible.
Later I cover the switch row with brown buckskin.

Step 4: Second Protection: Picaxe Knocking Code and Final Wiring

For  the first test with the servo I take the Picaxe 08M prototype board.
I only figure out the open and close position of my level arms for the servo.
I also check if all parts running smooth and don’t stick anywhere in the movement.

Then I solder the two resistors, servo wires, LED and switch on the module (AXE230) and fit it to the cover in the same way like the switch row, just behind the servo.

The circuit is nearly the same as I used with my Poltergeist also the code is very similar.

You will find the code here between the pictures I will draw the circuit the next days but if you look on the original Poltergeist project from AndyGadget you must only supersede the engine with the servo on pin4.

Then I connect inside the cover the chip with the Battery + directly and took  – over the switch row.
Then I glue the piezo sounder in the middle and connect it too.

Done \o/

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