Introduction: Telecran (Etch a Sketch) + Arduino = Telecranduino !

I came across a bunch of stepper motors and I have since been looking for a project to do with the kids.

An old Telecran (French for Etch-a-Sketch) later, we are in business !

What I used for this project:
- an arduino Uno
- 2 stepper motors
- 2 easydrivers v44 (by
- various Fishertechnik parts (
- a push button.

Optional parts:
- a sensor shield + 2 push buttons
- a Nintendo Wii Nunchuck
- a WiiChuck adapter

And also:
- hot glue gun

Step 1: Mechanics

The mechanical part has been done with some Fishertechniks parts.

I had to drill into the stepper cogs as the axis of the steppers were 5mm where the FT standard is 4 mm.

The other cogs were simply hot glued onto the Telecran (Etch-a-sketch) knobs.

The rest is best explained in pictures...

Step 2: Steppers

Some details of the motors and the final assembly.

Step 3: Arduino

To drive the steppers I used a couple of easy driver board from Sparkfun.

Very straight forward. Note the emergency button that allows to put the motors to sleep in case of a runaway sketch.

I added a sensor shield to the arduino for convenience as I have a couple of push buttons (with a pull-up resistor) already cabled.

WiiChuck adapter is one of my favorite. Although the Nunchuck is a little more difficult to program than it may first appear.

Step 4: Schematics

Step 5: Code - Sketch

If NUNCHUCK is defined then the code will be compiled with Nunchuck support.
The motors are then controlled exclusively with the Wii Nunchuck.

if NUNCHUCK is not defined, then a pre-defined drawing is executed.
Said drawing is controlled by the 'mode' variable modified at compile time.

This calls for a proper menu, an LCD screen etc... I leave this as an exercise to the reader.

Step 6: Calibration - Backlash

1. backlash

Backlash has been the most annoying part of this project.
It comes from all the mechanical parts involved, the biggest culprit being the Telecran itself.
I finally took backlash into account programmatically and I designed a calibration routine.
Said routine draws a cross several times using various values of backlash.
One can visually decide which value gives the best (most aligned) cross.

In my case 14 is the magic number.

2. nunchuck

When the nunchuck is activated in the code, one can open the serial interface and note the magic numbers for said nunchuck.
Mininum and maximum X and Y.
X and Y values when nunchuck is still.

Nunchuck is active when either 'c' or 'z' is pressed. 'c' is slow, 'w' is fast.

Step 7: Voila

Here are:

- some nunchuck art by one of my kids.

- a sin(x)/x 2D plot.

- a sin(x)/x 3D plot.

- a checker (challenging the backlash algo).

- some 'maisons' (houses in French) teaching programming to my elder : a function, a parameter, a loop...