Intro: The Awes-O-Meter
This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Make course at the University of South Florida (www.makecourse.com).
Do any of these phrases remind you of someone? "A" is for "Awesome". Quiz scores were "Un-awesome". Have an "awesome" weekend. Well, whoever has had the privilege of meeting Professor Rudy Schlaf will know the wide range of the word "awesome". The Awes-O-Meter will allow you to see for yourself (kind of like if Professor Schlaf was stuffed into a USF themed 8-ball) and more.
The Awes-O-Meter uses the principal of a voltage divider in order to provide a range of LED lights, servo positions, and sound clips. This instructable will allow you to make one of your very own mini-Schlaf's, mini-Arnolds, or a mini-you.
Step 1: Parts List
As you know this list can be modified to your own personal preference. These are my materials I used.
- Arduino Uno R3
- USB Cable
- Jumper Wires
- Shrink Wrap
- Electrical Tape
- 2 Red LEDs
- 2 Green LEDs
- Servo Motor
- Adafruit FX Sound Board
- Spray Paint
- AutoDeskInventor Program
- 3-D Printer
- Solder Iron
- Philips Screwdriver
- Needle-Nosed Pliers
- 220, 400 Grit Sandpaper
Step 2: It's Alive! (3-D Print)
I used the required black box as my base and used my imagination to create the horns and the pointer (by using AutoDesk Inventor Pro).
I am providing the Inventor Pro files; these files are the horn and the pointer for you to use. However, there is one "horn" part that is completely solid. The Bull_HornLEFT has holes to allow wires to go through it, which will keep the wires unseen. Providing both files will allow more room for your imagination to take hold.
The underbelly of the pointer has an indentation where the arm of my servo motor fit.
Step 3: Be-a-utifying
Although my 3-D printed parts came out very nicely compared to others, I still had some work to do. I first had to remove as much of the the 3-D printed supports with needle-nosed pliers as possible and then sand the rest. I started with 220 grit sandpaper and finished 400 grit sandpaper. If you have not sanded 3-D parts before, I would advise to go slow. If the heat production from the sanding gets too hot then your part will start to melt (no bueno). I sanded it lightly to allow enough heat to dissipate and create a smooth surface.
Once sanded, I wiped every part down with a damp washcloth to remove debris and particles left over from sanding. This will help the paint to hold, however, it is important to ensure the part is dry completely before painting. For each part painted, I needed to apply 3 coats of Rust-Oleum color and allowed a few days for the paint to dry in between coats.
Step 4: Electrical Components
As you can see in one of the pictures, I built my electrical system starting with one component and did not move on until I was satisfied with my results. In the beginning of the Make Course, I struggled to understand the electronic components in my design, but I taught myself the applications required for my project (with a little help debugging when nothing seemed to work).
As you can see by the Fritzing diagram, the horns (which would attach to the fuchsia wires) are a part of a resistor voltage divider. I used 8 - 10K ohm resistors in order to provide a wider range of voltage readings from the arduino ( A0 pin, green wire ).
The 4 LED's are powered by individual arduino pins with 220 ohm resistors. Also, two of the red LED's were green ( the far right two in the Fritzing diagram ) but neither the fritzing program or entire internet had green LED part files. My apologies but if you find one please let me know.
The servo motor was the easiest to connect. One wire goes to an arduino pin, another wire goes to the power strip, and the last wire goes to ground. Simple enough.
At the start, the Sound FX board was somewhat arduous to function. At the end, the Sound FX board operates as intended after some time tinkering with the parts and the program. Each pin on the FX board that I used were associated with an individual arduino pin. Although, I only used 6 sound FX pins, I was able to put many sound clips per pin. For more detailed info on the great board go to adafruit.com or
Step 5: Arduino Code
The Arduino code is too long to discuss so I will not elaborate on each part. I have provided comments on each line that will expand upon anything that needs more explanation. This code took me weeks to figure out and only completely worked once someone else helped me out ( took him 5 minutes). I do applaud myself for great job on coding though. Overall, I admit, I need more practice with it (so no comments from the peanut gallery on my style of code would be greatly appreciated).
Step 6: Finishing Product
Almost done. The finished product is near. Now, it is time assemble it. There are 7 key steps to remember in order to complete the design.
Step 1: Box frame
Step 2: Horns
Step 3: Bulls Head
Step 4: Needle Pointer
Step 5: LED Lights
Step 6: Servo-Motor
Step 7: Soldering the wires and tweaking any imperfections
Congratulations! You are now finished. The steps are a blue print to the overall design of my project. The process to create this design is time consuming but it is rewarding at the end. You will enjoy the experience to create your Awes-O-Meter as I did. Are you up to the "Awesome" challenge?