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  • Solar Powered Rotating Strawberry Tower

    Great project. Love the concept, though I think I would need to simplify construction significantly. The 3D printing, welding, plasma cutter, lathe, and general metalworking facilities are all well beyond my budget and amenities 😂However, I am sure that the same idea can be constructed with more bias on wood or plastics, depending on people’s skills and tools availability.TFS

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  • Arduino M&M Color Sorter

    What a great idea - an absolute essential tool for every M&M (or Smarties for us Brits...) aficionado. I think they must have something similar on the LegoMasters show, to reset the brick room each night (that or a hundred minions on minimum wage working through the night to resort all the bricks).For the arduino code, I would have thought that with the RGB LED being a constant component being driven with a regulated voltage, and the M&Ms in a controlled and light sealed cell, you should be able to build a small script to measure the RGB reflectivity for each colour of M&M, and return calibration values to you, which could then be written in to the main code as constants, so that the calibration process only has to be done once, rather than each time you restart or reset the …

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    What a great idea - an absolute essential tool for every M&M (or Smarties for us Brits...) aficionado. I think they must have something similar on the LegoMasters show, to reset the brick room each night (that or a hundred minions on minimum wage working through the night to resort all the bricks).For the arduino code, I would have thought that with the RGB LED being a constant component being driven with a regulated voltage, and the M&Ms in a controlled and light sealed cell, you should be able to build a small script to measure the RGB reflectivity for each colour of M&M, and return calibration values to you, which could then be written in to the main code as constants, so that the calibration process only has to be done once, rather than each time you restart or reset the arduino? It would also allow for the red candies to always be delivered to silo 1 for example, rather than it simply replicating the order that you place them during the existing manual calibration routine.A further quality assurance type extension could be to spit out any individual M&M that doesn’t give a reading that matches the expected values (within acceptable tolerances), so that badly coloured, or broken candies that are exposing too much of the chocolate interior rather than the coloured shell, are put into a reject container for subsequent disposal (or more likely, consumption) as the operator sees fit. Yes - that’s going to require a rethink of the mechanism, with perhaps a stage 0 rotor passing each candy either to the existing two rotors if good readings are made, or to a reject port on the side of the mechanism?All in all, a great fun project, and while primarily a frivolous demonstration in this form, there are many real-world applications using such mechanisms and logic. Well done.

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  • Solar Powered WiFi Weather Station V3.0

    Somewhat disillusioned - looked at purchasing all the parts via supplied links, but many are for bulk packs of 5 or 10 items, a lot seem unable to supply in less than two months, a major component seems to be a virtually ready built weather station (unless you can build one with a 3D printer - which I don’t have access to), and the bill was up to around $200 AUD, even before adding the minor parts like resistors, and of course delivery costs, which were going to be another $75-100!The project sounds great, but is way out of my budget...

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  • NikonUser made the instructable Heart Candle Holder
    Heart Candle Holder

    I didn’t have any fancy wood, so I painted mine, and just left the inside of the heart as wood finish. Also used round over bit around the heart and left all the edges square. Thanks for sharing the method of lining up the two halves :-)

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  • NikonUser commented on JohnMPIII's instructable Heart Candle Holder
    Heart Candle Holder

    IKEA Glimma candles claim to be 38mm in diameter and 4 hr duration. They are roughly 16-17mm deep, which seems to be a standard for 3-4 hr burn time.

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  • Reclaimed Pallet Wood Herringbone Outdoor Bench

    A great project using scrap pallet wood. Measurements can be easily adapted based on the wood you can lay your hands on, though I made a couple of bad decisions that cost me...The first was just down to not knowing my wood - some of the wood I chose to use for the subframe was really hard, so much so that I had trouble getting nails into it even with pilot holes, and turned the heads completely off of two screws... when fitting the trim. My other mistake was to leave my centre rail too narrow - I didn’t have enough wood available to double up pieces to make a more substantial piece to nail into, so I ended up only able to put a single nail in the end of each of the herringbone parts, and will have to hope they don’t twist. I put half lap joints into the leg cross braces, to make them look…

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    A great project using scrap pallet wood. Measurements can be easily adapted based on the wood you can lay your hands on, though I made a couple of bad decisions that cost me...The first was just down to not knowing my wood - some of the wood I chose to use for the subframe was really hard, so much so that I had trouble getting nails into it even with pilot holes, and turned the heads completely off of two screws... when fitting the trim. My other mistake was to leave my centre rail too narrow - I didn’t have enough wood available to double up pieces to make a more substantial piece to nail into, so I ended up only able to put a single nail in the end of each of the herringbone parts, and will have to hope they don’t twist. I put half lap joints into the leg cross braces, to make them look a little more elegant - it was my first attempt at doing these with a table saw, and I was quite pleased how they turned out. Other than my two mistakes, I thoroughly enjoyed building something so practical ‘for nothing’. We are using it as a bench by the washing line, to put the washing basket on. Thanks for the Instructable - well written instructions and easy to follow.

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  • I'm looking at a Dell ATX12V 2.x PSU right now, from around 2011 or 2012, which has yellow wires for the +12v (B) supply, but uses white wires for the +12V (A) supply, so yes - I don't think they like to 'run with the herd'...

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  • NikonUser made the instructable Assembling the Board
    Assembling the Board

    I've used EasyEDA for my schematics, PCB layout, and gerber files, and JLCPCB to build the PCBs. My project is using multiple cascaded shift registers (between 7 and 10 - haven't quite decided yet), each controlling 8 strings of LEDs (I am working on the Instructable already, but probably won't be ready to publish it for a few months yet). I wanted to break out each individual shift register and the associated components to control its 8 LED strings (a couple of resistors and an NPN transistor for each string) onto separate modular boards, and had originally planned to use simple prototype boards. However, seeing your article here, and JLCPCB's introductory offer of 10 boards for just $2 USD - both came at exactly the right time in my design development to push me the extra step into d…

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    I've used EasyEDA for my schematics, PCB layout, and gerber files, and JLCPCB to build the PCBs. My project is using multiple cascaded shift registers (between 7 and 10 - haven't quite decided yet), each controlling 8 strings of LEDs (I am working on the Instructable already, but probably won't be ready to publish it for a few months yet). I wanted to break out each individual shift register and the associated components to control its 8 LED strings (a couple of resistors and an NPN transistor for each string) onto separate modular boards, and had originally planned to use simple prototype boards. However, seeing your article here, and JLCPCB's introductory offer of 10 boards for just $2 USD - both came at exactly the right time in my design development to push me the extra step into designing some smart professional looking PCBs. I have literally just received my boards this evening, and am now looking forward to getting my soldering iron out and getting the components on them (and hoping that I haven't made a huge blunder on my first attempt).Thanks for a great introduction, and sound grounding in this topic. While I didn't use the same software or manufacturer as you, all of the concepts and mechanisms you described are pretty much the same in EasyEDA as well.

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  • Very nice looking lamp, and I especially like your home-made olive jar and LED light bulb - very creative! I need some new bedside table lamps and a pair of these would look great - though perhaps not quite as attractive as yours knowing my woodwork skills, and perhaps a tad too delicate - looking at the piles of 'stuff' currently on my wife's side of the bed (but don't tell her I said that!)I'm going to have a look for those components and see if I can come up with something similar - I hadn't ever thought about making my own lamps before. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  • Hi mitri - yes, you are absolutely correct, and well spotted! Thanks for pointing it out, eagle eye.That declaration is a throwback to my mkI version of the code (the original breadboard test). Using the nominal capacity and percentage together, I could work out the remaining capacity in litres - however, knowing I have 749 litres left is a little less meaningful than seeing 35% indicated - at least, that's what I felt at the time... I'm having second thoughts about it now, and am considering a change to my sketch so that the display alternates between the percentage and actual capacity in litres once per second.I thought I had left the extra calculation line in the code, just commented out, but I see now that I must have deleted it when taking out all my extra testing and troubleshoot…

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    Hi mitri - yes, you are absolutely correct, and well spotted! Thanks for pointing it out, eagle eye.That declaration is a throwback to my mkI version of the code (the original breadboard test). Using the nominal capacity and percentage together, I could work out the remaining capacity in litres - however, knowing I have 749 litres left is a little less meaningful than seeing 35% indicated - at least, that's what I felt at the time... I'm having second thoughts about it now, and am considering a change to my sketch so that the display alternates between the percentage and actual capacity in litres once per second.I thought I had left the extra calculation line in the code, just commented out, but I see now that I must have deleted it when taking out all my extra testing and troubleshooting code.If I revisit this issue, I think that rather than simply using a nominal capacity based on the manufacturers claim (which is probably based on the tank's total volume, and not accounting for the volume lost from the overflow point up to the top of the tank), I would calculate an exact value based on the maxDepth and surface area of the water (easily calculated from the length and breadth of the tank). So I would either manually calculate a new and exact value for the capacity variable, or I would replace the variable with a new one called surfaceArea, and have the Arduino recalculate capacity each time (but it can do that thousands of times per second without breaking a sweat - so no worries there!).I'll add a postscript amendment into the instructable, along with mkIII of the code if I do make this change.

    LOL - yeah, I don't want anyone trolling me!! See the "be nice" policy!!!

    Hi Wroger-Wroger - all great manual alternatives. I like the squirty one in particular - it wouldn't work on mine as it has a pump to give the same pressure regardless of head, but I like the concept. I guess another idea might be to use the clear plastic hose but just put a standard tap fitting on it and turn the tap on while holding the tube above your head, rather than having to plumb it on to the tank...

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  • German_MX - absolutely true... Taking the first step is probably the most difficult. We often find it easier to make excuses NOT to start, and sometimes when we DO start we wish we hadn't, but most often, once momentum is gained and the journey started, seeing it through to the end is both rewarding, and potentially the start of a new journey. OK - enough with the metaphors - get on and just start making - the bells and whistles can come later, or on v2.0 All the best :-DOh, and thanks for the compliments ;-)

    Hi Hackinblack - yeah, don't get me started on ebay delivery times from China!!I imagine that your friend's 1M water cubes are either all connected at the lowest point and fill up simultaneously, or are in a cascading arrangement where the first fills up, then overflows into the second, which fills up and overflows into the third, etc...? You would need to have the first arrangement for my version of the gauge to work, so that all the cubes fill or drain at the same rate - then a measure of capacity in any tank can simply be multiplied by the number of tank units to get an overall capacity, and obviously the water and tank depth can be used to calculate the percentage (as I have done with mine) regardless of the number of tank units.Good luck with dragging the stone-age dipstick solution…

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    Hi Hackinblack - yeah, don't get me started on ebay delivery times from China!!I imagine that your friend's 1M water cubes are either all connected at the lowest point and fill up simultaneously, or are in a cascading arrangement where the first fills up, then overflows into the second, which fills up and overflows into the third, etc...? You would need to have the first arrangement for my version of the gauge to work, so that all the cubes fill or drain at the same rate - then a measure of capacity in any tank can simply be multiplied by the number of tank units to get an overall capacity, and obviously the water and tank depth can be used to calculate the percentage (as I have done with mine) regardless of the number of tank units.Good luck with dragging the stone-age dipstick solution into the current century.

    Logging data sounds like a cool enhancement. Logged data can map usage against capacity against weather trends or actual rainfall. Nice idea. I love statistics and data analysis!Ironically, I read somewhere that the USB interface is one of the components that push the Arduino prices up, especially for genuine suppliers like Adafruit and SparkFun who would no doubt use the properly licensed FTDI USB interface. The cheap clones coming from China use an alternative USB interface chip (CH340G) which bypasses the FTDI licensing cost, and brings their prices down considerably, and a Pro Mini with no USB on it at all... well, I got mine for $2.65!!

    Many thanks MauriceT2. I know its a long read, but I wanted to make it an enjoyable one too.

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  • Thanks 'also a Nikon user' - I like your enthusiasm! Sadly, anything that even makes it from breadboard to a project box is considered a total and absolute success in my book ;-) Version twos seldom happen, other than in my imagination - so I'm hoping someone else will take on that challenge for me, and I can at least claim the kudos for being the 'inspiration'...Star trails in the outback - are on my agenda once I retire. Only ten (long) years to go now...

    Many thanks Rene - that's just what I wanted to hear

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  • LOL - I sense a theme here. Great idea to tie the individual projects together into one instructable. I look forward to seeing it.

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  • Ha ha - worry not. Your comment was received exactly as you intended.

    Hi there MUSHROOMSOUPERMAN.If I could get the heavens to pour oil instead of rain (just for you and me of course), we'd both be incredibly rich, but plagued with complaints about the impact on the environment ;-) Thunderstorms could potentially be a little more hazardous, but I wonder what colour the rainbows would be?Many thanks for your kind words. I'm considering instructablising my next project, but with the installation of around 300 individual LEDs involved, and trying to introduce my 5 year-old grandson to the world of making, this could be a long runner.The HC-SR04 is officially rated to 4 metres, but I managed to get reflections back from mine up to 4.8 metres under ideal conditions. However - assuming you are talking about standard oil drums, or even a domestic oil tank at ho…

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    Hi there MUSHROOMSOUPERMAN.If I could get the heavens to pour oil instead of rain (just for you and me of course), we'd both be incredibly rich, but plagued with complaints about the impact on the environment ;-) Thunderstorms could potentially be a little more hazardous, but I wonder what colour the rainbows would be?Many thanks for your kind words. I'm considering instructablising my next project, but with the installation of around 300 individual LEDs involved, and trying to introduce my 5 year-old grandson to the world of making, this could be a long runner.The HC-SR04 is officially rated to 4 metres, but I managed to get reflections back from mine up to 4.8 metres under ideal conditions. However - assuming you are talking about standard oil drums, or even a domestic oil tank at home, then 4 metres should easily be plenty of range for you.Good luck with your build - I'd love to see your final product and hear about any adaptations or changes you made along the way.

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  • Adapting it for use with a weather station type rain gauge sounds like an excellent excuse to go the extra mile and have a real-time, internet accessible version. Could also use the spare capacity of the arduino to link a motor mechanism and timer to the rain gauge, to invert and empty it every 24 hours. Would need some thought on the weather-proofing though. Nice alternative use suggestion - thanks.

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or…

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    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or cheapest solution - just my particular take on it based on my skill sets. I thought about mechanical solutions involving floats and pulleys with an external flag or scale, but that meant some permanent means of getting the string from inside to outside, and affixing pulleys, etc. I also considered a simple transparent plastic indicator tube up the side of the tank, plumbed in at the bottom and top, but my concerns were a) the likelihood of it leaking where I drilled into the tank (it’s a corrugated tank with no flat surfaces anywhere), b) the need to drain the tank to do it (and how long it might be before I could recover that water - it doesn’t rain often here, and 2000 litres of water is a valuable standby commodity), and c) the tube - being exposed to daylight - ending up green with algae so I couldn’t see the water level anyway. But you are right - there’s certainly more than one way to solve this problem - even just using electronics!!Thanks again for your comment.

    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or…

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    Hi cobourgdave - many thanks for your kind comments - I am glad you enjoyed the instructable, and my style of writing. In answer to your question - I’d say why make a simple solution where there is a complicated technical solution that will give me an excuse to indulge my hobby? LOL - sorry, I don’t mean to sound facetious. But in all seriousness, my intention was provide an entertaining article that illustrated some electronics and programming principles, and offered some tutelage thereof. The problem it solved was more of an excuse than a reason. Admittedly, it was a tongue-in-cheek and highly over-engineered solution to an actual problem I had, but like I say - one that allowed me to indulge myself in my hobby. This was never intended to be a recommended, best, simplest, or cheapest solution - just my particular take on it based on my skill sets. I thought about mechanical solutions involving floats and pulleys with an external flag or scale, but that meant some permanent means of getting the string from inside to outside, and affixing pulleys, etc. I also considered a simple transparent plastic indicator tube up the side of the tank, plumbed in at the bottom and top, but my concerns were a) the likelihood of it leaking where I drilled into the tank (it’s a corrugated tank with no flat surfaces anywhere), b) the need to drain the tank to do it (and how long it might be before I could recover that water - it doesn’t rain often here, and 2000 litres of water is a valuable standby commodity), and c) the tube - being exposed to daylight - ending up green with algae so I couldn’t see the water level anyway. But you are right - there’s certainly more than one way to solve this problem - even just using electronics Thanks again for your comment.

    I like your style my friend!. And it raises another potential use - clip a sensor to the side of your glass while drinking the beer and get it to automatically order another pint from the bar when you are down to 10%... XDEndless possibilities!

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  • Thanks for the idea - but access into the rainwater tank is very limited via a single 30cm diameter hole in the top, and I don’t really want to start drilling holes and have to seal them (a disaster just waiting to happen!!), but the good news is that I have been able to build and test my unit - at least on breadboard (haven’t had time to mount it in a box yet), and all works to my satisfaction. The next step is to make all the connections permanent on my pro-mini, and drill the correct size holes in the box for the sensors to poke through. Btw - very impressed with the accuracy of the unit considering it was a cheap Chinese clone from eBay - it was good to within 1-2cms at 4 metres, and <1cm error at 2 metres. More than adequate for my needs.

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