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This is the last list in a five part series where we list the Greatest Hits of the Project14 as part of the first Makevember celebration on the element14 community in honor of the third Makevember event.  Makevember is an event that encourages everyone to spend 5 minutes a day working on projects to make things for the fun of it. The idea of a Greatest Hits compilation is borrowed from music.  On a Greatest Hits compilation you'll see 20-25 songs in no particular order and you'll notice a lot of gems missing if you're at all familiar with the artist's work. In the spirit of Makevember its not about whose project is "best", won prizes, and it is not a ranked or ordered list.  It's a celebration of the effort, the learning, the fun, the creativity, the skill, and the entertainment that you have provided to make this program possible.

 

We'll be releasing parts of the 25 52 greatest Hits of Project14 throughout Makevember and by the time we have finished this list, you'll have a representative sample of all the great work that's been done by the community members in support of this program.  The purpose is not to exclude but to celebrate, and the hope is that the 25 52 projects selected are representative of everything that's been going on around here since things got started.

 

Here is the final batch (Projects 1-5) of the 25 52 Greatest Hits on Project14:

 

The following Greatest Hits have been added to the list:

 

Time is winding down till Thanksgiving here in the US so we'll keep adding more additional greatest hits with the limited amount of time left in the month.....

 

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Project 5: ARBot

Project 5: ARBot by dubbie

Electronic Toys

 

Having spent some time thinking about a possible activity for the Project14 Electronic Toys competition dubbie decided to try and make some sort of augmented reality game. Augmented Reality, as far as this project is concerned, is taking a video stream  and processing it in some way and adding additional information on screen as an overlay.  His aim was to take a number of low cost, existing systems and modules and attempt to bodge them all together to achieve some sort of working augmented reality system. The system was to be designed to recognie specific objects within an environment. A small mobile robot containing a video camera would be moving about in the environment and transferring the augmented video stream to a head-mounted display. The orientation of the video camera would be synchronized to the head-set orientation using some sort of 3D orientation sensor. The mobile robot movements would be controlled by the user, probably with some sort of joystick or similar manual controller and the aim would be to move through an environment, identifying the pre-selected targets, and then if possible, having some method of 'shooting' at them, using the headset to aim. A bit like a video game, except with a 'real' mobile robot moving over a module landscape.

 

The final working system didn't quite implement the game play how he wanted to as originally he wanted to control the direction of the laser spot using the AR headset, so that it could be moved onto the identified targets. Then 'firing' would check if the laser spot was on target and points added for accuracy, with points deducted for hitting 'friendly' figures. Then by using a joystick or similar, the mobile robot carrying the PixyCam could be driven around an environment searching for figures to fire at. As the competition wound down, he estimated that he was about 90% of the way towards achieving this, with the majority of the sub-systems working.

 

ARBot

 

"I wish to add a honorable mention for ARBot by dubbie. A great blog about many things especially the mobile robot truck. He may not have had success, but it was very good to instruct others to face adversity up front..." - Community Member Judge

"I found the integration between digital image processing and augmented reality of this project very cool. The project was very well documented by the author and can be applied to many games with children." - Community Member Judge

"For a project that didn't quite meet his aspirations, but plenty of effort was expended, I think this goes to dubbie's augmented reality project. It was fun and just along the lines of how many projects go - also nice to see I'm not the only one that struggles to get a motor traction :-)" - Community Member Judge

Product NameManufacturerQuantity
Arduino MKR ZeroArduino 1Buy NowBuy Now

 

Product Name
PixyCam
2 Yellow Lego Men
BN0055 Rotation Sensor
Servo Motor
SongMi Virtual Reality Glasses headset
mobile robot chassis

 

Also on Project14 from dubbie:

Project 4: IoT Reflow Oven with Arduino MKR WiFi 1010

Project 4: IOT Reflow Oven with Arduino MKR WiFi 1010  by fmilburn

IoT: In the Cloud

Soldering Surface Mount Devices (SMD) by hand is doable with large parts but the results are sometimes of lower quality and small parts are difficult.  An easy next step is to modify a toaster oven for use as a reflow oven.  This project describes how to get started with a basic setup and also adds the ability to monitor actual temperature on adafruit.io and compare it to the desired reflow profile in real time. There are a number of boards and projects that describe how to control the temperature profile with a microcontroller but fmilburn  elected to start with manual control.  His toaster oven was the cheapest one he could find at less than $30 and easily meets reflow temperature requirements for lead-free solder.  Although some recommend convection heating his toaster oven does not have it.  The procedures and methods described below are an improvement over the hand soldering he used previously where actual temperature and time were not controlled.  They are presented here as a way to do prototyping and one off non-critical projects but are a long ways from production level equipment and processes.

 

The oven is an inexpensive Black and Decker model placed in the garage as his lab space is limited.  The garage also provides good ventilation.  Two thermocouples are used in the setup - on for direct observation of temperature on the Extech multimeter at left and another attached to the MKR WiFi1010 reflow board which transmits to adafruit.io as described below.  While some drill a hole in the side or top of the oven to insert thermocouples, I just snaked them through the bottom of the door near the hinge with no modification.  The K-type tips were attached to a spare PCB for easy placement and more direct reading of PCB temperature.  Reflow  of the solder is observed through the window on the oven door.

 

IoT Reflow Oven with Arduino MKR WiFi 1010

"Great project based on the MKR series and the IoT.  Nice approach to building a tool/equipment." - Community Member Judge

 

"Great working design concept that works based on a simple idea!.. and also may be useful for many members of the community."  - Community Member Judge

"I've always aspired to make one of these and now I have Frank's knowledgable blog to guide me." - Community Member Judge

"This project showed what can be done using a free API and simple data logging. It shows that a manual process can be enhanced by IOT to give better results and can be used as a building block for further automation." - Community Member Judge

 

 

Product NameManufacturer
Quantity
Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 Arduino1Buy NowBuy Now
Arduino MKR Therm ShieldArduino1Buy NowBuy Now
Arduino MKR RGB ShieldArduino1Buy NowBuy Now

 

Product Name
Inexpensive toaster oven
Thermocouple Amplifier and K-type Thermocouple
adafriuit.io account

 

Also on Project14 by fmilburn:

Project 3: LoRa Environmental Experimental Sensors

 

Project 3: LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) by ralphjy:

Remote Monitoring & Control

 

ralphjy 's project LoRaXes is a loose reference to a Dr. Seuss character in a book about the plight of the environment during the industrial age. He began building a pair of outdoor LoRa sensors to use for GPS, temperature/humidity/pressure, ambient light, water level, and PIR. He started his project to find a use for a Things LoRa Gateway and two MKR WAN 1300 boards that he won as the Grand Prize in the IoT: In the Cloud challenge.  This was his first experience with LoRa and the Things Network.

 

Goals achieved:

  1. Connect gateway to Things Network  - there were only five LoRa gateways within a 50 km radius of my location that were connected to the Things Network, so he added access for sensors near him.
  2. Build two portable battery operated sensor units - he only fully completed assembly of one of the units, but he's tested the electronics for both.
  3. Connect both units to the Things Network - he has unique applications running for each MKR Wan 1300 on the Things Network console.
  4. Provide GPS functionality for one of the units - the fully assembled unit has the GPS module and he has used it with the mapping integration on the Things Network to display the unit's location.
  5. Measure RSSI in the proximity of his house - units have good operational margin on his property.

Goals Not Achieved:

  1. Determine the effective LoRa range of he gateway/sensor setup - he needed to find the time to get some data walking the GPS unit away from the gateway.  hHe should be able to correlate the RSSI data associated with the GPS data packets and use -120 dBm as a range metric (or he could guess the real metric is when packets are not received - use the last location received).  His accuracy may not be that good if he doesn't do some averaging.  He's noticed that over time he could get geolocation outliers of 50-60 meters even though the clustering is more like 5-10 meters (with the unit in a static location).
  2. Measure/optimize battery life - He sort of gave up on this one when he realized that he has older MKR Wan 1300 boards that do not power down the Murata LoRa module in sleep mode (fmilburn pointed out this issue).  The achievable sleep mode current is ~2 mA.  He's seen implementations of full power shutdown using the TI TPL5110 ultra low power timer.  He thinks he will give that a try.  He can make room on the proto board to handle that.  And he'll need to make sure that the GPS handles save and restore of the tracking data correctly.  His guess is that even with the newer MKR Wan 1300 (released the end of 2018) he would still have had to power down the GPS since its power save mode draws ~11mA.  He may need to look at other GPS units.
  3. Determine the reliability of his system by analyzing uptime - this is difficult to quantify in the prototype stage since he's been constantly power cycling the units.  He noticed that his gateway reboots at least once daily.  He probably needs to automate some processing on the Things Network console.

 

LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes)

 

 

Product NameManufacturer
Quantity
Arduino MKR WAN 1300Arduino1Buy NowBuy Now
Network Gateway, The Things Network, LoRaWANArduino1Buy NowBuy Now

 

 

Product Name
3.5dBi omni-directional antenna w/cable
3V battery pack w/2 AA batteries
Plastic case w/cover, 9.6 x 5.6 x 2.1 cm
Module NEO6MV2 with Flight Control EEPROM MWC APM2.5 large antenna
BME280.Temperature Sensor
PCB

 

Also on Project14  by ralphjy:

 

 

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Project 2: Captain S.L.O.W. (Rhex inspired)

Project 2:  Captain S.L.O.W. (Rhex inspired) by milosrasic98

Month of Robots

milosrasic98 built a robot inpired by RHex, a Boston Dynamics, a six legged autonomous robot with remarkable mobility in rough terrain.  Each of RHex's 6 legs is shaped like half a ring. It moves its legs in sets of 3, meaning it always has 3 legs in contact with the ground to keep it stable. The RHex can do some really amazing things like jump, climb stairs and so on because of the incredibly powerful motors it uses. Since it only has 6 legs compared to the number of actuators the Velox used, milosrasic98  thought he'd give a go at making his own robot that has this kind of propulsion. For the brain of the project he decided to go with the Arduino Mega 2560, the reason for this is the sheer number of IO pins it has as well as 6 external interrupts, which he plans to utilize if everything works out hopefully. As for the motors, he had pretty much 2 choices in order to make this project doable in a short amount of time, and those were continuous servos and stepper motors. He looked around and managed to find pretty cheap mini continuous servos, so he went with those. All that was needed now were the legs and a chassis to hold everything together. For the chassis he decided to go for the standard plywood used in shop class, since it's really light, strong enough for what he needed and really easy to work with. The easiest thing to do would be to glue the motors down to plywood but he didn't like the idea. Instead he found some old aluminium L profiles which he plan on making into the brackets for the motors, which should also give a little bit more of structural rigidity to the robot. All that's left now or the legs.

 

Before he started cutting and filing, he had to make a decision on the design. There were 2 ways he considered for mounting the motors. The first one was all 3 motors on side to be in line with each other, meaning that from front to back, the robot would have to be at least 4 diameters of pipe, to make sure that the legs could never bump into each other. The other solution was to copy how it was done on RHex and other similar robots, by taking the second and fifth leg (middle one on each side) and pushing them more to the side. This way from front to back, the robot would only need to be 2 diameters and the length of a servo roughly, which is much better than the 4 diameters of the first option. And with that all of the motor brackets are complete. They turned out exactly as he planned out, which is always an awesome feeling. Of course, it's not perfect perfect, and some motors might be rotated a bit, or one is a millimeter or 2 higher than the the other mounted motors, but he can adjust for all of that by adding washers to the legs, but honestly, he thinks there won't be any need for that. All that's left is to connect all of this together. To connect all of this together he went with standard 3mm thick plywood.

 

Captain S.L.O.W. (Rhex inspired)

 

"Captain slow.  An interesting concept. It sort of lollops around, and I'd like to see more if development continues." - Community Member Judge 

 

 

"An interesting robot, very clever way of making the robot legs/wheels!" - Community Member Judge

 

Product NameManufacturerQuantity
Arduino MegaArduino1Buy NowBuy Now

 

Product Name
Mini Continuous Servos
3mm thick plywood
old aluminium L profiles
thin wall plastic pipe with a diameter of 80mm
Screws
Old Broom
Arduino Uno Proto Shield
cells from a laptop battery
Raspberry Pi Case
DC-DC converter

 

Also on Project14 by milosrasic98:

Project 1: Solar Powered IoT Device with Cayenne

Project 1: Solar powered IoT device with Cayenne by luislabmo

Energy Harvesting

 

In most cases, IoT sensors will outlast the life of a battery, leaving the designers with mostly 3 factors to consider:

  • Reducing the amount of data that will be gathered by the sensor
  • Finding a strategy to replace batteries
  • Introducing an alternate source of power to increase the amount of time the sensor spends collecting/transmitting data

 

One technology that can help counter the issues above is Energy Harvesting, which is the process of capturing/scavenge energy from external sources (e.g., solar power, wind, vibration, thermal, kinetic) to later power small devices like wearables and wireless sensors.

 

With the help of Internet of Things (IoT) and energy harvesting devices, wireless communications can represent the ideal communication scenario to easily and reliably connect devices in a system by bringing network capability, data collection, and management with little human intervention.

 

 

Solar powered IoT device with Cayenne

"An excellent  solar based, IoT sensor project.  Great energy harvester development, forming a very usable IoT sensor platform.  Great work!" - Community Member Judge

"A well detailed blog and demonstration of powering a small device with the combination of solar power and super capacitors. The build was superb quality with professional results." - Community Member Judge

 

 

"A useful and detailed project. It should be useful for those who want to learn/ start with 'Energy harvesting'." - Community Member Judge

"Solar Powered IoT with Cayenne, luislabmo.  This one did stand out to me.  The parts and steps were explained the best.  The video clearly showed his results. Source code and schematics were included. He harvested energy and used it to do something useful (soil moisture).  He made his own circuit board, with several options for using with different projects.  It was all very impressive.  For my own use in the future, I wrote down the part numbers, the use of supercaps really interested me." - Community Member Judge

"The project was well planned and executed with a customised board using SMT. The many phases was completed in a small time frame and video was complete." - Community Member Judge

Product NameManufacturerQuantity
DC-DC Switching Regulator Buck-Boost, AdjustableLinear Technology | Integrated Circuits 1Buy NowBuy Now
Supercapacitor, EDLC, 1 F, 5.5 V, Radial Leaded, SG Series, +80%, -20%, 5 mmPanasonic 1Buy NowBuy Now
MOSFET Transistor, N Channel, 560 mA, 30 V, 1.5 ohm, 4 V, 800 mVON Semiconductor 1Buy NowBuy Now
Small Signal Schottky Diode, Single, 40 V, 520 mA, 610 mV, 12 A, 150 °CDiodes Inc1Buy NowBuy Now

 

Product Name
5V, 2.5W Solar panel
SparkFun ESP8266 Thing - Dev Board
Vegetronix VH400 Soil moisture Sensor
Cayenne Software
(4) 330μF, 6.3V radial electrolytic capacitor (6.3mm diameter, through-hole)
2.2µF, 10V ceramic Capacitor, 0603[1608]
0.1μF, 6.3V ceramic capacitor 0603[1608]
(2) 1μF, 16V ceramic capacitor 0603[1608]
100μF, 10V radial electrolytic capacitor (6.3mm diameter, through-hole)
1Mohm, 1/10W, 1% resistor 0603[1608]
820kohm resistor 0603[1608]
33ohm resistor 0603[1608]
2Mohm trimmer potentiometer, through-hole
Zener Diode 5.1V SOD-323
(2) 2x3 through-hole header (2.54mm pitch)
(4) 1x3 through-hole header (2.54mm pitch)
(3) 1x2 through-hole header (2.54mm pitch)
10µH, minimum saturation current 750mA
2.54mm pitch, 2 position jumperstic.

 

Also on Project14 by luislabmo:

Project 01: "No Lies" IR Thermometer

Project 01: "No Lies" IR Thermometer by koudelad

Test Instrumentation

 

koudelad likes thermometers.  As he sees it, temperature is one of the most popular things to measure whether its in your home, work place, or in machines.  With his wife expecting, he decided to welcome him or her into the world with a body thermometer.  After finding no luck with commercial options, he decided to make one himself as the perfect gift to give their future electronics enthusiast. First, there is no value specified for the emissivity set in the IR sensor. Second, there are usually two types of measurements: for body use and general-purpose home use.  "No lies" IR Thermometer was his solution. 

 

An infrared thermometer measures the amount of thermal radiation by the object being measured. It is based on an effect called black-body radiation, which is a thermal electromagnetic radiation, that has a specific spectrum and intensity, depending on the body’s temperature. Most of the emission is in the infrared region, but with increasing temperature get to the human visible light region.

To make things more complicated, real objects never radiate as ideal black-bodies. They emit a fraction of what would the ideal black-body emit. This is described as emissivity, meaning how well the real body radiates, compared to the black body. Emissivity also depends on various factors, but in common engineering, it is considered a constant.

 

"A genuinely useful project that was really well documented. It's great that he explained his need for it, the reasons behind the design choices, etc. I must admit though, my wife (who's a doctor) and I find that the off-the-shelf IR thermometers work just fine for our kids!" - Community Member Judge

"This was a great project to following through its development.  The results were great." - Community Member Judge

 

 

"This  is just a fantastic project, bespoke PCBs, plenty of photographs, cool  videos and a wealth of well written documentation that kept me busy for  hours (both when posted initially and for selecting my winners)." - Community Member Judge

 

"Well documented project with some nice research about the working of thermometers." - Community Member Judge

 

"It covers all the points that I think makes it a winner. It would something I would be keen to do as well.  1. The idea is original idea and usable in everyday life.  2. Clear description of the problem statement with facts. 3. overcoming challenges such as doing your own pcb and design, analysis. 4. Completion of the project is well executed. There was prototyping and then the final results 5. Many experiments were done to arrive to end results. The blog is written excellently with results. Working video demo of the end product." - Community Member Judge

 

Also on Project14 by koudelad:

 

 

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Project 02: The dirty smart button!

Project 2:  The dirty smart button!  by  aspork42

Home Automation

 

 

aspork42  would like to share the diaper logger that he created when his daughter was born as his entry to the Home Automation monthly contest. He was looking for a project to work on and he wife said "I just need help with the baby". So naturally, he set about creating this beauty. Anyone who has had a newborn can understand what sleep deprivation can do to a person. Having a newborn also means spending a lot of time talking about the specific contents and timing of a diaper; as they can be an indicator of the health of the baby. Having just himself and his wife they quickly found that keeping up with the baby was very difficult, and when they would take over 'shifts' for each other, we would sometimes forget to communicate when the last diaper was given. There had to be an easier way...

 

The dirty smart button!

 

"This was a really smart solution to a real life problem that he was facing. The blog was well laid out and covered many aspect of the design in detail. I really liked the touch of housing it all within an empty baby food pot." - Community Member Judge

 

 

"I wasn't sure about this one at first but... it is clever, unique, and there is lots of detail on how it was done." - Community Member Judge

 

"A really well setup project that could easily be applied to other problems with a few tweaks. Also he tackled a subject that many stay clear of !" - Community Member Judge

 

Also on Project14 by :



Project 03: Fuzzy Plant Watering System

Project 03: Fuzzy Plant Watering System by  BigG:

Remote Monitoring & Control

 

What BigG needed was an automated means to monitor the vital signs, such as soil moisture and amount of sunlight as well as other secondary signals, which may cause a plant to require more or less water, such as temperature. Other aspects related to plant health such as soil nutrients were deemed too difficult to measure with sensors and so were ignored. Then he needed a means to water the plant automatically if the vital signs dropped below optimum levels. As all this was rather new to him, and nothing was found online that defined exactly what the optimum levels were, he adopted a more stochastic approach by applying fuzzy logic to determine when to water and by how much. And so the fuzzy plant watering system was born:

 

 

Fuzzy Plant Watering System

 

Also on Project14 by BigG:

Project 04: PanelDriver: A FPGA based HDMI to FPD-Link converter

Project 04: PanelDriver: A FPGA based HDMI to FPD-Link converter by avnrdf

Programmable Logic

 

This Programmable Logic theme comes about almost a year since avnrdf  first started working with FPGAs. While the project at its current stage it does not make use of the ARM core in the Zynq, he managed to make use of a lot of what he learnt in Path to Programmable.

 

You can view avnrdf progress here:

 

His entry for this month's Project14 contest is an FPGA based HDMI to FPD-Link converter - a device that takes video from a HDMI source, decodes it, encodes it and sends it to a LCD panel over FPD-Link (commonly referred to as LVDS).  He completed this project around 4 months ago:, but decided to enter it into this month's contest for two reasons: - it's a good example of a project that cannot be done using a microcontroller, and makes good use of FPGA capabilities. - it's got the right mix of Project14 material: a little reverse engineering, pushing hardware to its limits, overcoming obstacles, a mix of hardware & software HDL and the right about of duct tape holding all of this together.

 

PanelDriver: A FPGA based HDMI FPD-Link converter

 

"This was a great example of using programmable logic to build a complex electronics project.  Nice explanation of the process, problems and solutions along the way." - Community Member Judge

"It is a very original application of the power of FPGA and it has also a lot of possibilities of evolution. A clean and efficient solution where FPGA covers one of its historical roles: signal conversion and manipulation." - Community Member Judge

 

"It's a good example of a project that cannot be done using a microcontroller, and makes good use of FPGA capabilities.". This is one of the main things I expected to find in these projects. In addition, the well developed explanation, and having it split into 2 posts, makes it readable and understandable. It's a little complex for beginner, but with a plain English, brief summary could attract interest of more people." - Community Member Judge

"A FPGA based HDMI to FPD-Link converter by avnrdf is an interesting and original project derived from Path to Programmable" - Community Member Judge

"Having built a display test board for my college engineering project, I found this entry very interesting. It was clear that a great amount of effort went into this to deliver a functional project. The detail put into the blogs was quite impressive." - Community Member Judge

Project 05: Caustic XMAS

Project 05: Caustic XMAS  by  neuromodulator

Merry Boxes & LEDs

 

 

The way that light interacts with the environment is an amazing thing.  For this project the plan was to play with some of these interactions to create an interesting XMAS light show. The inspiration to develop this project was the observation of caustics generated by the surface of the water at the bottom of the swimming pool.

 

Caustic XMAS

"The effects produced in this project were truly fascinating and mesmerising to watch. The build blog was well laid out and the process thoroughly explained." - Community Member Judge

 

 

Also on Project14 from neuromodulator: