Retro Lamp goes HypnoOrb

Candice saved this hideous old lamp from a bulldozer (literally) and for the last year and a bit we’ve had it hanging up in our basement for extra ambient lighting. The light was setup only to be turned off/on by pulling/placing the plug and that part’s so sketch that we rarely use the thing. So when it came time to replace a bulb, I decided to use a HypnoOrb instead of a more typical bulb.

Check out the Photos here.

Retro Lamp HypnoOrb
Tactful Controls
Tactful Controls
New Lamp Guts
New Lamp Guts
Arduino Action
Arduino Action

Essentially what I did was very carefully solder wires on to the light socket and connected them to a power adapter. The power adapter was then connected in to one of my Arduino boards programmed with the HypnoOrb code, though slightly modified to respond a little nicer to the potentiometer input.

I of course had to also hook up an RGB LED to the whole deal and I goofed with that for awhile. I ultimately decided to try using this whole setup with no resistors on the LEDs.

Now, normally you should never do that as if you don’t limit the current through a diode with a resistor, you could (more like definitely will) burn out the LED. But I knew that for some reason with the Arduino that doesn’t seem to happen. Anyway, this time I opted to leave the resistor out for maximum brightness.

A couple of hours, some solder and a TON of hot glue later, It’s all come together rather perfectly. Bamboo Skewers were key in providing a little needed structure and of course much electrical tape and some soldering filled in the gaps. I also added a little off-on switch and latched on a potentiometer to set varying speeds of operation.

You can Get the code from here.

For other HypnoOrb specific stuff, check out the project page here.

MakerBot Plastruder Modified For Slightly Enhanced Awesomeness

Hello world, so I’ve been working very hard at getting my most awesome MakerBot working. It’s been a patience invoking venture and also extremely educational. The MakerBot employs some rather brilliant little tricks that make it simple, strong and friggin cheap. It’s a great gadget to have, though it’s definitely NOT for those who want everything now and aren’t capable of taking their time to do the job correctly.

Meet My Mod

So, in trying to get my MakerBot rockin, I’ve had to debug some stuff in my assembly. The instructions given on assembly are outstanding considering how much stuff you need to do to build one. That said, they’re not flawlessly exhaustive either – and this isn’t yet an exact science. I found myself frustrated by the positioning of the circuit board (I’ll just call it a PCB for now) positioned on the thing that outputs the plastic (Plastruder/RepRap). As you can see in my included photos, I’ve moved the PCB off to the side and flipped it behind the Plastruder.

A Before & After View of my MakerBot/RepRap Mod

Yes, it’s awesome

So as you can probably tell I love this mod because now I can quite easily see the plastic as it moves through. I can see little (or rather massive) teeth marks in the plastic due to contact with the gear on the motor that pulls it through.. So I can watch those marks move down in to the heater barrel – this has been helpful for me in trying to decide if some other printing problems I’ve been having have been due to any of a number of factors that no long include questioning if it’s actually feeding in more plastic..

Wanna see more?

You can check out more of this stuff here

Arduino Independence

Getting the Arduino Processor to function on a breadboard

The next step in my HypnoOrb project is to figure out how to get the Arduino microprocessor (AKA ATMega168) that makes the whole thing work function with as little hardware as possible. Thanks to this awesome site, I found, I now know what I wasn’t doing right before finding that document. I hope making a reference to that helpful tutorial here will help others find it faster than I did. Have fun!

Arduino Processor on a breadboard
Arduino Processor on a breadboard

Arduino on a Breadboard
RGB LEDS under a bag

World, meet the HypnoOrb

Using the toys I’ve been enjoying ever so much lately, I’ve managed to really nicely smooth out the programming in my Arduino for my RGB LED. It’s so awesome that I’m given it a name! Meet the HypnoOrb!

At this point I only have the raw prototype, but I’m considering going ahead an making more of them. I have to work out pricing and smooth of some aspects of the design. If you’re interested in getting one, please contact me or post a message here – the more interest I see on this thing, the faster I’ll work at finding an inexpensive means of producing them.

Here’s the HypnoOrb source code for the Arduino environment.

The HypnoOrb’s name was inspired by our master, the HypnoToad.