Friday, August 28, 2015

Electric generator excercise bike project

It was first just a test and as it worked as intended we decided at work to continue with it and make it more interesting. The intended target groups are  mainly schools (in City of Turku) and also various sustainability events.

It has gone forward nicely, all basic functionality has been now implemented. The device has 3 main functions:
  1. 12V, 5W incandescent light bulb
  2.  12V, 1.5W LED light bar
  3. Generic 12V plug for anything else you can think of
For option 3 we provide a 5V USB charger and a 12V travel kettle for boiling water. The kettle is 100W, it should take 20 minutes to get it to boil, I'm a fat-ass so almost died after pedalling for a couple of minutes... :)

That was the basics, there are some parts that are still work in progress. Installed are already a current sensor and an LCD screen but they are currently unused. The bike itself also provides a RPM sensor (aka "a switch") that we can also use.

The idea is to show the load in Amps, the Voltage and from there the Watts produced and of course RPM. One ideas was to also add a temperature sensor that could be put in the kettle to see if the water gets any warmer.

It currently still needs manual activation to magnetize the alternator, but that could be made automatic.

Check out the video below for a quick look:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Need a large box for your project ? Go to Ikea

I needed a box to put all the wires, switches, connectors, fuses and stuff. First I checked a local electronics shop, they had some nice ones but expensive.

Then we went to Ikea on the way home. And I found a nice 5l plastic container, cost a couple of € only.

Just Perfect!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fours years ago N950 arrived in the mail #TBT

Four years and two days to be exact. A N950 arrived. The absolutely best phone design ever made by Nokia, (IMO of course).

Nokia N950 dev kit

Full size touch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard that you could hide/show, running a proper Linux. A hackers dream device this. Just lovely.

Very unfortunate that the "N9 with keyboard" never go to market, it would have been an awesome device.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Custom Raspberry Pi Compute module carrier board

Yet another project I'm involved in using a custom Compute Module carrier. Not by me, I just do the software part.

The board features 4 LEDs in various colors with light pipes and a connector for character LCD. HDMI and audio has been removed. Hand soldered.

The maker of this board, Hasseb, has a ready made carrier board available for 139€. A quick look video of this board+enclosure below:

Proximity sensing, TCRT5000 to digital using a Schmitt

I'm working on a project where I need to sense where a modell train goes at 3-4 points on a model train track. I have a bunch of TCRT5000 infrared sensor collecting dust so using them was the obvious choice.

I will get a nice analog signal from them, but I'm not interested in distance data, just that something is over them or not. And definitely don't want to poll them!

A schmitt trigger to the rescue! A quick test video below: