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Solar Powered Plant Irrigation Controller
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It is great having fresh vegetables just a few steps away from the kitchen, but it takes work to keep those plants healthy.

The author found this out the hard way after returning from vacation to find his tomato plant withering away so he decided to put an end to this problem by building his own solar powered plant watering system. An Arduino serves as the brain of the system. It’s programmed to check a photo resistor every ten minutes; the Arduino will decide how much to water the plants based on the amount of sunlight it detected throughout the day. This allows the system to water the plants just the right amount.

The power from the battery is stepped down to the appropriate 5V required for the Arduino. After all of that you can now power the watering system from the very same energy source that plants use to grow.

Micro Laser Engraver Known as Photon Printer


This photon printer is a little device that uses repurposed DVD drives as well as 3D printed parts to create a laser engraver, capable of, well, engraving anything you want on a variety of surfaces.

The 3D printed photon printer, a micro laser engraver is a project that just kept on going, with both the fun and reward magnified at the end by seeing that it had such potential and immediate functionality. With 3D printing, the designer was able to position the components accurately, customize parts more easily, and build the machine easily, with minimal pieces. You don’t need machining tools, and because the parts have one large flat surface, 3D printing is even easier.

It’s not a project for beginners, but if you’re got some time on your hands and know your way around electronics, you should be able to pull it off.

Play Your Mini Portable Games on Pi-Pocket


There are so many possibilities and uses for these small PCs. People have made them into personal video recorders, retro gaming machines, weather stations, in-car PCs, jukeboxes, and so many more creative ideas.

The author designed the Pocket Pi by removing the guts from an old Game Boy Pocket and replaced them with a Raspberry Pi SBC running Retro Pi to emulate Game Boy games. He modifies the case a little bit in order to pack the Pi, 2.5-inch LCD screen, and modified Game Boy game pad and battery pack. By wiring the old controls to the board, you can build what amounts to the best thing in the entire known universe.

The best part is that the Pocket Pi can play games from other platforms as well, including NES, Sega Master System and even Game Gear using the Retro Pi emulator.

Arduino Based Soldering Station


You’ve got your LEDs, chips, resistors all ready to go for your next project. But, do you have a pimped out soldering station?

This soldering station takes the guesswork out of the temperature equation. You simply enter a desired Fahrenheit or Celsius setting. As the iron heats up, the temperature reading on the LCD display increases so you can easily see when it’s ready to use. There are even three presets that enable you to select frequently used temperatures with the push of a button.

This station features and makes it easy for you to select the exact temperature you need for your specific application, digital LCD display, interchangeable, display shows temperature setting and actual temperature. It takes about 3 seconds to reheat the station and it is considered fast enough.

Build Your Own LED Tester


When buying LED lights don’t you always want to make sure that they work before going through the long and tiring process of installing the lights? Installing LED lights only to find out they don’t work would be such an annoying thing so to prevent.

The author decided to make a tester as small as the size of a quarter. This is a very simple but useful LED tester that lets you test, compare and check the color of just about any two pin LED. This tester board is powered by small coin battery cell and will work with the help of tweezers by tapping it on the solder pads. According to him, this, so far is the easiest assembly ever with a little bit of soldering and adding a resistor, your own LED tester is born.

Now you made a simple portable LED tester that’s small and convenient and can save you from headaches in the future.

Rubik’s Cube Solver Powered by FPGA Robotic


Using robots to make smart phones in factories is an important business, but sometimes there are bigger things for them to do such as solving a Rubik’s Cube.

Robotically solving a Rubik’s cube required at least three mechanical arms. Each arm is built with a vertical metal support bar holding a servo. This servo provides the rotation and attached to this servo is a mechanical claw. Each claw has a servo to control the grip position. This allows the two degrees of freedom needed to grab and rotate the cube. The servos are connected to the FPGA through the 40-pin GPIO header via a breakout board.

You can easily imagine a robot able to deal with minor surgical procedures or perhaps even a Michelin-starred robot chef? While the human brain is still far more powerful than any processor, it would be fantastic to see technology with real human-kind benefits being created.

Nixie Tube Clock Known as Amy Time


Ever felt that LEDs are a little cold? Do you yearn for that warm, comforting glow that only ionized gas behind glass can provide? Do you have some nixie tubes gathering dust in your junk box? Well, now you can bring them back to life!

The designer of this project used an old General Electric battery charger, that he thought it would make a great Nixie Clock enclosure because it is made of aluminium and front panel is home-built and etched in acid. This are built around with ATmega48 microcontroller, DS32kHz 32.768 kHz TCXO whose output is connected to TOSC1 input pin of microcontroller. Nixie tubes are driven by high-voltage shift-register HV5622. High voltage generator for this project is built using good old MC34063A in step-up configuration.

It is simple because it can be entirely built with common tools and from common components and you only have to use 4 nixie tubes.

Soldering Station with Online Temperature Monitoring


Do you really need your paper shredder hooked up to the Internet? The designer put something on the network that every hacker can relate to soldering iron.

The project allows us to monitor the temperature of soldering iron by phone. He found a handy source of power on the station’s PC board and connected a NodeMCU WiFi device. The data pushes out to the server which handles pushing data out to the bigger network, and data representation. The only challenge that the designer encountered was on how to solder the power wires to the soldering station because the iron tip is grounded.

This compact soldering system with its modern style takes up little space on the workbench and it’s a cool project for a rainy day but learn to turn your soldering iron off when you are done with it.