Powered Peanut Butter!

So, you think you’ve got good peanut butter.

Do you have Arduino Powered Peanut Butter?!

I thought not!


This is a Modern Device RBBB with a custom program to display a variety of messages. The button on top turns the display on/off (with magic peanut fading in and out) and switches between messages (out of office, at lunch, etc). Every once in a while a random message will appear only to be replaced by the regular message.

There’s a CAT5 connection on the back of the jar for connecting to the display which will eventually have two or more panels. The display looks a little funny because of the long’ish exposure needed to get the glow of the button. The glow is provided by an LED also hooked to the Arduino to provide fading there as well.

It’s powered by a 5v 2A supply also plugged into the back next to the CAT5 connector.

I’ll also be adding control of two 1W lights, a Presagis Aeria LED ball and an R2D2 figure that makes noise.

I’ll be using a duplicate as part of my HoloController to show text messages outside the lab.

Technorati : arduino, led, peanut butter
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Holocontroller II

The next iteration of the HoloController is just about ready for use.

The on-board software is finally (no, really) ready to be wired up in the lab and I expect to do that tomorrow sometime.

The prototype controller is shown below with LEDs in place of connections to the relay board. I’ll likely leave those in as I’m wiring the two together so that I can clearly see that both ends are working. The lit LED below is a temporary status light that shows me the software on the Arduino is running.


The resistors are all 10K pull down resistors for input from the several switches that I’ve got on my workbench for turning laser and shutter power on/off. The 10K pot serves as a stand-in for the light sensor that sits above the table and is used to verify that the shutter opened as expected. Two voltage regulators provide 9v and 5v for various applications. I’ll be expanding their circuits soon to add diode protection and capacitor smoothing. An external board has TIP20’s for controlling the 1W LED status lights out in the hallway. At the moment they just blink or are steady-on but with the Arduino I can make them fade and add sound back back to the experience with an external piezo speaker. I miss having an R2D2 in the hallway like I did with the Lego RCX controller I started out with.

I’ve got one digital and one analog pin open so sometime soon I expect I’ll be expanding the system with more monitoring and someday with a touch screen or something similar.

The Arduino software is capable of driving the lab all by itself but since it doesn’t have a UI, I still need to use the PC to provide an easy to use input interface.

I’ve updated the HoloController software with an Arduino driver that simply sends port commands like the K8000 driver did and otherwise still controls the lab and exposures. Soon I’ll modify the PC software so the Arduino handles all the work which means the interface will move to an all-serial command set that can be more easily ported to other languages. The protocols are all written and tested now.

Woot! for Arduino!

A view of the table is available over here.

Technorati : arduino, automation, hologram, holography, lab
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Safelight for the computer


If you find yourself needing to take your laptop into the lab, you can make life simpler by making a safelight cover for the screen.

I know most of you who make holograms don’t carry around a tablet and those who carry around one probably don’t make holograms but for others who, like me, do both, here’s a way to take the computer into the lab without having to turn the screen off while film is out and about and you can save your "night" vision for what is probably a dimly lit lab.

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