Monday, 21 December 2015

Tag in a box

The other day I was making my first lasertag lens unit. Trying to get it focused I quickly decided naffing about with a battery and button wired straight to the emitter wasn't good enough. Plus I burned out one emitter keeping it on too long.

So I built the essence of a lasertag gun in a box, with screw terminals to make it easy to connect up to things for testing. It's also got a low power unlensed emitter run in parallel, in case you want to test sensors.

I've left the USB connector of the Arduino Nano accessible at one end so it can be reprogrammed easily as for now it's just sending WoW hits.

I may open it up again and put screw contacts for the trigger so it can be used as a general purpose thing to tag up bigger props on an ad-hoc basis. It's got 4 AAA NiMH batteries in so with a decent lens unit will have a passable range.

If there's space, which I doubt, I may stick in an IR sensor so it could also be a thing that registers hits, making it a multi-use device for props.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Cellar Dweller

I want to turn my cellar into a decent workspace but it's currently too damp. If you leave things down there the cardboard goes limp and metal slowly corrodes.

It may be that I have to resort to professional tanking of some kind, but as an opening gambit I'm going to try drying it out with a dehumdifier.

Emptying the condensate tank regularly is dull, but there's a connection for an external drain, so I've built a bigger tank out of an old 'Really Useful Box'. This complete with float switches to sense the level and a pump to push the water up out of the cellar into my garden.

This could have been managed with a very simple latching circuit, so it switched on once full and didn't switch off until empty. However I've got all the bits to do this with an Arduino. An added bonus is I can put it on the Internet, so it's now got Ethernet and a temperature/humidity sensor so you can look at a web page showing the current readings and how often it has emptied the tank.

It'll be riveting stuff.

Once I run a network cable down there.