Saturday, June 29, 2013

GameBoy Flashbacks!

A true flashback into the 80s and early 90s.

I finally got my usb 64m smart card from Kitsch-bent its a great site, and the after sales services are great, I had some doubts due to delays in shipping and he was great!

So that opens a range of opportunities to load legal roms, and use gameboy for new experiments.

Also, digging though some boxes, found a complete GBC set.

Great news!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

ArduGarden (Gardening assited by arduino) Vol II temporal

Few days with a lot of fast protoyping, pardon the cheap materials and the poor finishing.

I added a Small lcd display to see all data.

Yup, I over watered my tomato seeds.

I ended up using a nokia 5100 lcd (thats why the temporal) instead if what I had planned: a lcd 16x2. (glitch: I got only one line out of the two, to work with black boxes showing using the 16x2, and could not fix it right away) Internet suggest its wiring... I triple checked and nothing.

I also own a 16x2 shield, but future plans will include ab outdoor housing and wouldnt want to waste a graphic display on this.

Heres the code: have fun!!

//Coded by Alejandro Zanotti
//Based on the ideas Shown on this post,37975.0.html and this tutorial
//Version 1.0 
//Date 17 Jun 2013
//lcd start
#define PIN_SCE   7
#define PIN_RESET 6
#define PIN_DC    5
#define PIN_SDIN  4
#define PIN_SCLK  3

#define LCD_C     LOW
#define LCD_D     HIGH

#define LCD_X     84
#define LCD_Y     48

static const byte ASCII[][5] =
 {0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00} // 20  
,{0x00, 0x00, 0x5f, 0x00, 0x00} // 21 !
,{0x00, 0x07, 0x00, 0x07, 0x00} // 22 "
,{0x14, 0x7f, 0x14, 0x7f, 0x14} // 23 #
,{0x24, 0x2a, 0x7f, 0x2a, 0x12} // 24 $
,{0x23, 0x13, 0x08, 0x64, 0x62} // 25 %
,{0x36, 0x49, 0x55, 0x22, 0x50} // 26 &
,{0x00, 0x05, 0x03, 0x00, 0x00} // 27 '
,{0x00, 0x1c, 0x22, 0x41, 0x00} // 28 (
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x22, 0x1c, 0x00} // 29 )
,{0x14, 0x08, 0x3e, 0x08, 0x14} // 2a *
,{0x08, 0x08, 0x3e, 0x08, 0x08} // 2b +
,{0x00, 0x50, 0x30, 0x00, 0x00} // 2c ,
,{0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08} // 2d -
,{0x00, 0x60, 0x60, 0x00, 0x00} // 2e .
,{0x20, 0x10, 0x08, 0x04, 0x02} // 2f /
,{0x3e, 0x51, 0x49, 0x45, 0x3e} // 30 0
,{0x00, 0x42, 0x7f, 0x40, 0x00} // 31 1
,{0x42, 0x61, 0x51, 0x49, 0x46} // 32 2
,{0x21, 0x41, 0x45, 0x4b, 0x31} // 33 3
,{0x18, 0x14, 0x12, 0x7f, 0x10} // 34 4
,{0x27, 0x45, 0x45, 0x45, 0x39} // 35 5
,{0x3c, 0x4a, 0x49, 0x49, 0x30} // 36 6
,{0x01, 0x71, 0x09, 0x05, 0x03} // 37 7
,{0x36, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x36} // 38 8
,{0x06, 0x49, 0x49, 0x29, 0x1e} // 39 9
,{0x00, 0x36, 0x36, 0x00, 0x00} // 3a :
,{0x00, 0x56, 0x36, 0x00, 0x00} // 3b ;
,{0x08, 0x14, 0x22, 0x41, 0x00} // 3c <
,{0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14} // 3d =
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x22, 0x14, 0x08} // 3e >
,{0x02, 0x01, 0x51, 0x09, 0x06} // 3f ?
,{0x32, 0x49, 0x79, 0x41, 0x3e} // 40 @
,{0x7e, 0x11, 0x11, 0x11, 0x7e} // 41 A
,{0x7f, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x36} // 42 B
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x41, 0x41, 0x22} // 43 C
,{0x7f, 0x41, 0x41, 0x22, 0x1c} // 44 D
,{0x7f, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x41} // 45 E
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x09, 0x09, 0x01} // 46 F
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x49, 0x49, 0x7a} // 47 G
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x7f} // 48 H
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x41, 0x00} // 49 I
,{0x20, 0x40, 0x41, 0x3f, 0x01} // 4a J
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x14, 0x22, 0x41} // 4b K
,{0x7f, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40} // 4c L
,{0x7f, 0x02, 0x0c, 0x02, 0x7f} // 4d M
,{0x7f, 0x04, 0x08, 0x10, 0x7f} // 4e N
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x41, 0x41, 0x3e} // 4f O
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x09, 0x09, 0x06} // 50 P
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x51, 0x21, 0x5e} // 51 Q
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x19, 0x29, 0x46} // 52 R
,{0x46, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x31} // 53 S
,{0x01, 0x01, 0x7f, 0x01, 0x01} // 54 T
,{0x3f, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x3f} // 55 U
,{0x1f, 0x20, 0x40, 0x20, 0x1f} // 56 V
,{0x3f, 0x40, 0x38, 0x40, 0x3f} // 57 W
,{0x63, 0x14, 0x08, 0x14, 0x63} // 58 X
,{0x07, 0x08, 0x70, 0x08, 0x07} // 59 Y
,{0x61, 0x51, 0x49, 0x45, 0x43} // 5a Z
,{0x00, 0x7f, 0x41, 0x41, 0x00} // 5b [
,{0x02, 0x04, 0x08, 0x10, 0x20} // 5c ¥
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x00} // 5d ]
,{0x04, 0x02, 0x01, 0x02, 0x04} // 5e ^
,{0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40} // 5f _
,{0x00, 0x01, 0x02, 0x04, 0x00} // 60 `
,{0x20, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x78} // 61 a
,{0x7f, 0x48, 0x44, 0x44, 0x38} // 62 b
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x44, 0x20} // 63 c
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x48, 0x7f} // 64 d
,{0x38, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x18} // 65 e
,{0x08, 0x7e, 0x09, 0x01, 0x02} // 66 f
,{0x0c, 0x52, 0x52, 0x52, 0x3e} // 67 g
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x78} // 68 h
,{0x00, 0x44, 0x7d, 0x40, 0x00} // 69 i
,{0x20, 0x40, 0x44, 0x3d, 0x00} // 6a j 
,{0x7f, 0x10, 0x28, 0x44, 0x00} // 6b k
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x40, 0x00} // 6c l
,{0x7c, 0x04, 0x18, 0x04, 0x78} // 6d m
,{0x7c, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x78} // 6e n
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x44, 0x38} // 6f o
,{0x7c, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x08} // 70 p
,{0x08, 0x14, 0x14, 0x18, 0x7c} // 71 q
,{0x7c, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x08} // 72 r
,{0x48, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x20} // 73 s
,{0x04, 0x3f, 0x44, 0x40, 0x20} // 74 t
,{0x3c, 0x40, 0x40, 0x20, 0x7c} // 75 u
,{0x1c, 0x20, 0x40, 0x20, 0x1c} // 76 v
,{0x3c, 0x40, 0x30, 0x40, 0x3c} // 77 w
,{0x44, 0x28, 0x10, 0x28, 0x44} // 78 x
,{0x0c, 0x50, 0x50, 0x50, 0x3c} // 79 y
,{0x44, 0x64, 0x54, 0x4c, 0x44} // 7a z
,{0x00, 0x08, 0x36, 0x41, 0x00} // 7b {
,{0x00, 0x00, 0x7f, 0x00, 0x00} // 7c |
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x36, 0x08, 0x00} // 7d }
,{0x10, 0x08, 0x08, 0x10, 0x08} // 7e ←
,{0x78, 0x46, 0x41, 0x46, 0x78} // 7f →

void LcdCharacter(char character)
  LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);
  for (int index = 0; index < 5; index++)
    LcdWrite(LCD_D, ASCII[character - 0x20][index]);
  LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);

void LcdClear(void)
  for (int index = 0; index < LCD_X * LCD_Y / 8; index++)
    LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);

void LcdInitialise(void)
  pinMode(PIN_SCE, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_DC, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_SDIN, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_SCLK, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, LOW);
  digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, HIGH);
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x21 );  // LCD Extended Commands.
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0xB1 );  // Set LCD Vop (Contrast). 
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x04 );  // Set Temp coefficent. //0x04
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x14 );  // LCD bias mode 1:48. //0x13
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x0C );  // LCD in normal mode.
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x20 );
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x0C );

void LcdString(char *characters)
  while (*characters)

void LcdWrite(byte dc, byte data)
  digitalWrite(PIN_DC, dc);
  digitalWrite(PIN_SCE, LOW);
  shiftOut(PIN_SDIN, PIN_SCLK, MSBFIRST, data);
  digitalWrite(PIN_SCE, HIGH);
//lcd fin

const int sensorpin=0;
int moisture=0;
int lastWaterVal=0;
int led = 8;

#define MOIST 450 // minimum level of satisfactory moisture
#define DRY 350  // maximum level of tolerable dryness
#define SOAKED 600 // minimum desired level after watering
#define WATERING_CRITERIA 100 // minimum change in value that indicates watering

void setup (){
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT); 
  Serial.println("Soil Moisture Module v1: Loaded");
  LcdString("Soil Moisture Module v1: Loaded");


void loop (){


      if (moisture >= SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal < MOIST) {
       // LcdString(moisture);
        digitalWrite(led, LOW);
        Serial.println("Thank you for watering me!");
        LcdString("Thank you for watering me! :D");  
      else if  (moisture >= SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal >= MOIST ) {
      //  LcdString(moisture);
        digitalWrite(led, HIGH);
        delay (800);
        digitalWrite(led, LOW);
        Serial.println("You over watered me");

        LcdString("You over watered me :(");
      else if  (moisture < SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal < MOIST ) {
       // LcdString(moisture);
        digitalWrite(led, HIGH); 
        Serial.println("You didn't water me enough");

        LcdString("You didn't water me enough");   
    lastWaterVal = moisture; // record the watering reading for comparison next time this function is called

  delay (5000);

Saturday, June 15, 2013

ArduGarden (Gardening assited by arduino) Vol I

Simple idea to assist gardening projects using arduino: get moisture, temperature and other measurements and get alarms, display even use them via networking.

This first step attempted and succeded in getting moisture readings of the soil.

Parts needed:

  • 2 galvenized nails.
  • Wires
  • Arduino 1
  • 1 10k ohm resistor
  • 1 100 ohm resistor
  • Usual tools: clipper, soldering iron.

Step 1 Prepare the nails.

You will need 2 nails that will act as soil moisture probes. You can use any kind of conductive nail that you have lying around, but we recommend using galvanized, hot dipped nails, which are more resistant to corrosion.


-Wrap the wire around the nail and be sure to take the time to heat up the nail as opposed to just heating up with wire and spreading the solder on the wire alone.  This prevents the wire from fusing with the nail and provides an opportunity for the wire to slip off of the nail.
-You'll know that the wire is hot once you touch the solder to the nail and it begins to flow. 
-Work your way around the entire nail connecting the wire.

Note: We are still looking for a better metal that doesn't degrade because of electrolysis.  If you have any suggestions please shoot them our way.

Step 2 Circuits

I based my idea on this:
Thanks ROB, check his blog for more info.
The 2222N transistor pinout goes like this:

Step 3 Software

//Coded by Alejandro Zanotti
//Based on the ideas Shown on this post,37975.0.html and this tutorial
//Version 1.0 
//Date 15 Jun 2013

const int sensorpin=0;
int moisture=0;
int lastWaterVal=0;

#define MOIST 450 // minimum level of satisfactory moisture
#define DRY 350  // maximum level of tolerable dryness
#define SOAKED 600 // minimum desired level after watering
#define WATERING_CRITERIA 100 // minimum change in value that indicates watering

void setup (){
  Serial.println("Soil Moisture Module v1: Loaded");

void loop (){
      if (moisture >= SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal < MOIST) {
        Serial.println("Thank you for watering me!");  
      else if  (moisture >= SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal >= MOIST ) {
        Serial.println("You over watered me");
      else if  (moisture < SOAKED  &&  lastWaterVal < MOIST ) {
        Serial.println("You didn't water me enough");   
    lastWaterVal = moisture; // record the watering reading for comparison next time this function is called

  delay (5000);

Actual pictures of it working:

Serial monitor:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dtv (digital tv) tdt (terrestrial digital tv)

I got a (free) Argentinian dtv decoder to play on a tv.
Pros: tv at my grandparents house.
Cons: no remote control.

This is the decoder:
Brand: Coradir
Model: CDR 1000/1D

Antenna used:

Indoors: great deal at DX again works perfec
Outdoors: generic all4one dtv external antenna.

Aligning the atenna can be tricky but there are web sites to assist on that.

Wooden Guitar case for an SG Guitar.

I needed a hard box for moving my guitar to gigs.


Information on this website may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information may be changed or updated without notice. Please take care when operating tools.

There´s not much science, you just need the following:
  • MDF wood (or any of your choice)
  • Ethylene-vinyl acetate rubber.
  • Glue, nails, screws.
  • Hinges x 2.
  • Few tools: screwdrivers, hammers, scissors, drill, bits and must be forgetting some.
  • Sinthetyc leather (for covering the outside)
  • Soft cloth for the inside.
  • Board of high density foam.
I wont state how much do you need of each since, I made mine sometime with scrapts, and the size of each guitar may vary.

Also, after I finished I realized I used a really thick (and heavy) wood: MDF 7mm for the side and 5mm for the top and bottom cover, if I just use more light wood it would be fine and it would be lighter and easier to carry it.

So start measuring your guitar:
With the basic measurements:

1. Build the the two sides of the box.

I did the bottom one, a bit higher than the top cover, so the guitar can fit perfect and it can close with out any problems.
I basically glue the wood and then used nails/screws to make it resistant.
-Top cover, do it as the same but with a bit less height.

2. Guitar shape

With the foam place your guitar on hit, and draw the shape of it. I used high density foam, simple beacuse I had it and it breaks less than the regular. To cut it, you can use a small saw, a cutter, I used an old guitar string attached to a power source until it got red hot so I can do clean cuts.
You end up with something like this:
I did mine, a bit bigger than the guitar I can wrap it with a soft cloth late. Take that into account.
This is how it fits, please do the square part to fit the size of your box.

3. Stands for the neck

With more wood I did two stands to fit the neck on it. Please measure measure and double measure everything-take the size of the neck for the stands, and measure how high your guitar will end up.

4. Set all the parts, and check how the guitar fits.

With a drilling tool, I added the hinges and the top cover:
I also did a cover on the bottom side, with Ethylene-vinyl acetate rubber. So the guitar doesnt sit on plain wood even though I used a cloth.

5. Upholstery

I was (am) a tottal noob when it comes to do this kinds upholstery. I use black synthetic leather.
I started with both sides of the case separately. I did the leather first and the soft fabrics later.
I used a contact glue and a stapler to get the fabric.
I had problem with poor measurement and low experience with upholstery. Be sure to use a glue that is compatible with foam, otherwise it will melt it and all your effort will be wasted.
Also look out and for tricky parts, I´d rather use small parts of cloth later.


6. Finishing touches

At this point guitar fits perfect, all the upholstery is done.
At this point I installed the hinges, the closing hooks.
Optional but useful: Add a handle to carry it around and wire/small chains to secure the top part dont fall when you open it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New toys

Yes!!! Shipments from dx arrived after almost two months.