ATLS-3519 Arduino

Lab 1 Prototyping/ Paper circuit with copper tape
Lab 2 parallel  circuit
Lab 3 serial protoboard/connecting to Arduino board
Lab 4 potentiometers
lab5 servo motors
Idea for project 1: Sound paintings
mid term project: soundpainting
lab 6 serial communication

Prototype for the shadeband

Tracy and I designed a thermal sensitive retractable wearable. Via a light and heat sensor, a retractable visor automatically unfolds from a headband. An ultra-thin semi-transparent plastic shield is able to unfold and protect the user from Ultraviolet rays to prevent skin cancer. In addition via the heat sensor, a liquid gas is emitted from a thin wire and the mix with oxygen turns it into a cooling mist for hot days leaving the user comfortably cool even in temperatures above 100.

The other designs were:

  1. venetian blinds that automatically open and close according to programmed light or time. At certain times of the day or evening corresponding sounds of nature will play according to the height and angle of the blinds. Such sounds would be crickets, bees, roosters, birds, owls, etc.
  2. A phosphorescent skirt which detects too close for comfort company. With touch sensors, the skirt changes color and emits an alarm.
  3. Fluffy scented pillows that emit soothing scents when you put your head it.
  4. Globe that responds to touch using conductive paint that outputs different languages and sound of various types of terrain according to where you touch on the globe. Sounds of trees, oceans, wind and different animals are emitted when you touch that part of the globe.

Lab 1
Paper circuit with copper tape

Learned how a simple circuit works with conductive tape, an LED and a battery and simple switch with tape and paper. A great exercise to learn the basics. I realized that even with the simplest exercises, that things don’t work the first time and quickly feel like I’m not good at this. I realize that electronics require double checking and precision more than other art techniques I’m used to. I wanted to do some funky design but had to leave 30 minutes early.

Closed circuit with switch, LED, resistor  and batter/AC

At first this didn’t work with the battery and I just had to check all the wires. The one with the AC power didn’t work the first time neither. I double checked my wires, but still it didn’t work. I swaped out the LED and then it worked. So maybe I burnt out the other one.

For my bread box enclosure I made a ‘Give hope a chance box’.  You make a wish and hold button down at same time. When you finish making your wish you release the button and your wishes will come true as well as your pine tree will grow.  The more people make wishes the  more the pine will grow. Pine trees are a symbol of hope.

I wanted the light to be a bit brigher so I swapped out the yellow LED for a white one. I didn’t have a voltage reader so I looked online to see the voltage of a white LED to calculate the resistance. I needed an 80ohm resistor and it worked. Perhaps 3 white LEDs would really make a difference, but I didn’t have 3. I think also a breadth sensor would be great where you breath and it lights up the light and when the breadth ends the light closes while you make a wish.

Lab 2 Parallel  circuit

Build two circuits on a breadboard, each with a minimum of two LEDs. One circuit should have the LEDs in series and the other should be in parallel and a switch could turn the whole circuit on and off. Before you start building, draw the schematic diagram for each circuit and use Ohm’s Law to calculate the necessary resistor values given your particular power source (you will not use the same resistor values for each circuit!)

Lab 3: Connecting to Arduino board/serial protoboard

On a breadboard, setup a Digital Input (a switch) – Connect a switch to digital input 2 on the Arduino. The switch shown below is a store-bought momentary pushbutton, but you can use any switch (or build your own!)

Lab 3: Switch
Write a program that reads the digital input on pin 2. When the switch is pressed, turn the yellow LED on and the red one off. When the switch is released, turn the red LED on and the yellow LED off.

Lab 4 Potentiometer:
Build a circuit with a potentiometer as the input, and an LED as the output. Use analogRead() for the incoming potentiometer value, and analogWrite() to set the brightness of the LED.

Variable Resistors: Photocells with LEDs

Build a circuit with at least 2 different variable resistors that output brightness values to two different colored LEDs.
(in this case photocell resistors)

In this lab I learned to double check resistors as I had a 50 omH resistor when I needed a 10 omH resistor which was preventing the photocells from reacting. Also my LED yellow pin was not connected correctly. The code needed to be reordered as well with duplicate naming conventions which was messing up the code. Lots of mistakes, but best way to learn!

lab 5 : servo motors

DC motor

Ideas for first project

Interactive Object idea #1:  Expand ‘Give hope a chance’ box idea.

I’d like to swap out the button switch for a breadth sensor. The user has to blow on a plastic wind turbine while they make a wish. While the wind turbine moves a breadth sensor activates a light that turns on for the duration that the turbine blows(or receives breadth). The aim of the user is to blow as long as they can in order to finish making their wish as well as alluminating the suckling pine tree. This interactive object is based on the idea that plants are emotional and that positive energy like hope can help a  plant grow. Studies like Dr. Masaru Emoto’s rice experiment  show that plants need both light, water and positivity to make them grow.  This can be used for children’s hospitals or hospice care for the elderly who need both hope and living things around them to make them heal. Thus there is a cycle whereby the hope of the individual helps the plant and the plant’s growth gives hope to the sick. I chose a baby pine because it is the plant that symbolizes hope.

Interactive object idea #2:  ‘oh say, can you see’ interactive paintings with conductive paint

I will use conductive paint to paint on pieces of the american flag. When you touch along the black paint, the sound is triggered and plays. The sound is a recitation of a poem by Meg Castaldo, my collaborator. Her poems deal with growing up in semi rural California. There will be a collection of boxes of the American flag like a quilt. Each box will have a different poem and different drawing.

Conductive Paint
Touch Board
USB cable
ADC cable
paint brush(conductive paint)
Mod podge glue( protect the paint)
paint brush for glue
on/off switch
mini jack plug for headphones
power plug
American flag
4 pieces of wood 18″x 2″ x 3/4″
4 pieces of wood 17 7/8″ x 2″ x 3/4″
1 piece of wood 17 7/8″ x 17 7/8″ x 1/4″
wood glue
drill bit  1/16″ (o drill small holes in front wood panel)
fine sand paper
matt primer
matt varnish
copper wire(to go from board through holes in front wood panel and touch back of flag where paint is.

Mid Term Sound Painting


  • Research
    I went on the Bare Conductor website to research tips on using the conductive paint as I knew sometimes it does not work. Fortunately, many people have given ideas on how to make the paint easier to work with. Using an acrylic thinner made it easier to paint small items.  Also using a craft glue on top of the paint would prevent it from smearing as the paint smears easily.It really does as I folded the flag before I put the glue on and it smeared on part of the other side even when dry. I also tried to paint already on a smaller flag but it did not really help as it was not the same type of cotton. Arielle, the instructor also let me know that other students had issues of cracking with the paint and to use perhaps a backup copper wire and paint over it.  Since I was working with cotton, it made sense that I could use conductive thread to outline each object then paint over it.The cotton is folded over a thin piece of plywood so that I would  need to wind the thread around the wood, but instead I put 4 small holes in the wood to thread the wood to the microprocessor. Arielle also recommended that I wind the thread around each trigger a few times to enforce the connection. I made a protoype before this prototype just to make sure the thread and the paint would work and it did.Yeah! Quite easy as there is no programming, which is good because I don’t know how to program and that is why I started with something quite simple.
  • Designing the Case
    The design of the project consisted of making around 10-12 cases to fit the entire cut up American flag. Originally I wanted them to be different sizes and square, horizontal and install them salon style. But when I made the protytpe I realized in a gallery setting people will touch the painted object in any order and the poems are linear. So to make it more intuitive I would make the boxes vertically and install them vertically so that normally one goes from top to bottom, left to right.It has been a long time since I have made a wooden box frame so I took a wood shop workshop to get a quick review on using the chop saw, table saw and drill press. To be quick I didn’t use the table saw to make rabbit cuts, but used strips of balsa wood to hold in the panel. It looks OK, but I like the way the model above has a space between the frame and the front panel where the flag is mounted. Also I did not have frame clamps so nailing and fitting the sides together and square was a challenge. It was 98% square but that 2% I would have to make a front panel with the laser cutter to fit the non-square frame. I would have to sand the front panel so it would fit which was OK since it fitted so tight I wouldn’t have to fix it with staples.I used an ash wood and decided stain it cherry. I decided it was too light and too reddish against the red cotton. Next time I would like to use red oak with a clear matt varnish.

    Another issue was where to put the microprocessor board and be able to have the earphone jack and power chord in the right place.  I found a earphone jack extender on amazon which would be perfect to fit the width of the frame.  The other issue was power. Originally I thought I’d use a battery forgetting it’d be better to just use a USB cable so I wouldn’t have to change the batteries. Good call, but when I installed the power, I realized in the gallery setting, the least amount of cables coming out of it the better especially if I had 10. However for the prototype it was fine. I cut out a little piece of wood so that the hole for the earphone jack was not so close to the edge. I then nailed it to the front panel. I then drilled a hole for the headphone jack. Although I should have done the headphone jack hole first and then nail the board to the panel because I was off by a millimeter in the alignment. But that was OK because I just unscrewed the board, plugged in the jack and then screwed it back on. I had to leave one screw off the microprocessor to swivel it that millimeter. But 2 screws were enough. Since the USB cable was not round but flat I couldn’t drill a round hole for it or use a router or jig saw. Plus the connector is bigger at the end so the hole would have to be as big as the casing. Or I could make my own USB cable.

    For the prototype, I decided that I would just make a slit at the edge. It was not so pretty and I thought I would need perhaps a piece of metal to go around the slit but in the end when hanging it you don’t see the slit. I think for testing it is OK I have the chord but for installation I think it’s better to have batteries, but I have to test how long the batteries last.

    The second issue was that I forgot about the casing around the USB connector which was rigid and therefore needed the 1/2 space between the microprocessor and the frame. It was 1/8 inch too long.  I had to do is router out some of the inside of the wood frame so that there would be space for the plug. It was ugly but nobody sees the inside.

    As an art object, I will have to come up with a nicer solution using jig saws and routers, since these are for the gallery and can be sold. Thus even backside must look nice. Or I can also have a back panel that hides everything. Probably the latter is the best solution. If sold I think I would leave both options of the battery and the USB cable so that the owner doesn’t have to change the batteries.

  • Feedback
    Some suggestions were to arrange the boxes if I invited different poets to create the text. That way there would be a diversity of voices and a diversity of perspectives. I could have some boxes installed high and low making it more seductive for people to want to hear what was out of their reach or inconvenient.
  • Follow Up for final product
    Things I would change for the final product.The wood
    The stain
    The details when making openings
    using rabbit cuts instead of balsa wood
    Figuring out how to have a gap between the front panel and the frame
    have a professional voice
    tell poet to make a ‘cut-up’ poem so that one doesn’t have to read linearly.

lab 6  Serial communication
do lab 4 with 3 sensors and 3 visualizers : code below is partial. still need to add 3rd sensor