These arrived today

Rotary Encoders
Rotary Encoders from Ebay

So I have a fair idea what I’ll be doing this weekend, or hope to do anyway. There are many factors that determine what I do, the least of which is what I WANT to do!

Nah, just kidding, she’s not THAT bad!

I’ve got a micro project that I’ve been procrastinating about for a while, this has just provided someĀ incentiveĀ to do some work on it. I have all the parts I need to complete the project, I now just have to sit down and do it!

What was that? What do i want rotary encoders for? 10 of them, no less (I hear you ask)…

I have an old clothes dryer that the mechanical timer continually sticks on. I have on occasion found that after a few hours the dryer has failed to turn off. So I have been procrastinating about building a timer for it, this was (I’m pretty sure) the last component I needed to put it together.

I’ll be prototyping it using an AVR microcontroller (ATMega128), but the final project will be an older AT90S2313 I have lying around.

Of course this is going to have on/off and a timer function, but it would be cool to allow it to have soooo much more! It would be good for it to control the heating element, maybe once internal temperature has reached a certain level, power to the heater turns on and off a minute at a time – I don’t know, just a random thought – would help to save a bit of power. Maybe incorporate a humidity sensor to detect when the clothes are dry.

But for now I’ll just concentrate on the timer. If I ever finish it, I’ll put up a post about it.

Flashing LED Microcontroller Project

A few years ago I got into microcontrollers and had grand plans to change the world with my micro projects. For one reason or another I stopped working on what I was doing and pretty much dropped them overnight.

Well, I’ve picked up the ball again and starting from scratch (since I’d seemed to have forgotten almost everything). So I’m starting with the basics.

Most microcontroller projects will usually have a flashing LED as the first objective. Well, I did that and this is the next step. Pulse Width Modulation. Here is a short video of a LEDs brightness being controlled through the use of PWM. This project uses an ATMega 128 AVR microcontroller (yeah, a little bit of overkill for a flashing LED, but hey!)

The next video here is taking the last video just one more step further, and that is having the LED pulsate, or as I prefer to call it, “breathing”. So much cooler than a simple flashing LED ;-)