Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MARS: Multi function Robot

                So it has been a while since I have gotten on here. I should get on more often. Today I'll go into depth a little about what building my latest project was like. You can see the step by step instructions on instructables in the link below. I entered it into the robotics contest on the site and actually won! I won the first prize so I'll be getting whats called a pcduino and an oscilloscope. If it ever arrives. It has been a while so when it does come I'll see what I can do with them and maybe write about it.
              When I decided I'd get serious about arduino about a year or so ago, I wanted to start a big project. Not the little one with LEDs or buzzers. I thought of building arms or a IOT(internet of things) controlled room, etc. But I decided I'd start by building a tank like robot that I could build upon over time. First I bought the simplest stuff and slowly built the robot up to what it is today as my knowledge grew. In total it was about $150 for just parts, but $300ish over the year for tools or little side projects. Sounds like a lot, especially since I don't even have a job, but it was here a little there little for a year...Anyways it was a really fun project. I haven't finished and I'm still adding to it, but I'm planning on and beginning to create a group of different types of robots for different landscapes all controlled by a single remote. I'm planning on a quadcopter, a submarine, possibly a biped or a quadruped, and whatever else I think of. They will be controlled by RF signals (radio frequency), and I'll cover that in my next instructable. Of course everything is run on arduino. So look forward to my next projects and the pcduino!

PCduino site
MARS robot instructable

Saturday, August 29, 2015

DIY ka2209 chip phone amplifier

ka2209 amplifier on a perfboard
     I decided my devices speaker wasn't loud enough, but I didn't want to go buy a speaker that can be found online or at Walmart. That would be boring, so I headed over to the thrift shop and picked up a couple of old radios for a few bucks. All the parts needed were found in these two radios. In the first radio I found a ka2209 amplifier chip and built the headphone amplifier off of it.

Here's the parts list:
  • 1 x ka2209 chip
  • 3 x 100uf capacitor
  • 2 x 10k ohm resistor (can be a variable resistor) 
  • 2 x 470uf capacitor
  • 2 x 4.7 ohm resistor
  • 2 x .1uf capacitor (marked with a 104)
  • 1 x on/off switch
  • headphones 
  • hookup wire
My crappy soldering skills
      Everything except the headphones came from the radios, but I had to desolder it all. It should be pretty easy to desolder the components, it was finding them that was hard. I did need a few tools though:

  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • wire cutters
  • wire strippers
  • helping hands
Set it up on a breadboard first before soldering it because it is easier to test and fix when it isn't soldered. First cut the earbuds off the headphones, and there should be 2 wires for each earbud. For each earbud one will be input and one will be ground, as far as I could tell it didn't matter which wire was ground. For the 10k ohm resistor coming off each input it can be a variable resistor, but I just used a regular resistor. Put a switch between Vcc and pin 2 for an on/off switch,and have the positive wire of the speaker going to each output and the ground wire going to ground (obviously). Other than that you can follow the schematic and for my power I just used a 9v battery.
This is a pretty easy circuit to understand once you've put it together, and after you can put it into an enclosure, plug it into your phone and jam out with your own homemade amplifier.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Arduino is an open-source platform that is very versatile, meaning all code, schematics, etc. are open to the public. Whether it be an autonomous robot or a weather station; arduino is there for the job. It is great for entry level people, as well as the more advanced. Arduinos and arduino compatible shields can be bought on the arduino website as well as other online stores such as amazon or at a radio shack. When buying and arduino you may want to find a good deal, but be careful as sometimes you'll find that the boards are fakes. I recommend buying an arduino uno or an uno starter kit for your first project. There are loads of tutorials about the modified C/C++ programming language as well as about circuits and DIY projects. On Aruinos website there are examples and reference for the code, which is very easy to catch onto. In order to upload code, also called a sketch, you must download the arduino IDE onto you computer. Once downloaded you can start writing and creating your first project and step into the world of arduino.