Sonic Probe

It's not a Screwdriver, so we called it a Probe! It isn't sonic neither, but sssh it's a secret.

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Sonic -Screwdriver- Probe! It's [NOT] sonic! But it has several functions! It has torch and laser mode, it can turn on/off TVs (Turn mine ON and switch to AV), and soon it will be able to do sonic sounds and we'll include a TV-B-Gone.
We have shared the Source Code in [Astu}'s Github, it's not finished yet as there are some things yet to implement. It's supossed to turn on/off our projector in class, which is mounted in the ceiling, so we need to get on the tables to turn if off. This project started around September or October. We have had many problems and are just learning, so it's taking us a lot of time. Also, we're going through a difficult part in our lifes, so we only work in this project when we can. That's why it's taking us this long.
The project, after it's finished, will be inside the box showned in the pictures, only the two pushbuttons will be outside.

It's separated in modules. You press the upper button (A) to switch between them, and when you reach the desired number you press the lower button (B). 

Nothing (0) -> Torch (1) -> Laser (2) -> IR Mode (3) -> TV-B-Gone (4) -> Only sound (5) 

Our laser is broken, and the fifth option is still being developed, we're going to get a broken earphones and try to amplify the sound. We want a similar sound to the Sonic Screwdriver. 

I'm trying to keep the code simple, but it's getting more complex each time I modify it. I have already started from 0 three times. First time was a total mess. 

Everything is going to be soldered into a PCB an introduced into the bottle. Even it looks like it doesn't, it fits! We're trying to do the Arduino extractable, in order to modify the code, but that is giving us a lot of problems. We have a design but we couldn't try it yet.

  • 1 × Arduino Pro Mini 5V 16Mhz
  • 1 × (White) LED Torch
  • 1 × (Red) Laser
  • 2 × Pushbuttons
  • 1 × Bottle of Calcium

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  • Update #1

    Astu07/09/2015 at 08:47 0 comments

    Despite not posting it here, we have been keeping updating this project, yet we have never assembled it's parts yet. We have added a tv-b-"mute", more projectors to the tv-b-gone, got the laser working finally (had to order another one, as it seems that I (Astu) broke the salvaged one), and we are now adding a gyroscope and a little vibratory motor for feedback, so we can interface better with this project. We are also looking for a better package, as this one seems to be getting to small for all the things I want to put inside. We'll also switch probably to smaller cells in order to make it more slim. Oh, and we are dropping the Arduino Pro Mini. We'll be using an ATMEGA328P-PU. Trying to save battery everywhere! Maybe a solar panel... that would be nice.

  • From the beginning.

    Astu04/29/2014 at 14:04 0 comments

    This project started in summer. It was just an idea. I (Astu) though that it would be very cool. So, I, started learning about Arduino, ordered the smallest I could, along with some tools in order to fulfill this dream. 

    It was my second project with programmation, last year we did some robots in class but that was way easier than this, as I had a teacher who could help me. So I was there, without knowing C at all, with the Arduino IDE. I had a lot of problems in order to get it ready, I lost some weeks there. 

    After seeing different codes and examples, with a very ugly code, I was able to go to "program 1" and turn on a LED. I had rewritten the source code twice since them, as I have been improving it, as the months were passing and I was learning more about C. I also, meanwhile, tried some MSP430. Through this time, I and Firefly have been getting everything we could, like the bottle, we ordered the batteries, dissembled a laser which seems to be broken, bought some transistors and resistors, etc. 

    So last week, I was checking up Hackaday as usual, when I saw a entry about Doctor Who and the Sci-fi Contest. I have used up almost all of my free time to work in the project. I have spent many hours reading about ir codes in order to get that part of my code functional. After checking the mess of the "program selector", I redid it. 

    Right now, I'm still working on it. I want to use it to turn on/off the projector from our class, as we haven't got a controller, we have to turn it by hand and as it's in the ceiling, it isn't usually straight. So I got a controller from another class, and copied the codes like I did with the remote of my TV. But while the ir library told me that the TV was Sony, this remote is "Unknown", so I'm not sure about how to make it work. I'll bring my laptop tomorrow to class in order to test it, I hope to work. 

    There are two functions more remaining, the TV-B-Gone, which I'll start working on it after I can turn on/off the projector, and the sound mode only. That's just decorative and will be the last. 

    We are trying already to guess how to get everything inside our little bottle. And this summer, we plan to introduce too a 433Mhz function... if it fits. We can't solder SMD, so our PCB is a little big. And we would like it to be dissamblable, in order to be able to update it. Too much things in too little place for beginners!

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davedarko wrote 04/29/2014 at 15:20 point
Hey there. First off, I am glad to see more sonic devices out here. Looking at your code I noticed that you included the sleep mode, which is something I forgot about my sonic screwdriver. It's a shame that mine is in a box somewhere. Gotta dig it out and make it a project here.

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Astu wrote 04/29/2014 at 15:48 point
I got that piece of code from the TV-B-Gone from Ken Shirriff's blog, I don't even know how it works! I thought to comment it out, and instead, trying to avoid problems, I wrote a huge delay on it.
That is the last thing I'm going to do, first I want to make that main functions work. I'm not worried right now about battery, as I have "2000"mAh (Despite not having tested them, I'm sure that the batteries are overrated).
I'll comment in the code where that part it's from, and comment it.

Thanks for reading the code and your interest! It's my first project outside of class and I'm very proud of it, even if it looks simple.

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davedarko wrote 04/29/2014 at 16:10 point
Well it looks like you call the sleep_now() function right after every start of an action. So I'm guessing that you turn on your torch and it is on forever and you have to reset the arduino to shut it off? If you like, you can check my code as well. If you want I could reduce the code to the basics.

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Astu wrote 05/16/2014 at 14:30 point
I have read your code and the sleepcode page days ago, though I had no time to reply, sorry. I also have seen now your page about the sonic screwdriver! I like your code because it looks very nice, I have though about making me similar to your's but I feel that I should keep mine like it's structured in order to keep it with only two buttons and add more functions in the future. Though I have noted it as it's very clean and I like that.
Thanks a lot for the about the SleepCode, I'll have it easier after I end up my tests in order to finish what I have in mind! Thanks for everything!

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davedarko wrote 05/16/2014 at 15:21 point
Well first thanks for the code compliments ;) Right now I'm over-engineering the hell out of it, but copied your choosing of a case as a temporary housing - you may want to grab some spray paint and make it metallic looking ;) It's always a good thing to make things by yourself, but without inspiration it's hard. Keeping the probe simple sounds like a good plan, and a 2 button menu seems best for the functions you want to integrate! My sonic has 3 buttons mainly to switch the 433mHz on an off, but I'm already thinking of another way to do so and use 2 buttons instead, "activate" and "next" and using the fader or accelerator for changing values and toggling stuff. You may wan't too log your tests here, if they are related - I always intend to forget stuff I tested or forget where I wrote it down...good luck anyway :)

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