Hacking Minecraft, adding output using Arduino

With the future/career day coming up I was wrecking my brains on what to do on the day my son visits me at my workplace. There will be stuff organized for him in the morning but I will have to entertain him for about four hours in the afternoon.

I was thinking I would bring my laptop and let him do some Scratch programming, something he already did and enjoyed. Thinking further I thought I could bring my Arduino Uno and he could blink some LEDs. The most important thing for me is to bring him into programming and not to bore him so I searched further. I thought connecting Arduino and programming to something he is really into… like Minecraft!

I came across this blog post where Rozz decompiles, hacks and recompiles Minecraft to output the health status via a connected Arduino! DONE! This project had all the ingredients I was looking for!

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Nikon Intervalometer with a Digispark

Years ago I bought myself an IR remote for my Nikon D40. That worked ok, but of course I wanted to build my own using a Digispark.

There’s lots of tutorials for IR remotes out there, like LuckyLarry’s. I then later came across the nikonIrControl library which basically allows you to trigger a photo with a single line of code! Best of it is this library will work for every camera supported by ML-L1 and ML-L3 such as D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D7000, D5000, D5100, D3000, Coolpix 8400, 8800, P6000, P7000, P7100, Nikon 1 J1/V1.

And because the intervalometer should be as tiny as possible I was using a Digispark to control everything.
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Spycam with Arduino / Digispark

This is my first real project with the Digispark.

My son made a bird feeder at school and every now and then we could spot a bird eating on our balcony. I thought that would be cool to make photos of the birds stopping by.

Somehow we would have to detect when something comes/flies by. This is done using the PIR motion sensor. But apart from that, Digispark should also trigger after a defined interval, like making a foto every 5 minutes for some nice time lapse movies. I actually added a 1k potentiometer with which we can adjust the delay between two photos between 30 secs and 10 minutes. Setting the poti value in the middle Digispark would trigger a photo every 5 mins.

I bought myself a spycam on ebay:

spycam

Features:
Image Resolution: 1280 x 960 pixel
Color Video Resolution: 640 x 480 pixel
FPS: 29 frames per second
Image file format: JPEG
Video file format: AVI
Color Video and Audio
Rechargeable Li-ion battery: 280mA 3.7V
Dimension: 5.0 x 3.0 x 1.2 cm

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The Arduino Christmas tree

Ever since I saw this How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects I wanted to do a project using Arduino Attiny85s. And because I want to bring my son into the world of Arduino and he was eager to learn how to solder I was thinking of an easy project. With Christmas being around the corner I wanted to do some kind of a blinking Christmas tree.

The Attiny85 has 5 pins to use so I thought it would be cool to hook up a shift register to blink some LEDs. First thing I did was buying Attiny85s and 8-Bit Shift Register (SN74HC595N) on ebay. 10 pcs of Attiny85 cost me 12 USD and 10 shift registers were 2.50 USD.

The idea was to control 8 LEDs with the shift register. That would use up 3 pins on the Attiny85… so this left me with 2 more pins. I decided to use them kind of doing multiplexing LEDs. So I could hook up 2 LEDs per shift register output but they would not share the same connection to ground. This was controlled by two transistors that are connected to the two remaining pins on the arduino.

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