Tag Archives: Hackster.io

Bring the weather forecast to your Chucks

Hack a pair of Converse using an Adafruit FLORA, NeoPixels and a Bluetooth LE module that relays weather data from your phone.

San Francisco-based creative studio Chapter, in collaboration with Converse, have hacked a pair of Chuck Taylors to bring the forecast to your feet.


The Converse Beacon consists of an Adafruit FLORA board (ATmega32U4), a Bluefruit LE module and a NeoPixel ring, which together, can alert you to custom weather conditions through IFTTT. In other words, your sneaks can let you know when rain is coming, when the surf is just right, or when conditions are perfect to take a stroll outside. Talk about walkin’ on sunshine!

What’s more, you’re not just limited to weather. Once you’ve connected IFTTT to the Adafruit channel, you open the door to hundreds of possible recipes that link various inputs to your NeoPixels.


Think you want to relay data from your smartphone to create stylish alerts on your Chucks? Then check out Chapter’s full project write-up on Hackster.io.

Build an automated dehumidifier sump pump

A perfect project for those too lazy to walk down to the basement to empty their dehumidifier… or who forget to give their in-laws a gift on the holidays. 

This winter, Zachary J. Fields went home to visit his family, but neglected to buy a present for his in-laws for Christmas. After they asked him to go to the basement and empty the dehumidifier, he decided that instead of just doing the task once, he’d make a device that would do it automatically for them.

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To accomplish this task, he used an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) to control a water pump via a relay. For water sensing, he employed two pairs of bare electrical wire. When each pair of wire is immersed, it conducts electricity from one lead to another. Unfortunately, water is a fairly poor conductor of electricity, so to compensate for this, each signal is amplified by a Darlington transistor pair before it is input into the Arduino.


Each pair of wire is set up on top of each other (in a nice braided configuration) so that water level can be read as “full” when both sensors are made, and “empty” when both are off. This allows the pump to start at the full level, then cut off when water is below the lower sensor. This is important so that the pump doesn’t suck air for a long time, possibly damaging components and wasting electricity.

If you’re tired of walking down to the basement to empty your dehumidifier, then you’ll probably want to take a look at this project.

The Arduino MKR1000 rolls the Zero and Wi-Fi Shield all into one

The World’s Largest Arduino Maker Challenge will award 1,000 finalists with the newly-announced MKR1000 boards.

Well, the Arduino/Genuino family has just gained another member. Everyone, meet the MKR1000MKR1000, meet the ever-growing Maker community.


This MKR1000 is a powerful board that combines the functionality of the Zero (Atmel | SMART SAM D21) and the connectivity of the Wi-Fi Shield. It is based on the ATSAMW25 — an Atmel SmartConnect edge node module specifically geared towards IoT — and offers the ideal solution for Makers seeking Wi-Fi connectivity with minimal previous experience in networking.

The combination of 32-bit computational power like the Zero, the usual rich set of I/O interfaces, low-power Wi-Fi with a CryptoAuthentication chip for secure communication, and the ease of use of the Arduino IDE make this board the perfect choice for emerging IoT battery-powered projects in a compact form factor. It should be noted, however, that unlike most Arduino and Genuinos, the MKR1000 runs at 3.3V.

Other key specs include:

  • MCU: Atmel | SMART SAMD21 Cortex-M0+
  • Power Supply: 5V
  • Flash: 256KB
  • SRAM: 32KB
  • Clock Speed: 32KHz, 32.768KHz, 8MHz and 48Mhz
  • Supported Battery: Li-Po single-cell, 3.7V, 700mAh minimum
  • Digital I/O Pins: 8
  • PWM Pins: 4 (D2-D5)
  • UART: 1
  • SPI: 1
  • I2C: 1
  • Analog Input Pins: 7 (ADC 8/10/12-bit)
  • Analog Output Pins: 1 (DAC 10-bit)
  • External Interrupts: 8
  • DC Current Per I/O Pin: 7mA

The newly-revealed board will be available for purchase beginning in February 2016; however, you can be one of the first 1,000 people to lay their hands on the MKR1000 by participating in the World’s Largest Arduino Maker Challenge, a collaboration between Hackster.IO, Microsoft, Adafruit and Atmel.

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This contest is designed to celebrate the burgeoning Maker community with exclusive prizes. Inventors, artists, hobbyists, professionals and developers alike are encouraged to create an innovative and original IoT application, ranging from environmental sensors to gaming, to augmented reality, to robotics or drones using the power of Arduino.cc boards and Windows 10.

The 1,000 Makers who submit the best project ideas will receive the brand-spanking new Arduino MKR1000 (U.S. only) and Genuino MKR1000 (outside the U.S.) boards. Earn bonus points by tapping into the power of the Microsoft Azure cloud to capture, analyze and visualize your data with Azure IoT Suite, Azure IoT Hub, Stream Analytics and Machine Learning.

From there, three finalists submitting the best completed projects will be awarded with a fully-funded trip to either Maker Faire Shenzhen, New York or Rome, a chance to present their creation at the Microsoft and the Arduino and Genuino booths, a professional video production of the project, as well as a whopping $500 gift certificate to Adafruit.


The World’s Largest Arduino Maker Challenge is now live, and those wishing to partake in the contest can sign up/log into Hackster and enter to win the new MKR1000 board by pitching their idea.

Build a smartwatch remote for your car with Arduino

Maker controls his Honda CR-Z using a Pebble watch, an Android phone and an Arduino. 

The advent of high-tech, connected vehicles and wearable gadgetry has provided drivers with a new way to remotely unlock their doors, start the ignition and even find parking spots. Take for instance, Hyundai, whose Blue Link app now fully supports Android Wear devices and enables users to do everything from flash its headlights to call roadside assistance.


However, Mika Wee didn’t own the latest and smartest car. And so, he decided to take it upon himself to bring this functionality to his 2013 Honda CR-Z with the help of Arduino and 1Sheeld. Using his Pebble Steel watch, he was able control its hazard lights, flash its high beams and honk the horn, among a number of other things — though he could do it all from his Nexus 5 smartphone as well.

“The idea of this project is to be able to turn on/off lights (or any electrical component) of a car without being inside the car, or physically pressing dashboard buttons/switches,” Wee writes.

The Maker used a bunch of shield-based components to simplify the project, including a DFRduino (ATmega328), a 1Sheeld (ATmega162) as an input receiver to communicate with the phone, and a relay shield as the output to complete the circuit.  Aside from that, he created the watch’s menu with the help of PebbleTasker.


“The next step is to find out which wire in your car does what. Now this is completely dependent on the car that you have, as every car would have a different circuit,” the Maker adds. “I used a multimeter and the help of the car’s service manual to find out which wires/relays conduct electricity when a switch/button is pressed. This tells me which wire/circuit I’m looking for. Then, I tapped relay wires into that circuit to simulate a ‘button press.’ This is not intrusive as I do not go into ECU, OBDII or CAN bus hacking. I merely simulated a ‘button press.’”

Intrigued? Head over to the project’s page on Hackster.io where Wee shares a step-by-step breakdown along with the necessary code and schematics. Watch it in action here.

This DIY system lets you open the door with a special knock

Protect your home or secret hideout with a lock that will only open with a secret knock.

With the rise of the Internet of Things, we’re seeing a number smart access systems enter the market, enabling users to gain keyless entry into their homes. And for those who aren’t looking to delve deep into their wallets, Makers are developing DIY projects for a fraction of the cost of a commercial locks. Recently brought to our attention from the Hackster.io crew, Ashraf Nabil has designed a clever method to open a door without keys using an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), an Android smartphone and 1Sheeld (ATmega162).


In order to bring his idea to life, the Maker recorded a door knock pattern through the 1Sheeld’s keypad and mic shield. Each time a homeowner approaches the front step, they must simply press the keypad button on their smartphone, hold the device against the door and repeat the designated knock sequence. If correct, access is granted.

Intrigued? Unlock the possibilities by heading over to the project’s setep-by-step breakdown here. Meanwhile, watch it in action below!

Sole Searching is taking the pedestrian experience a step further

Developed by a group of UC-Berkeley students for their Critical Making course, Sole Searching is a shoe that reacts to the invisible space through which we all move.


Powered by an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4), the next-gen sneaker acts as a wireless detector, picking up the signals that pass through the “hertzian” layer of our environment, while displaying the names of nearby devices.


In what would appear to be something out of a sci-fi flick, the DIY wearable visualizes a multitude of radio waves that surround us, all while keeping us connected to our friends, jobs, and the world at large. The information broadcasted across these waves is typically so undetectable that we often times forget that it even exists in the public domain.

The project — which was recently featured on Hackster.io brings the “invisible” front and center through the use of an LCD screen embedded in the shoe, revealing information specific to that time and place. After all, radio waves are present just about everywhere we go. This ATmega32U4 based concept is a passive yet playful way to interact with the layer of space

Interested? Head on over to the Hackster.io’s step-by-step breakdown and get started on a whole new pedestrian experience.

Playing Simon on a hacked children’s farm toy

Who could ever forget Simon, the electronic game of memory skill that became an iconic pop culture fixture of the ‘70s and ‘80s? Through the years, however, the game can go from enjoyable to annoying incredibly fast. As a result, a Hackster.io user by the name of Magic Smoke decided trick out one of his children’s plastic farm toys with an MCU brain to play the game of Simon.


“One of the marvels of parenthood is the sheer volume of noisy plastic junk that gets thrown your kids’ way. It makes tremendous hacking fodder. For a while I had been watching to see if either of my daughters still expressed any interest in this moo-ing, oinking, polyethylene monstrosity. When the moment was right I grabbed it for re-purposing,” the Maker writes.


In order to bring his idea to life, Magic Smoke selected an Atmel ATtiny2313 to serve as the brains as it “had plenty of I/O pins so that no multiplexing would be necessary.” The code would also easily fit in the tinyAVR’s 2K of flash memory, while the 256 bytes of RAM could store enough moves for “the most elephantine of memories.”

Meanwhile, each stall was fitted with ultra-bright LEDs to help a user follow along. See it in action below!

Do you have a child’s game you’d love to hack? Access the entire step-by-step build from our friends at Hackster.io here.