Tag Archives: master modder

Building an anti-texting device with the ATmega328

Yesterday we took a closer look at a rather impressive AVR-powered hot glue gun designed by master modder Ben Heck which one tech journalist characterized as “more like an extruder from a 3D printer” than your typical dispenser. Today we’re going to check out an “anti-teen-texting device” created by Heck for concerned parents to install in their kid’s car.

“Of course in my day this problem would have been solved by 1) cell phones barely existing 2) my parents would never have bought me one if they had 3) they also didn’t buy me a car,” said Heck.

As you can see in the video above, the master modder’s anti-texting device is built around Atmel’s versatile ATmega328 microcontroller (MCU), a hand-wired MicroSD card for datalogging and a really loud siren.

Essentially, the device is tasked with detecting the amount of current being drawn by the MicroUSB charge jack: Current being drawn = phone in dock = no alarm.

“If the car is started without the phone in the jack your teen has about 10 seconds to stick it in, else there’s an alarm and the infraction is logged to the SD card,” Heck added.

Interested in learning more about Ben Heck’s Atmel-powered anti-texting device? You can watch the video above or check out additional pictures here.