Tag Archives: Reddit

This ‘useless IoT device’ prints out Reddit’s Shower Thoughts


With the press of a button, Thinking Man produces a random amusing thought from Reddit’s popular subreddit Shower Thoughts. 


If you’ve never seen it, the subreddit /r/Showerthoughts is full of brilliant, concise and often hilarious insights that come to mind while, you guessed it, showering. Amidst all of that lathering and rinsing, our brains wander. The question is, what do you think about during your most vulnerable moments?

Shower

Cognizant of this, the crew at MAKE: Magazine have developed a “totally useless and ridiculous desk toy” that prints out snippets from Reddit’s infamous feed. With one press of a button, the aptly named Thinking Man generates a random amusing thought from its onboard thermal printer, which is downloaded from the social network via Wi-Fi. The result is an objet d’art (or “work of art”) that can surprise you with its cleverness.

Aside from its thermal printer, this Internet of Useless Things project combines an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560), an ESP8266 module and a plastic mannequin head. (You can see how to program the ‘duino, wire the boards, work with code and power up the device referring to its in-depth writeup here.)

ThinkingMan_Opener-19

“Because the entire response from Reddit is too large for the Arduino to store in memory, the microcontroller has to pick out the relevant data as it is received. The included source code does just that, and can be adapted to read data from anywhere on the Internet or your home network,” MAKE: explains.

With a little tweaking, you can configure your own Thinking Man to produce jokes, or even more useful tidbits such as to-do lists, headlines, weather reports and class schedules. The possibilities are endless. Intrigued? Then head over to MAKE:’s entire write up here, or watch the team’s weekend project video below!

Video: Building a POV spinner display

A Maker by the (Reddit) name of Martin2550 has designed a sweet spinning disc style POV display powered by an Atmel-based Arduino.

As the HackADay crew notes, the DIY project is a great example of a Maker cheerfully modding whatever material and components happen to be readily available.

“Martin2250 is using an IR LED and photodiode to determine the rotational speed of the disc. He [initially] tried using the Arduino micros() function to delay between the photodiode pulse and turning on his LEDs,” explained HackADay’s Adam Fabio. “[However], he’s since switched over to using the AVR’s native timers.”

The disc is in the above-mentioned build is actually a CD, with Martin2250 diligently sanding away the label, masking out his digits and painting with a black marker. Meanwhile, cardboard, hot glue and visible LEDs were used to create four light boxes for the digits.

“The disc can display any four digits at once – perfect for a POV clock. We [also] love the use of on-hand materials in this hack – bits of hard and balsa wood, liberal use of hot glue, and of course cardboard,” added Fabio.

Interested in learning more about the Atmel-Arduino powered POV display? You can check out Martin2550’s Reddit post here.

The ATtiny1634 Nixie clock

A Nixie tube can best be described as an electronic device that displays numerals and other information using glow discharge. The glass tube is packed with a wire-mesh anode and multiple cathodes, shaped like numerals or other symbols.

Recently, a Reddit user by the name of “Smallscaleresearch” created a slick Nixie clock powered by Atmel’s ATTiny1634.

“I was digging around in my parts bins and came across most of the exotic bits required to build a GPS sync’d Nixie tube clock. Logic side is an ATTiny1634 with a surplus (old) SiRF GPS module. HV side is based on a surplus backlight inverter, rectified and filtered. At 3.3v it puts out around 140v under load, and around 270v if allowed to float,” the Reddit user explained.

“To switch the HV, I’m using a Supertex HV5122 high voltage shift register which gives me 32 channels. Since I only have 32, the high digit of the hour only has digits 1 and 2 connected, so to display ‘0’ I just leave it off. The 4 BS108 MOSFETs on the board are just level shifters for the control lines, since the HV5122 needs a minimum of around 10.5v for logic ‘high’ on its input.”

Additional information and schematics for the ATtiny1634-powered Nixie clock can be found here.

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the high-performance Atmel picoPower 8-bit AVR RISC-basedATtiny1634 microcontroller features 16KB flash memory, 256B EEPROM, 1KB SRAM, 18 general purpose I/O lines, 32 general purpose working registers, one 8-bit timer/counter and one 16-bit timer/counter.

Additional key specs include two full duplex USARTs with start frame detection,  universal serial interface (USI), I2C slave, internal and external interrupts, a 12-channel 10-bit A/D converter, programmable watchdog timer with Ultra Low Power internal oscillator and four software selectable power saving modes (the device operates between 1.8-5.5 volts).