December 11, 2013

Build an Arduino-powered multifunction controller

With some imagination and a little study, you can control all manner of devices with an Arduino - and thanks to the ease of programming a sketch to work with real-time clock ICs, it isn't hard to make automated timing control for almost anything. To demonstrate this, Instructables member John Gonzales has created a wide variety of Arduino-based control options and documented their creation

This includes relay control, using a timer to turn on and off, interfacing with real-time clocks, controlling AC power outlets - and even mind control. Putting the last two together could create some havoc, however the use of a colour LCD for display purposes could really make your project look great - as shown in the video below:

With this Instructable you're sure to get some inspiration and useful knowledge, so visit the page to get started. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

The most important part of any timing project is the inclusion of an accurate real-time clock IC. Here at Freetronics we have the Maxim DS3232 real-time clock IC module:

Apart from keeping accurate time for years due to the temperature-controlled oscillator and having a tiny coin-cell for backup, it is very simple to connect to your Arduino project. A driver library allows your program to easily set or read the time and date. Perfect for clock projects, dataloggers or anything that needs to know the date and time. Furthermore it contains a digital thermometer and 236 bytes of non-volatile memory to store user settings and other data. For more information, check out the module page here.

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