Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015-04-24 (F) Weekly Summary

A lot of time was wasted dealing with broken or non-working hardware. This caused holdups because programming couldn't be done properly and previously soldered work had to be cut apart, cleaned, and resoldered. Two different programmable boards were tried and the third time was indeed the charm.
Soldered board on top with scrapped board behind it

The first board selected for this project was a Trinket which is an Arduino compatible board which uses the ATTiny85 chip. This chip doesn't require a USB ↔ Serial converter which is nice but doesn't support Serial.print statements which makes debugging more difficult. This board failed to take a program despite attempts to program it from several computers. This was replaced with a Arduino Pro Mini. This board had been pulled out of a different project and may have been faulty before soldering. Also failed to work. The last board to be installed was a brand new Arduino Mini Pro which accepted a program immediately.

The Cyborg Distance Sensor is divided into two parts. The first part, described above is the Sensing + Processing module which houses the ultrasonic distance sensor and the Arduino. Power + Stimulation is handled by the second module which is currently a pair of 3.5mm headphone sockets with a 5V relay. An enclosure was drafted for these components but was done incorrectly. After sensing the relay with my own finger magnet it was decided to change direction and simply use the 5V relay coil to stimulate an implanted magnet. A 23A battery, which is a small 12volt battery, had been selected but the short life and high cost of the battery prompted me to change to a 9V battery version.


Bare module connected with headphone cable

After the hardware issues had been resolved the program was tested and functioned but not ideally. To easily change variables a potentiometer was soldered to an analog input on the Arduino. An analog input could be read periodically to update numbers which would otherwise be static. No definite numbers were found which consistently provided reliable results. Since the relay will be stripped down to the coil any further debugging has been delayed until the hardware can be made to match the specifications.

Potentiometer soldered to board for debugging

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:

The rest of the weekly summaries have been arranged by date.





This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

2015-04-23 (Th) Cyborg Distance Sensor

Programming for the distance sensor was modified to use a variable as a reference point when calculating output frequency. In other words the amount of chattering from the relay could vary a lot when something is near or far but that variance could be more than a human can perceive. Making the variance too small would mean the user can't tell the difference between the near and far frequencies. A potentiometer was soldered to the analog0 input of the Arduino to change the set points to try to find a usable window. This was unsuccessful since the readings were difficult to control but vibration was sensed.

Code revision

Potentiometer soldered to board

The problem with the battery seemed to be a lack of power. An old battery had been used for testing so when a fresh battery replace it the relay would operate as expected. The 23A batteries do not seem to provide adequate power for a microcontroller and a relay. While testing the relay's solenoid could be felt with a finger magnet independently of the mechanical chattering. A 5V coil may be sufficient for stimulation without the need for switching a higher voltage. The next design in this project will be changing to a standard 9V battery power supply and a 5V coil from a relay for the stimulation. The Power + Stimulation enclosure was corrected but will not be printed at this time.

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Correct enclosure model
  • Determine why battery doesn't work
  • Extract 5V coil from relay
  • Write program to sweep delay timer for 1/ƒ
  • Find upper and lower delay thresholds
  • Reprogram with new settings
  • Build coil mount
  • Set frequency. Potentiometer
  • Construct coil
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.


This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-23 (Th)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015-04-22 (W) Cyborg Distance Sensor

The enclosure for the Power + Stimulation module was backwards so the headphone connector holes were not aligned properly. A new enclosure will be designed and printed.

After trying to install two faulty Arduino boards a brand new board Pro Mini was installed when it arrived in the mail early. Wires from the old board were transferred one at a time without issue. The Arduino and distance sensor were held close by soldering wires directly from one board to the next as was done with the last board.

 Soldered boards with scrapped boards in the background

With both boards soldered together the Arduino was programmed through an ordinary USB ↔ serial adapter. During troubleshooting for the previous boards the Arduino software was updated and the new software had no trouble programming this board.

To test the relay output a simple program was written which simply chattered the relay and this was done easily with the headphone cable running between each module. When the data cable was disconnected and a battery was inserted the Arduino lit up but the relay would not operate. This issue will have to be addressed.

Arduino powered by 23A battery

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Correct enclosure model
  • Determine why battery doesn't work
  • Set frequency. Potentiometer
  • Construct coil
  • Verify pin assignment in program
  • Program
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-22 (W)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015-04-21 (Tu) Cyborg Distance Sensor

Since the Trinket would not accept programming an Arduino Mini Pro replaced it because it was in stock. This unit is unfortunately 3.3V which may cause issues with the 5V relay. Arduino Mini Pros have an onboard voltage regulator so no different wiring was necessary. Pin programming was disregarded in order to line up the GND, pin2, and pin3 from the Arduino to the ultrasonic distance sensor. The three pins happen to be in the desired order. Long wires were run through the holes of each and soldered in place before trimming them.This lead to a very small clearance. The pin assignment in the program may have to be updated.

 Disassembled Trinket version

Assembled Arduino Mini Pro version

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Construct coil
  • Verify pin assignment in program
  • Program
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-20 (M)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015-04-20 (M) Cyborg Distance Sensor

Measurements were taken of the Power + Stimulation components using a digital caliper. The measurements were recorded and an enclosure was modeled in OpenSCAD. Images were recorded from OpenSCAD to record the process as an animated procedure. Since the enclosure will likely be mounted to a wrist or forearm small strap holes were modeled to attach textile to later. The lid was designed with a 1mm raised center to fit inside the enclosure and hold in place without rotating. The raised center is important since only one bolt is being used to hold the lid in place.

Taking measurements

Modeling the enclosure


Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Construct coil
  • Make enclosure for Power + Stimulation portion
  • Program
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-20 (M)

Monday, April 20, 2015

2015-04-19 (Su) Cyborg Distance Sensor

Another unsuccessful day was spent trying to program the Trinket. Programming was attempted on two Windows computers and a Mac. After reading tutorials and installing drivers repeatedly the decision was made to eliminate the Trinket from the project. The problem is presumably a hardware defect.

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Make enclosure for Power + Stimulation portion
  • Program
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.


This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-16 (Th)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015-04-18 (Sa) Cyborg Distance Sensor

A schematic was drawn which uses a DPDT relay to alternate current to the stimulation coil. Parts were selected for the Power + Stimulation portion of the project. This portion is meant to hold the battery, relay, and coil. While selecting parts the idea of using a 3.5mm mono jack to connect the coil was used. Since the coil has not been made and several options exist the plug will make experimentation simple and should prevent any careless accidents from damaging the components.

Updated schematic for Power + Stimulation

Selected components for Power + Stimulation assembly

Soldered components from below

Soldered components from above

The 4xAA battery packs have switches built in so power switching was taken care of. During construction a 23A battery was decided upon instead due to it's size. A 23A battery provides 12V but is the same size as an N battery or roughly half the length of a AA battery with a slightly smaller diameter. They do not have a long life nor are they cheap but to demonstrate this project they are worth trying. Once assembled a battery was inserted to the holder and a stereo 3.5mm cord was run between the two assemblies to prove that power was being applied to the Sensor + Processing half.

23A battery holder soldered to relay and sockets
Powered components

Files for Cyborg Distance Sensor:
The OpenSCAD files below are not necessary unless you want to change something
To do:
  • Assemble Power + Stimulation portion of project 
  • Make enclosure for Power + Stimulation portion
  • Program
  • Test + Debug
  • Write instructions

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.


This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2015-04-16 (Th)