Can you say "ARRR-DWEE-NO"? I control the Flux Capacitor with a widely available micro-controller called the Arduino (Arr-Dwee-No). The Arduino is "an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments."I have experience programming other micro-controllers like the Oopic and the Basic Stamp, but wanted to try something new and different. Why get so fancy and complicated with a micro-controller you ask? Well, first it will give me infinite control over the lighting sequence. I'll be able to tweak the light sequence in any number of ways to get the proper look.
Here's a few other ideas I am thinking I can do with the Arduino.
- RF Remote control to turn the unit on/off.
- Changing the light sequence when you hit the magic 88 MPH (or at the push of the remote's button).
- Ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness according to the lights in the room.
- Proximity sensor to activate the 88 MPH mode when a person is near.
The Arduino is priced under $30 so you can't go wrong. It's about 3 in. x 3 in so it will fit nicely inside the Flux Capacitor. This pictures also shows the prototype "wings" attached. They have small screw terminals that are easy to attach wire too while prototyping.
You can also see the USB cable attached. The cable is used for programming but not necessary once the Arduino is programmed.
The small RF Transceiver module (<1 inch square) will be interfaced directly to the Arduino micro-controller I/O pins. The RF module communicates with the RF Remote Key Fob below. You program the Arduino to talk to the RF module and make sense of the signals you receive.
4/6/15 UPDATE - In the process of planning my Second Flux Capacitor build, I became aware that the Sparkfun RF Remote I used for my first FC was no longer available. Sparkfun did not seem to have a decent replacement so I took to the net looking for another option. While searching, I remembered a few of the issues (hassles) that I had with the first RF Remote. While in the end, it worked out, it was not without some struggle.Be sure ot check out my second FC build here.