Cheap Arduino Serial Driver

If you’re struggling to get a cheap Arduino clone to upload code using your IDE; the chances are that it’s not connecting via the COM port correctly. This maybe caused because your board uses a CH340G serial to usb chip, which Windows doesn’t recognise. Download the driver below or from the manufacturers website (in Chinese). Failing that, you could have bought a board without a bootloader. I’ll write a tutorial as soon as I get a board without one pre-installed.

Download “CH340G / CH341G Serial Driver - CH341SER.exe” CH341SER.EXE – Downloaded 33 times – 238 KB

Download “CH340 Datasheet” CH341DS1.pdf – Downloaded 31 times – 144 KB

BBC micro:bit Harry Potter Sorting Hat

We’re going to be recreating the sorting hat from Harry Potter using Microsoft Block Editor. Go ahead and create a new project. First decide which Input function you’d like to use to display the Hogwarts Houses. I’ve used the A Button, but this will work with whatever Input method you like.

Create the following:

Input → on button “A” pressed do
Variables → set “item” to
Maths → pick random 0 to “4”
Logic → if do 
Logic → “0” = “0”
Variables → “item”
Basic → show string “Hello!”

WMp4D

Click “Item” in Set “Item” and select New variable and name it RandomNumber. This variable will allow you to assign each of the Hogwarts Houses a number, along with pick random  0 to “4”, it’ll cycle through the various Hogwarts Houses you assign later.

WMeFS

We’re going to have to change the “4” to 3 because we have four Hogwarts Houses. Sounds a little silly, why 3?! Well 0 counts too!

Ravenclaw 0
Hufflepuff 1
Gryffindor 2
Slytherin 3

WM6Nt

If you press the Gear icon on if do it’ll have a little popup. In this popup you can add more to the if do without creating entire new sections. Drag the else if into the if, do this three times. Click the Gear to remove the popup once you are finished.

WMRgS

You’ll need to either duplicate (saves lots of time!) or recreate the RandomNumber = “0” and add them to else if. Change each of the numbers on the end going from 0 to 3. Same with the show string “Ravenclaw”.

WMUfb

You can compile and upload it your BBC micro:bit and find out which house you’re in!

Download “Harry Potter: The-Sorting-Hat BBC micro:bit hex” Harry-Potter-The-Sorting-Hat.hex – Downloaded 67 times – 567 KB

PC Button Box

I picked up an Arduino from work and attempted to create a Button Box, and it bloody worked! I found the wiring diagram and code from Kevin Peat’s site. This is a very picture heavy post!

Drill.jpg
Bought a box, made a layout and got to work with a drill.

Planning.jpg
The bracket inside was for attaching it to my wheel stand. It came from an Ikea bookcase, its the bracket for attaching it to the wall. #Recycling =P

Buttons.jpg
It’s a bit wonky, but it’ll do!

IDE.jpg
I started the soldering part by removing every other wire from an IDE cable, so it would leave me only the wires on the same row.

IDE%20Arduino.jpg
I trimmed the wires I didn’t need. Using an IDE cable gave me something I could hot glue onto inside of the case so I can easily remove the Arduino if it didn’t work/I needed it for another project.

Wiring.jpg
There’s two quarter inch jack sockets on the back for foot pedals, or when I have the time and resources a rally style gear stick =D

Attached.jpg
And finally! The moment you’ve been waiting for (possibly).

Attached2.jpg
I intend to make a fancier looking one someday, but this was super cheap to make!