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goknights
01-15-2007, 04:28 AM
I have no experience in electronics but would like to make a little device that beeps when exposed to a small amount of light. I mentioned this to someone who recommended a stamp computer. other than one of the stamp kits, a light sensor and a buzzer, what else would I need and is this a good application for a stamp computer or am I better off going a different route. If I want it to be as small as possible , what would I physically build it around. Thanks in advance for helping a clueless individual out.

Bruce Bates
01-15-2007, 05:14 AM
goknights -

Can you define "a small amount of light" since that's a rather relative term, or better yet let us know what the exact application is, before we make appropriate recommendations.

No one here is about to "steal" your idea.

Regards,

Bruce Bates

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Kevin Wood
01-15-2007, 05:24 AM
This is well within the capability of the Basic Stamp, and not a difficult project. Getiing one of the "What's a Microcontroller" based kits is a good way to start. However, if you are looking to build something very small, you may need to have something custom-designed for those size requirements.

Here are the starter kits:

Basic Stamp Activity Kit: www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=90005 (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=90005)

Basic Stamp Discovery Kit: www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=27207 (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=27207)

You can also download the "What's a Microcontroller" manual to read the chapters on light detection & creating sound.

goknights
01-16-2007, 01:48 PM
Hey guys and thanks for the responses. To be more specific, I have a medical device that I hold up to my skin. You squeeze it to turn it on, but the only way to tell if it is actually on is by a little green LED on the end of it. Sometimes it takes two squeezes to turn it on and sometimes just one squeeze. When I hold it to my back or neck I have no way of knowing if it is on or not (it runs silently) My plan was to make something to fit on the end of it over the LED that will beep when it is on and is flashing, and stop beeping when it turns itself off. I was hoping to make it as small as possible to fit on the end of this device which is about 8 inches long and less than an inch in diameter. Can I solder all of the pieces in that diagram onto or around a 9v battery, and then duct tape the battery to the end of the device? In other words, what would be the framework to hold all of the pieces together. I have heard about breadboards but as far as I can tell that would make it pretty big. Thanks again for your help everyone.

Post Edited (goknights) : 1/16/2007 6:53:20 AM GMT

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
01-16-2007, 02:13 PM
How about just a length of plastic fiber optic cable butted to the end of the LED? You could snake the other end around to where you can see it, to see if the LED is on or not. The stuff is cheap (DigiKey part number FB-140X-ND), and no batteries required!

-Phil

Henrymou
01-16-2007, 02:18 PM
yeah use a Basic Stamp to determine a light frequency! whether this light be infared visible, or ultraviolet, then the output would go to a speaker! you can even play a tone to your liking if you know the notes1 I recomend downloading the basic stamp manual! have fun!
-Henry
i am 15 so I know what i am talkin about

latigerlilly
01-16-2007, 03:29 PM
Step 1: Buy the Boe-Bot kit (so you'll know what I'm talking about) with instructional manual, stamp II, breadboard, and all materials needed.
Step 2: Set-up the photoresistor circuit described on pg 195.
Step 3: Use the following program;

'{$STAMP BS2}
'{$PBASIC 2.5}
DO
IF (IN6 = 0) AND (IN3 = 0) THEN
FREQOUT 4, 2000, 3000
LOOP

goknights
01-17-2007, 11:49 AM
wow you guys are awesome. thats a great idea Phil. Latigerlilly, how small could the breadboard be? do you mean this kit? http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=28832
thanks again!

aalegado
01-17-2007, 11:54 AM
agfa said...
A stamp could easily do it. But if all you want is a something to beep at the presense of light, it can be done cheaper and easier.


I have attached a circuit diagram that I found in an old radio shack project book about communications using light. I have cropped the image to the specific application you requested, but would be glad to make more of the diagrams available.



Hope it helps.



agfa


Hey, that's from a Forest M. Mims (sp?) book! I bought the blue and yellow covered ones (volume I and II?) way back in the early 80's and built almost every circuit shown. Learned a lot from those books. I think mine were stolen in high school (a Catholic school, at that!) in the mid-80's.

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I wouldn't connect that if I were you...

Vive Le Tour!
Le Grand Depart July 6-8, 2007

latigerlilly
01-17-2007, 01:37 PM
Yes,

This is the kit:
http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=28832

It looks like Parallax is out of stock. I bought mine at Radio Shack. Go to your local Radio Shack. If they don't have it, they'll use their computer to find one that does and ship it to your local Radio Shack at no cost....

The breadboard is only about the size of a postage stamp. The boe bot is only roughly 3 x 4 inches. It is quite small....

Kevin Wood
01-18-2007, 03:26 AM
RadioShack no longer carries the BoeBot Kit. They do carry the Basic Stamp Activity Kit.

aalegado
01-18-2007, 03:41 AM
goknights said...
wow you guys are awesome. thats a great idea Phil. Latigerlilly, how small could the breadboard be? do you mean this kit? http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=28832
thanks again!


There's no need to buy a complete development kit or a BOEbot (unless you want to, that is http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif). Parallax carries the breadboard (www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=700-00012 (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=700-00012)) used on the BOE and other development boards as a discrete item. You will find larger breadboards that cost as much (or a little bit more) but you probably want something as small as you can get. Global used to make a tiny breadboard a(a baby version of the Experimentor 300 and 350 that Radio Shack carries) but the product appears to be defunct. You could make it very tiny if you used point-to-point wiring on a perf board.

You can download a PDF of the BOE manual (www.parallax.com/dl/docs/books/edu/Roboticsv2_2.pdf (http://www.parallax.com/dl/docs/books/edu/Roboticsv2_2.pdf)) for the schematics and parts list and get the (few) parts you'd need from a local Radio Shack (assuming the ones near you still carry components).

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I wouldn't connect that if I were you...

Vive Le Tour!
Le Grand Depart July 6-8, 2007

Post Edited (aalegado) : 1/17/2007 9:02:52 PM GMT

Clint
01-19-2007, 12:55 AM
Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) said...
How about just a length of plastic fiber optic cable butted to the end of the LED? You could snake the other end around to where you can see it, to see if the LED is on or not. The stuff is cheap (DigiKey part number FB-140X-ND), and no batteries required!

-Phil
I like this idea. Waita think outside of the box and come up with a simpler solution!

aalegado
01-19-2007, 06:01 AM
Clint said...

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) said...

How about just a length of plastic fiber optic cable butted to the end of the LED? You could snake the other end around to where you can see it, to see if the LED is on or not. The stuff is cheap (DigiKey part number FB-140X-ND), and no batteries required!

-Phil
I like this idea. Waita think outside of the box and come up with a simpler solution![/quoteI




I agree that it's a simpler solution (it's actually pretty elegant in its simplicity!) but it represents a completely different way of providing feedback to the user that the LED on the device is on or off. A method that produces a tone based on the light being on or off is potentially simpler for the user because all he has to do is listen.

With a light pipe, the user has to look at the end of the fiber to see the light. This is easily mitigated by using a clip of some kind to affix the fiber to the user's shirt so he can look down (or where ever) and see the light but that is a tiny bit more effort than just listening.

Personally, I like the idea of a little widget that generates an audible tone but that is because I am used to listening to the equipment at work (I am a manager in a Prepress department at a printing company). When there's a problem I or the machine operator usually know by the sound before we even see the alert lamps light up (sometimes even before alert tone on the equipment sounds). :)

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
I wouldn't connect that if I were you...

Vive Le Tour!
Le Grand Depart July 6-8, 2007

Post Edited (aalegado) : 1/18/2007 11:14:56 PM GMT

Asobu
01-21-2007, 11:17 AM
If you can take the medical device apart you could just solder in a little buzzer in place of the green light that you cannot see.

goknights
02-01-2007, 03:35 AM
Hello again guys. I went to go order the fiber optic cable (great idea) from digikey, but they are on backorder until March. Is there anywhere else I could order the same fiber optic cable online? I tried searching for it but that part number didn't come up anywhere else. Thanks again for all of your support, and for those of you interested, this is the device I am trying to hook this up to: http://www.microlightcorp.com/ml830.asp

Ben

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
02-01-2007, 04:59 AM
If you're in a hurry and don't mind spending extra money, your local Radio Shack store will likely have preassembled fiber optic cables in stock for component audio systems. You can also try Edmund Scientific for the raw strands.

-Phil