CC Lab | Arduino – Final Project Process & Final Build

Arduino Final Project | Process & Thoughts

So I learned a couple of things about Arduino after building my prototype last week.

  1. Soldering individual components to wires is REALLY HARD!
  2. You CAN fry your board if you aren’t paying attention (and put the 18V of battery power into the wrong power rail – oops…)
  3. Ideation takes many steps, and what you think will take 2 hours – suddenly takes 8.

As I described in my last blog, my goal is to create a Zelda inspired treasure chest that will stay shut using an electromagnetic lock. Originally I wanted to use 3 push buttons to simulate playing the instrument from the game(ocarina) to open the chest. However, as I mentioned above, soldering button leads to wires is pretty hard and I’m new to soldering.

So after breaking 3 of my 5 buttons, I finally got one wired up and decided that it would do, especially since it took some effort to build it into my chest so it sits on the outside. I also had to buy a soldering iron because the soldering gun my mother owned – did this whole project while visiting Mom on Long Island – started melting when I used it… Did I say I’m bad at soldering yet?

Otherwise the process went pretty straightforward, I found a great chest looking box and decided to repurpose it since buying components for the Arduino was already at my budget. I then worked to clean out the box and install the necessary pieces to secure the lock.

This seems straightforward, but the lock is VERY sensitive (how do they use this commercially?) and has to line up almost perfectly to work, so there was a lot of re-screwing, sanding, cutting and adding little popsicle sticks as shims to get everything lined up.

I also soldered and wired in a photocell into a hidden hole in the back and left it disconnected hoping to try connecting it in my break before class. I needed to let the project sit while I brought it on the train/subway, before trying to hook up the new component for the demo.

The main functionality of the treasure chest is that you push the button on the side, it plays the Zelda treasure chest opening song, and the lock unlocks for 3 seconds. It will then re-lock upon closing it.

I added a secret unlock using the photoresistor which  required plugging in the sensor, making sure voltage is right with a resistor, and writing a line of code to make it so that the photoresistor must have a value of 0 (no light) & the button has to be pushed to open the lock.

Circuit Diagram & Code

With the photoresistor added in!
With the photoresistor added in!

Notice that the power for the lock is all a different rail than the other components. This is ESSENTIAL!

Check out my code on Github

Prototype Video

Circuit Prototype Video

Final project video

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