Arduino Handheld Prototyper
Fresh Air Controller
■ BY JOE PARDUE
Last month, we continued our series on an Arduino handheld prototyper that — as the
name implies — lets us develop prototypes that are portable in our very own hand. I'll
admit it. I've been having too much fun with this prototyper. This thing lets me do
Arduino development using a PC (as usual) but also lets me get input from pushbutton
keys, plus produce visual output on an LCD — all in a compact portable framework.
Gone are the days of having the bits and pieces scattered around on a table, hooked up
to a PC. Now, I can just grab the whole thing and take off.
C PROGRAMMING - HARDWARE - PROJECTS
Fresh Air Controller for a Castle
I was in the midst of developing the handheld prototyper when
a friend who lives nearby asked me to help him use an Arduino to
develop a fresh air controller for his castle. (Well, it’s certainly close
enough for these parts.) It's got a courtyard (Figure 1), a great
room, suits of armor, a broadsword next to a fireplace you could
roast a dragon in, plus gargoyles (Figure 2). Joel Fairstein owns this
particular castle and does some outstanding tinkering, so he
decided to do a project to help heat and cool his place. This is a
perfect application for our handheld prototyper — even if you don't
own a castle.
September 2013 69
■ FIGURE 1: Castles have courtyards. ■ FIGURE 2: What's a castle without gargoyles?