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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 08:59 PM
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Re: Product idea needing input

My suggestion is that you get an Arduino and an Electronic Components Starter pack or a similar kit. This video will explain more but basically, this will be the controller of the project.

An Introduction to the Arduino - YouTube

Arduino's are great because the software is open-source and free! So as you gain experience with them you can switch from the standard Arduino Uno ($25-$35) to something smaller like the Mini ($10-$15) to just the ATMega328 micro-controller chip with the Arduino boot loader($4-$5).

These website are great resources for when you are looking for components and other cool stuff.
Adafruit - Great for starters/hobbyists/prototyping
SparkFun - Great for starters/hobbyists/prototyping
DigiKey - Great for production oriented products as it is easiest to shop there if you know exactly how much of what products you need.
Alibaba - This site contains mostly products sourced from asian manufacturers. You can get a TON of product for literally pennies on the dollar. I once saved 1000% on 5M of LED strip tape. They also have a store called AliExpress that is worth checking out. Perfect if you are only looking for a hand-full of certain items for a one-time purchase.

This guy, humanHardDrive, puts out great videos that will help fill in the gaps of what you already know and what you have yet to learn.

humanHardDrive - YouTube

Have fun figuring out exactly how you want the whole project to work! Second do seeing it work, that's my favorite part. When controlling power to the outlet, look into relays since they can switch power on and off to higher voltage devices such as a T5-HO or MH.

Right now I am working on a timer for my Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED. I love it, but the only downside is that it does not have a internal timer. I was thinking about spending the extra $40.00 for the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED + but I would have had to send infrared commands to it in order to dim and change the color of the LED's. With the base model, all I have to do is have the dimmer in-line, set the time and let it run a 24 hr cycle. When I get it up and running, I'll post a tutorial.


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