“Pick up milk.” “Feed dog.” “Finish homemade nuclear sub.” Like many people, I can’t function without writing little reminders to myself. But using one paper sticky note after another causes a lot of clutter and can be pretty wasteful. Instead, assemble a bunch of surplus parts into a digital note system for your kitchen or office. Just write out your message with your fingertip on a computer trackpad, and it appears on an LCD screen.
When you’re done, press a button and the screen is erased. Add a rechargeable battery and an enclosure, and you have unlimited (and eco-friendly) note-making capability. The project does require some computer code to drive the LCD; you can copy it here. If you can just remember that, you’ll be good to go.
TIME: 7 HOURS
NOTE: A BASIC Stamp BS2 microcontroller is way too slow for adequately driving this project. The microcontroller used in this project was salvaged from an old Parallax Boe-Bot robot kit. Better performance could be obtained from AVR or PIC microcontrollers. In retrospect, I wouldn’t even consider using a BASIC Stamp for this project. If you do, you’ll be disappointed. Therefore, please consider this PBASIC code as a “starting point” for building a better digital notepad.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.