Hack your own Steampunk Arduino/LCD name badge

Bits and Baubles

The switch was mounted with a piece of 1/2-inch copper tubing, split and sized down to fit. It was soldered to the brass frame outboard of the LCD display.

The 7508 voltage regulator stack was bolted to a steel angle bracket and then attached to one of the four brass mounting tabs at the lower left-hand side of the frame (Figure 4).

Figure 4: The voltage regulator.

I rolled some heavy 16-gauge stainless steel wire around a piece of the 3/16-inch brass rod to create a spring covering for the Arduino illuminating LED. The red LED was hot-glued into the top of the spring, pointed at the Arduino, and wired into pin 3.

I used a Dallas DS18B20 digital temperature sensor to detect the ambient temperature. It was wired up in parasitic mode, so only two wires were needed to get a reading. The chip's wires were insulated with hot glue and shrink-wrap tubing, then the whole thing was hot-glued above the Arduino, on a frame rail. The sensor was positioned so that I could touch it while talking, to show that it was actually capturing real-time temperatures.

The leather-like backing came from an old duffel bag handle, which was the perfect size for a name badge. I punched holes for mounting the brass frame with a piece of sharpened tubing and a hammer. To do this, you should put the material on a heavy metal surface and position the tubing vertically where you want the hole. A few sharp taps with a hammer does the trick.

Arduino Code

The code for the badge is fairly straightforward [1]. I downloaded the libraries from Adafruit and then modified the "spitftbitmap" example to read and display the result from the DS18B20 temperature sensor. I also added a few lines to blink the red LED that lights up the Pro Mini board.

Don't forget to install and import the One-Wire and DallasTemperature libraries and .h files in the code. I used version 1.5.8 of the Arduino IDE. Reference links for the libraries appear in the "Software Configuration" box.

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