CacheDuino – Part 1

Inspired my Mikal Harts “Reverse Geocache Puzzle” and Russ Weeks “Frustromantic Box” I thought I’d try build my own and use it as a geocache.  Since the only programming I had done were simple bash scripts I was happy to see that Russ posted his source code giving me the start I needed – Russ was a great help with the coding part of this project.  I had already bought an Arduino and was reading various tutorials and trying different sketches.  My parts shopping list was similar to what Russ used though in my prototype I used a micro switch as the “backdoor” and changed the code to suit.  My final box uses a drawer for the log book and padlocked lid so I can gain access to the drawer & electronics without having a “backdoor” plus the cacher who solve the puzzle don’t have access to the electronics.

My parts list looked like this:

Arduino – Freeduino clone from Solarboticics

Shield – Sparkfun Protoshield Kit.  Any shield should work but I like the 5V and ground bus lines on the sparkfun.  This one from Solarbotics would work as well

GPS – EM-406A SiRf III Receiver – the PMB-648 looks like a better fit with the pig-tail wires ready to go, plus it is cheaper than the EM-406A

Pololu Switch LV – though I am using the SV version for my next CacheDuino

LCD – Any HD44780 compatible 16×2 unit.  I picked up a couple off ebay from Dipmicro Electronics.

Servo – Like Russ I used a full rotation servo from SparkFun – I am going to use a regular HiTec HS-311 I pickup up from a local RC hobby shop in the next CacheDuino

Battery Pack – I used a 5xAA from Solarbotics, more juice than a 4xAA and it should last longer than a single 9V battery.

Other parts – A small push button switch, ribbon cable & cat5 wire I had laying around, a micro switch for the “backdoor”, a bellcrank from the RC hobby store to lock the lid.

The actual box was made from some recycled cedar board wall panels from our basement.  The box was a “quick & dirty” build as it was going to get painted camo green and needed to be functional vs pretty.

Part II will be the electronics of the build.

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