Building your own light-saber – Part I

The first light  saber project in this series is about controlling a small RC-helicopter with your gestures.  It uses a Nunchuk (Wii), an Arduino, some IR leds, and of course, a helicopter.

In this first part, you’re going to hack a Nunchuck. You can take it apart, but you can easily hack it without destroying it.

Just look at the connector:

Nunchuck uses I2C. Connect 3V3 an GND with the Arduino power supply and SCL (clock) and SDA (data) with two Pins. I’m using pin4 and pin5, because they are available (look at your own Arduino spec).

The protocol is widely available on the internet, but you only need one “data request” and get back 6bytes.

I2C is easily implemented on the Arduino, or just use the Wire.h library and the great work by people before us.


#include <Wire.h>
#include <string.h>
#undef int
#include <stdio.h>
uint8_t outbuf[6]; // array to store arduino output
int cnt = 0;
int ledPin = 13;
void setup ()
{
beginSerial (19200);
Serial.print ("Finished setup\n");
Wire.begin (); // join i2c bus with address 0x52
nunchuck_init (); // send the initilization handshake
}
void nunchuck_init ()
{
Wire.beginTransmission (0x52); // transmit to device 0x52
Wire.send (0x40); // sends memory address
Wire.send (0x00); // sends sent a zero.
Wire.endTransmission (); // stop transmitting
}
void send_zero ()
{
Wire.beginTransmission (0x52); // transmit to device 0x52
Wire.send (0x00); // sends one byte
Wire.endTransmission (); // stop transmitting
}
void loop ()
{
Wire.requestFrom (0x52, 6); // request data from nunchuck
while (Wire.available ())
{
outbuf[cnt] = nunchuk_decode_byte (Wire.receive ()); // receive byte as an integer
digitalWrite (ledPin, HIGH); // sets the LED on
cnt++;
}
// If we recieved the 6 bytes, then go print them
if (cnt >= 5)
{
print ();
}
cnt = 0;
send_zero (); // send the request for next bytes
delay (100);
}
// Print the input data we have recieved
// accel data is 10 bits long
// so we read 8 bits, then we have to add
// on the last 2 bits. That is why I
// multiply them by 2 * 2
void print ()
{
int joy_x_axis = outbuf[0];
int joy_y_axis = outbuf[1];
int accel_x_axis = outbuf[2] * 2 * 2;
int accel_y_axis = outbuf[3] * 2 * 2;
int accel_z_axis = outbuf[4] * 2 * 2;
int z_button = 0;
int c_button = 0;
// byte outbuf[5] contains bits for z and c buttons
// it also contains the least significant bits for the accelerometer data
// so we have to check each bit of byte outbuf[5]
if ((outbuf[5] >> 0) & 1)
{
z_button = 1;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 1) & 1)
{
c_button = 1;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 2) & 1)
{
accel_x_axis += 2;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 3) & 1)
{
accel_x_axis += 1;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 4) & 1)
{
accel_y_axis += 2;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 5) & 1)
{
accel_y_axis += 1;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 6) & 1)
{
accel_z_axis += 2;
}
if ((outbuf[5] >> 7) & 1)
{
accel_z_axis += 1;
}
Serial.print (joy_x_axis, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (joy_y_axis, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (accel_x_axis, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (accel_y_axis, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (accel_z_axis, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (z_button, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print (c_button, DEC);
Serial.print ("\t");
Serial.print ("\r\n");
}
// Encode data to format that most wiimote drivers except
// only needed if you use one of the regular wiimote drivers
char nunchuk_decode_byte (char x)
{
x = (x ^ 0x17) + 0x17;
return x;
}

You should now get the movement data on any terminal program.
That’s step 1. Next step: Hack the RC-controlled helicopter.

And I need to take some pictures, but right now I need to go to do some serious laser cutting 😉
Stay tuned!

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One comment

  1. […] “turning science fiction into reality” ‹ Building your own light-saber – Part I […]

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