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Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, project and user community that
designs and manufactures kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and
control the physical world.[1] Arduino boards may be purchased preassembled, or as do-it-yourself kits; at
the same time, the hardware design information is available for those who would like to assemble an
Arduino from scratch.
An Arduino board consists of an Atmel 8-bit AVR microcontroller with complementary components that
facilitate programming and incorporation into other circuits. An important aspect of the Arduino is its
standard connectors, which lets users connect the CPU board to a variety of interchangeable add-on
modules known as shields. Some shields communicate with the Arduino board directly over various pins,
but many shields are individually addressable via an IC serial busso many shields can be stacked and
used in parallel. Official Arduinos have used the megaAVR series of chips, specifically the ATmega8,
ATmega168, ATmega328, ATmega1280, and ATmega2560. A handful of other processors have been used
by Arduino compatibles. Most boards include a 5 volt linear regulator and a 16 MHz crystal
oscillator (or ceramic resonator in some variants), although some designs such as the LilyPad run at 8 MHz
and dispense with the onboard voltage regulator due to specific form-factor restrictions. An Arduino's
microcontroller is also pre-programmed with a boot loader that simplifies uploading of programs to the onchip flash memory, compared with other devices that typically need an externalprogrammer. This makes
using an Arduino more straightforward by allowing the use of an ordinary computer as the programmer.
There are many Arduino-compatible and Arduino-derived boards. Some are functionally equivalent to an
Arduino and can be used interchangeably. Many enhance the basic Arduino by adding output drivers, often
for use in school-level education to simplify the construction of buggies and small robots. Others are
electrically equivalent but change the form factorsometimes retaining compatibility with shields,
sometimes not. Some variants use completely different processors, with varying levels of compatibility.
Recently, while renovating at headquarters we discussed the purchase of combination door locks. You
know-the ones with the keypad and the 4 digit PIN that unlocks the door. I decided to come up with a plan
to build these locks. Rather than buy the expensive pre-manufactured door locks, heres how I did it:
First the parts. I knew I would use an Arduino as the main board and from there, the concept quickly
unfolded. The Arduino would take the inputs from the various buttons, and each button that was used in
the PIN would cause a math operation in the program on the Arduino. Very much like a checksum. Once
the checksum reached a certain value, the Arduino would output an unlock signal. The electronic door
strike required much more current than an Arduino could supply, so a relay circuit was also needed. I
ended up building two of them one for each of the doors we needed to lock. (My first prototype was a mess
as you can see in the picture below.)

I built the first relay circuit from scratch. The circuit diagram is available in the Arduino inventors
kit, but I dont recommend this route. In the second system, not only was it much more
organized, but I also found a better solution to the relay circuit, our CPS156. I also used an
Arduino ProtoShield instead of a bulky eurocard (see below).
The Build:
First lets gather the materials. If you dont already have an Arduino, I recommend the Arduino
inventors kit and that you also check out our Arduino Video Learning Series to get started.

So youll need:
-Arduino Uno
-Arduino ProtoShield


-Dual HI/LO relay board -- CPS156


-Electronic door strike -- I found these on ebay for about $15 Make sure you buy a 12V DC strike.

Some other small components such as:

-A handful of 10k Ohm resistors
-A 330 Ohm resistor
-A power supply, or two. Youll need 12VDC and at least 2A to power the door strike.
The first step is to solder wires to all the pins on the keypad. This is a common ground keypad
and the pinouts are on the back of the packaging.
Controlling Lighting with Motion Sensors and SSRs
In my never ending quest to save energy, I decided to connect Motion Sensors (more accurately
Passive Infra Red or PIR) to an Arduino, and having that control my lighting through an SSR.
This is a good way to make sure the lights go out when people leave the room, and come on
when they enter, preventing stumbling in the dark with your arms full trying to find the light