MAKE 36: Boards


MAKE Volume 36 takes a look at the exploding market of boards and microcontrollers. Powerful and easy to use, microcontrollers allow anyone to add sophisticated interactivity to their projects, and Arduino and Raspberry Pi have ushered in a whole new generation boards tailor-made for making. In this issue, we take a deep dive into the world of boards and add-ons that are fueling a new smart device revolution. From workshop hobbyists to entrepreneurial innovators pushing accessible technology to new levels.

Which board is right for you? This issue issue delves into:

  • The best boards for your build. What they do and why you might want to use them.
  • Microcontrollers for the next generation: Ultra- miniaturization, wireless, and multi-function shields.
  • Add-ons for boards
  • Upcoming boards with estimated release dates and previews.

But the issue goes beyond boards and includes projects that show you how to make your own hard cider with a juicer, a simple table that can be built in two hours, an interview with New Zealand kite-maker Peter Lynn, and the making of tiger gates in the London Zoo.

To jump into the world of boards, take a look at Which Board is Right for Me?

Table of Contents



Computers in the mist.Page 08

Reader Input

Siphon logic, DTV antennas, Arduino sound synthesis, and Japanese toolboxes galore.Page 10

Wearable Tech

Experiments in 3D-printed fashion.Page 16

Made on Earth

AT-AT liquor cabinets, big-rig sculptures, pole-dancing robots, and more from makers in our community.Page 20



Building gates for the London Zoo’s tigers proves onerous.Page 32

Maker Hangar Profile

17-year-old Lucas Weakley on building an R/C plane video series.Page 42

Pick Your Brain

Board Games

Loads of new microcontrollers and single-board computers vie for your attention.Page 46

Now What, Noobs?

Four projects to bring your Arduino to life.Page 61

The Board Room

Meet nine new boards and the cool projects you can make with them.Page 62


Get started in the Internet of Things by automating your icebox.Page 70

Onion Pi Project

Hack your Raspberry Pi into an anonymizing Tor proxy!Page 74

Android/Arduino LED Lighting

Make RGB LEDs glow any color with a finger swipe.Page 80


Skill Builder: Make Your Own Damn Board

Using EAGLE to design a bare-bones Arduino board.Page 84

Nuclear Fusor

Build yourself a star in a jar.Page 90

Desktop Foundry

Cast itty-bitty metal items with a DIY miniature foundry.Page 100

Capstan Kite Winder

Make a powerful kite line winder using a lawnmower wheel and some ingenuity. Page 108

Electronics: Fun & Fundamentals

Clever off-label uses for the underappreciated triac.Page 120


A homemade teardrop camper trailer.Page 131

Lite-Brite LED Clock

Build this programmable Arduino-powered desk clock.Page 135

Toy Inventor's Notebook

Make a combination corkboard/chalkboard.Page 139


Multitools, butt connectors, borescopes, and books.Page 146

New Maker Tech

The latest tools in 3D printing, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. Page 154

Makey the Robot

Rising above the daily traffic grind.Page 160