Arduino Playground

Arduino Playground

Geeky Projects for the Experienced Maker
by Warren Andrews
March 2017, 344 pp.

You’ve mastered the basics, conquered the soldering iron, and programmed a robot or two; now you’ve got a set of skills and tools to take your Arduino exploits further. But what do you do once you’ve exhausted your to-build list?

Arduino Playground will show you how to keep your hardware hands busy with a variety of intermediate builds, both practical and just-for-fun. Advance your engineering and electronics know-how as you work your way through these 10 complex projects:

  • A reaction-time game that leverages the Arduino’s real-time capabilities
  • A tool for etching your own printed circuit boards
  • A regulated, variable-voltage power supply
  • A kinetic wristwatch winder decked out with LEDs
  • A garage parking assistant that blinks when your vehicle is perfectly parked
  • A practical and colorful pH meter
  • A ballistic chronograph that can measure the muzzle velocity of BB, Airsoft, and pellet guns
  • A battery saver that prevents accidental discharge
  • A square-wave generator
  • A thermometer that tells the temperature using a sequence of colored LEDs

Each project begins with a list of required tools and components, followed by the instructions, full sketch, and circuit board templates for the build, as well as directions for building a permanent enclosure. You’ll even find the author’s design notes, which are sure to provide inspiration for your own inventions.

Gather your parts, break out the soldering iron, and get ready to take your Arduino skills to the next level with Arduino Playground.

Uses the Arduino Nano and Pro Mini boards

Author Bio 

Warren Andrews received his first amateur radio license at age 12, and he’s been tinkering ever since. He’s done technical consulting for several major corporations, including Motorola and GE, and he’s been writing about electronics for more than 30 years, for publications such as EE Times, Electronic Design, Computer Design, and RTC Magazine.

Table of contents 

Chapter 0: Setting Up and Useful Skills
Chapter 1: The Reaction-Time Machine
Chapter 2: An Automated Agitator for PCB Etching
Chapter 3: The Regulated Power Supply
Chapter 4: A Watch Winder
Chapter 5: The Garage Sentry Parking Assistant
Chapter 6: The Battery Saver
Chapter 7: A Custom pH Meter
Chapter 8: Two Ballistic Chronographs
Chapter 9: The Square-Wave Generator
Chapter 10: The Chromatic Thermometer

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)


Learn how to build the Garage Parking Assistant on Electronics Weekly!

Arduino Playground is not for the faint of heart. Unless the faint of heart person plans to build a pacemaker with Arduino!”

“This is a book designed for Arduino enthusiasts who've mastered the basics, conquered the soldering iron, and programmed a robot or two. Warren Andrews shows you how to keep your hardware hands busy.”
I Programmer

“Of all the books I've reviewed, I have to say that Arduino Playground is at the top of the list...This isn't your run-of-the-mill DIY electronics book, nor is it for the faint of heart.”
Full Circle Magazine

“The author's design notes are sure to provide inspiration for your own inventions.”


Page 71: In the Downloads section, the Templates files should be PDFs instead of DXFs: PowerSupplyFront.pdf, PowerSupplyFrontBottom.pdf.

Page 131: In the Parts List and throughout the chapter, the, "20-ohm, 1/8 W potentiometer" should be "20-kilohm, 1/8 W potentiometer"

Page 222: In the Downloads section, the file PanelCutoutLite.pdf should be removed.

Page 235: In the Downloads section, the files LEDHolder.pcb and SensorHolder.pcb should listed as one file: LEDAndSensorHolders.pcb.

Page 284: In the Downloads section, the name for the MCP9808 sketch file should be MCP9808Thermo.ino.