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I got my son a tiny whoop indoor FPV drone for Christmas, specifically an EMAX Tinyhawk II. Weve had fun creating small obstacle courses in our basement, but one thing was missing a timer so we could compare flight times.
This instructable (my first) is for a drone gate with an automatic timer that can be used at the start and end of the course. When the drone passes through the gate at the start of the course, a timer starts and continues until the drone passes through the gate again at the end of the course.
Since were using an Arduino as the brains of this project, we decided to add an RGB LED strip in a circle that the drone flies through. The LEDs change colors every ten seconds during the race that the pilot can see in their peripheral vision. If the race ends with a new record time, the LEDs show a chaser pattern. A long press of the reset button saves the current race time as the new record to beat.
Before going any further, lets see this drone gate in action

Below are the electrical components we used:

Arduino Nano
HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor
Adafruit 4-digit 7-segment display w/I2C backpack
WS2812B individually addressable RGB LED strip (2M, 120 LEDs, 5V)
Push button
1000µF capacitor
470-ohm resistor
10K-ohm resistor
5V power supply
DC power adapter
Micro USB cable”

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