Monday, May 02, 2016

Project: Arduino Wind Speed Indicator from Geeky Gadgets

I am always on the lookout for new Arduino projects to try and this one from Geeky Gadgets caught my eye. The Adafruit anemometer was a bit pricy at $44 and I wonder if I might be able to find a cheaper alternative somewhere. Of course, as with all things, you get what you pay for, so other, cheaper units might not be as robust, especially in this situation where they need to be exposed to the elements. 

I could foresee using this with my Arduino Yun to log and post the information to the web instead, or in addition to, having a local screen, but I am biased in the direction of making all my projects Internet accessible.

Complete code and instructions are available in the Geeky Gadgets Blog post - Arduino Wind Speed Meter Anemometer Project

Adarfuit 1733 Wind Speed Meter Anemometer Arduino wind speed

The anemometer is also available via Amazon, but at a higher price

 

Find more fun Arduino Gear on Amazon


Liked: Control you next Arduino project using Bluetooth with the HC-06 - Tutorial [Video]

Control you next Arduino project using Bluetooth with the HC-06 - Tutorial

Bluetooth arduino

For me, being able to get data into and out of the Arduino environment is very important. Self-contained projects, with their own screens and indicators are fine, but I usually want to access and log data — or interact in real time — with  my projects.

This video highlights an easy-to-use Bluetooth adapter that can do just that. Along with a companion app, you can query your Arduino project for data or use it to switch other devices off an on from a distance. Very cool!

Products mentioned in this video:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Arduino Life 2: Getting Geeky in the Garden: Temperature, Humidity and Light Level Sensor [Video] (20:21)

I dive into the Arduino world and learn a lot in my first project, a temperature, humidity and light level sensor for my mini-greenhouse that also reports via SSH iOS notifications and Twitter and logs data to local SD Card and a Google Spreadsheet.

Arduino Life 2: Getting Geeky in the Garden: Temperature, Humidity and Light Level Sensor [Video] (20:21)

Download this video podcast

 

 

  • Greenhouse Temperature, Humidity and Light Level Arduino Project

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Arduino Life 1: Greenhouse Temperature, Humidity and Light Level Arduino Project

I have been meaning to learn more about Arduino and other micro controllers, but my involvement in Hackerspace LA finally fired me up to do some more technology projects.

A few weeks ago I picked up an Arduino Yun, a pack of 37 sensors and started learning and playing.

Greenhouse monitor

Arduino Yun with temperature, humidity and light sensor in the greenhouse

I picked the Arduino Yun because I knew I was going to want to easily connect my projects to the Internet for data reporting. This board has both a Linux computer and an Arduino in one package — as well as built-in WiFi. These two systems can “bridge” together and share data in both directions and the WiFi can connect to a local network in order to reach services like IFTTT and others.

While I’ll go more in-depth on this project in future posts, here are the basics of what this system is doing right now.

  • Greenhouse Temperature, Humidity and Light Level Arduino Project
    • Powered by USB power bank
    • Arduino Yun connected to breadboard for power and sensor data
    • Local WiFi connection via Arduino Yun for data reporting
    • Read Temperature and Humidity using blue sensor at top
    • Read current light level using photo-resistor and converting to 100 point scale (0-100, with 0 being total darkness)
    • Date and Time pulled from Linux side of Arduino Yun
    • Data logged to file on internal SD Card on Arduino (can be accessed remotely via SSH)
    • Data logged remotely to Google Spreadsheet via IFTTT
    • Data tweeted out to @douglaswelch via IFTTT
    • Data notified on iPhone via IFTTT
    • Currently polling and reporting every 5 minutes

More information and projects to come!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Now Use Your Raspberry Pi to Program Your Arduino - Arduino IDE for Raspberry Pi

** Get your own Raspberry Pi and Arduino Boards and Accessories here **

At the risk of getting waaaay to meta with our single board computers and microcontrollers, it is now possible to load the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) on your Raspberry Pi and use it to program your Arduino boards. 

LinkArduino Comes To The Raspberry Pi, Linux Arm Devices via HackADay

Link: Download the Arduino IDE for Linux ARM

Arduinopi2

There is now a current version of the Arduino IDE compiled and posted so you don’t have to try and compile it yourself. Just download and type install into a terminal window.

The article points out a great reason and need for this IDE on Raspberry Pi and other single board Linux systems...

" it does make it exceptionally easy for anyone to set up a high school electronics lab. The Raspberry Pi is almost a disposable computing device, and combining it with Arduino makes for a great portable electronics lab."

Looking to expand the usefulness of your Raspberry Pi or set up your own computer lab with inexpensive computers and microcontrollers? The folks at Arduino.cc just made it a lot easier.

Arduino example

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sometimes you just want to start doing cool stuff with your Raspberry Pi - Check out the NOOBS Installer

For Raspberry Pi beginners, it can seem like you have to do a lot of setup before you can get down to some serious tech fun. This NOOBS installer, gets you through the entire Raspberry Pi setup, including downloading and installing Raspbian Linux, quickly and easily.





Simply download the installer, copy it to an SD card, insert in your Raspberry Pi and boot. It will then step you through the rest of the process.

I recently picked up an Arduino Yun, but I am also planning on getting a Raspberry Pi 3 and diving into everything it can do, so this will certainly come in handy for me. I'll report back on my experience.

Check it out!

Link: The Simple Way to Create a Raspberry Pi Boot SD Card

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Noted: Root, the code-teaching robot via @HackerspaceLA

From the @HackerpsaceLA Twitter feed...

Root, the code-teaching robot

"Fitting somewhere between old-time remote-controlled toy trains and today’s video games, Root is a robot that is programmed using a tablet interface called Square. Root has light and color sensors, bumpers, and a touch surface that enable it to respond to the physical world. In a classroom setting, Root would “drive” along a magnetic dry-erase whiteboard at the front of the class, giving the young programmers an “instant, physical manifestation” of the code, according to Zivthan Dubrovsky, who leads the robotics platform at Wyss."

Read the entire article



About HackerspaceLA...

Hackerspace Los Angeles weekly meet up. Come by and mingle with like-minded people and see what others are working on. Find out what planned activities do we have and how you can participate.

If you are interested in helping us establish a permanent location in the San Fernando Valley you need to be here to help us plan this and make it happen.

We’ll still be holding classes/workshops on various interests once a month. I will be posting the schedule later in the week and it will be announced in a separate meetup for each of the workshops.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Virtual Reality In Your Hands - Google Cardboard at this week's Hackerspace LA Meetup - Wed, April 20, 2016 @ 7pm

Hackerspacela wide

Want to take your first steps in Virtual Reality? Join us for this week’s Hackerspace LA Meetup and learn about Google Cardboard, the inexpensive way to put VR in your hand.

Assembled Google Cardboard VR mount

Google Cardboard
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

6262 Van Nuys Blvd.
2nd Floor - Room 2A, Van Nuys, CA (map)

RSVP HERE

From the organizer...

I only have materials to build a limited number of Google Cardboard so it will be first come first serve.

The only thing you need to bring is the material you want to use to create the viewer. Lenses, magnets and other parts will be provided at no charge on a first come first serve basis. The most used material is thick cardboard, like the one that is used on pizza boxes. I went to my local pizza parlor and asked to sell me a box for $1 and they did! Others have used vinyl sheet or corrugated plastic usually available in a DIY Craft stores like Michaels. You can also use wood! Yes wood!!! I saw one made of Popsicle like veneer sticks! Whatever material you chose to use it has to be sturdy and hard enough to hold your phone when attached to it.

Here are some examples of Google Cardboard Viewers: http://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard/#build-it

I you want to bring your own parts, this is what you will need. You can always substitute the materials you think will best work for you: http://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard/#build-it

About Hackerspace LA...

Hackerspace Los Angeles weekly meet up. Come by and mingle with like-minded people and see what others are working on. Find out what planned activities do we have and how you can participate.

If you are interested in helping us establish a permanent location in the San Fernando Valley you need to be here to help us plan this and make it happen.

We’ll still be holding classes/workshops of various interests once a month. I will be posting the schedule later in the week and will be announced in separate meetup for each of the workshops.

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Liked: Introduction to the Arduino Yun and the Internet of Things #1 and #2 from Julian Ilett [Video]

After watching this video I think the Arduino Yun has become the leader in my search to buy my first board. It’s WiFi and Internet accessibility, along with all the typical features of the Arduino family, fits more closely with the projects I have in mind and also provides expansive possibilities for the future.

Get your own Arduino Yun and start experimenting with the Internet of Things!

Liked: Introduction to the Arduino Yun #1 [Video]


Introduction to the Arduino Yun #1

 

Liked: Introduction to the Arduino Yun #2 [Video]

 

 

Introduction to the Arduino Yun #2

Discovered in my daily YouTube Viewing

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Web-based Circuit Simulator via Lushprojects

Want to test out your electronic circuits virtually before breaking out the soldering iron or breadboard? This amazing circuit simulator by LushProjects is an amazing look into electronic circuits and how they work.

Circuit sim 2

Not only can you build your circuits, you can then test them virtually, including animations showing power flow and even graphs of the output the circuit produces. 

Circuit sim 2

Now, honestly, this circuit sim is a bit beyond my electronics level, but I could see it being great for educational settings as it reveals so much about the operation of the circuit that is normal invisible or only viewable on an oscilloscope.

Here’s a short video demo of the simulator

Link: Web-based Circuit Simulator via Lushprojects

Liked: 1-Day Project: Build Your Own Arduino Uno for $5 [Video]

diy-arduino

1-Day Project: Build Your Own Arduino Uno for $5 Discovered in my daily YouTube Viewing

Liked: Home-made Solar Tracking System with no electronics for solar panel or solar oven [Video]

Friday, April 08, 2016

Under Consideration: VIZIO S5451w-C2 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Subwoofer and Surrounds

Should I buy this?

I saw this come though on a $200 off sale today and I am seriously considering it to replace my current surround sound system which was purchased used and has always been very finicky. 

VIZIO S5451w-C2 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Subwoofer and Surrounds

VIZIO S5451w-C2 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Subwoofer and Surrounds 

The wireless rear speaker would be perfect for my environment, where it is almost impossible — or at least, prohibitively expensive to run wires and mount the rear speakers.My current unit is also a complete amp/receiver which I only use for the television audio, so it takes up much more space than it is worth, really.

Any thoughts from you on this product? This is a limited time sale, but might possibly come around again — or their might be similar products to consider in the future.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments?

Liked: Arduino Radar Project [Video]

Arduino Radar Project
Discovered in my daily YouTube Viewing


Arduino Cards and Accessories
Arduino 101

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Anker AH241 USB 3.0 Aluminum 13-Port Hub + 5V 2.1A Smart Charging Port with 12V 5A Power Adapter

Maybe -- just maybe -- if I had one of these I might -- finally -- have enough USB ports -- and USB 3.0 at that! Whether it is multiple hard drives for video and audio production, multiple sync cables for old and new Apple devices, web cams and flash drives, I am always running out of USB ports on my Mac Mini. I graduated to a 7 port hub a few years ago, but even it is starting to be inadequate. When I last replaced it, I was looking, specifically, for a USB 3.0 compatible hub, but couldn't fund anything at my local store.

Anker AH241 USB 3.0 Aluminum 13-Port Hub + 5V 2.1A Smart Charging Port with 12V 5A Power Adapter



This hub showed up in my daily reading today and, even for the somewhat high price, I think I might just get one. It would help in several different ways -- including providing full 2.1A charging on all the ports, which my current hub does not provide. Sure it will charge my Kindle -- eventually and very, very slowly, but this would be as good as plugging it into the separate charger I have.

What do you think? Good buy? Too expensive? Is there some gotcha I am not thinking about?

Let me know in the comments.



Get Your Own Minecraft Multiplayer World with MCProHosting

My son got me interested in Minecraft several years ago and it eventually became evident that we needed/wanted our own multiplayer server so we could invite friends and family in to play. After running a server locally, on old equipment, it was decided to spend a little bit of money to make it a bit faster and more reliable,



I have hosted this site on MCProHosting for 2 years now and been happy with the very basic service we have. I have the "Air" Plan which is their cheapest and most basic server. This provides up to 5 users and 256MB of memory allocated. This works fine for our typical vanilla Minecraft play, but, should you wish, you can upgrade through their series of plans -- Dirt, Coal, Diamond -- up to Dragon level which provides you unlimited players and 6144 MB of memory.


I get a small reward if you set up your own Minecraft server plan, so if you have been thinking about it, head over to MCProHosting and give it a try. For our world, I found a seed I liked locally and then uploaded that map as the beginnings of our multiplayer world.

Link: MCProHosting



Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Liked: Comparison of the Arduino, Raspberry Pi 2, and Beaglebone Black Rev. 3 [Video]


Comparison of the Arduino, Raspberry Pi 2, and Beaglebone Black Rev. 3

Discovered in my daily YouTube Viewing


Did this video increase your interest in microcontrollers? Get one and  build your own projects using the devices mentioned here.

Arduino Cards and Accessories

Arduino 101

Raspberry Pi Cards and Accessories

 

BeagleBone Black Cards and Accessories

Noted: 6 of Our Favorite Drawbot Projects

Grove - Arduino Starter Kit Plus [Product]

I discovered another Arduino sensor start kit today via an email from MassDrop. MassDrop is a site which promotes group purchases of products in order to give everyone a lower price.

if you aren’t keen on using MassDrop, you can pick up the same starter kit directly from Amazon using the links below.

This kit does NOT include the Arduino board itself, but it does come with the Grove Shield which attached to Arduino Uno or Arduino 101 and provides solder free connections between the Arduino and the sensors. This might come in handy if you are working with kids, as it means that can’t really connect up the sensors in a way that might damage them.

Ardunio starter 2

From Amazon.com...

Grove is a modular electronic platform for quick prototyping. Every module has one function, such as touch sensing, creating audio effect and so on. Just plug the modules you need to the base shield, then you are ready to test your idea buds.

This Grove Starter Kit Plus is a upgraded version of our Grove Starter Kit. We included more frequently encountered modules in this kit to support your concept buildup. Meanwhile, we totally refreshed the whole image of this kit with eye-catching green and user-friendly booklet and stickers. If you were ever held back by the serious face of electronic modules, then it's time to review the point and discover the new face of it.


Parts List

Grove - Base Shield
Grove - Buzzer
Grove - Sound Sensor
Grove - Rotary Angle Sensor (P)
Grove - Touch Sensor
Grove - Light Sensor (P)
Grove - Vibrator
Grove - Temperature Sensor
Grove - Relay
Grove - Magnetic switch
Grove - Switch(P)
Grove - Red LED (3mm)
Grove - Green LED (3mm)
Grove - Blue LED (5mm)
Grove - Servo
Grove - Button(P)
Grove - 5cm w/o buckle Cable x5
Grove - 20cm w/o buckle Cable x5
Grove - 50cm w/o buckle Cable x5
9V Battery Clip
Grove Guide Book
Sticker

Liked: The New Arduino 101 (Genuino 101) - Unboxing, Set Up, and Comparing it to the Arduino Uno [Video]


The New Arduino 101 (Genuino 101) - Unboxing, Set Up, and Comparing it to the Arduino Uno


Discovered in my daily YouTube Viewing

Get your Arduino 101 Board direct from Amazon.com

Arduino 101

Find more Arduino products on Amazon.com

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

iPhone Cases Available Exclusively from Douglas E. Welch and TechnologyIQ

Here are just a few selections of cases for iPhone (and Samsung) phones available exclusively from Douglas E. Welch and TechnologyIQ.  There are over 80 different designs with new designs being added nearly every day. All these cases (and other products) are made with my own photos which you see here and on my other blogs, like A Gardener's Notebook.



http://www.redbubble.com/people/douglasewelch/shop/iphone-cases?ref=portfolio_product_refinement


Cases are available in both Snap and Tough versions for all iPhones from the 4 to to 6s, including the new iPhone SE.

Cases and skins are also available for Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5.

Most of these designs are also available as iPad Cases and Skins, Laptop Skins and padded Laptop Sleeves, all of which I'll highlight in future posts.

Check out my entire portfolio and all the available products -- including throw pillows, tote bags, drawstring bags, mugs and notebook/journals