Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Getting Started with Micro:bit, Episode 1 via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

The Micro:bit was given to every UK 6th grader last year and now it is available here in the US. This is an amazingly function single board computer and there are already quite a few projects, lessons and tutorials available online to get you (and your kids) started. — Douglas

One of the coolest features of the micro:bit is its ability to be programmed with a number of languages:

Microsoft MakeCode block editor — Similar to Scratch and Blockly, users can drag and drop blocks to create programs. Teachers, especially, have experienced success using block-based programming languages in schools and clubs, including elementary schools.

JavaScript — As it turns out, the block editor in MakeCode is interpreted to JavaScript on the back end. If you click “JavaScript” at the top of the page in MakeCode, you can see and edit the JavaScript version of your program.

MicroPython — MicroPython is a subset of the Python language and was developed specifically for microcontrollers. If you’re not a fan of online editors, I’ve had success with the mu editor for creating MicroPython programs.

C++ — The micro:bit is mbed-enabled, which means programs are compiled to a .hex file that you copy and paste into the root directory of the micro:bit, which enumerates as a mass storage device on your computer. It’s a pretty seamless and slick process, and if you want to get your hands dirty with C++, you can use the mbed “Compiler” editor to write code for the micro:bit.

The micro:bit was built for the classroom, and teachers have seen some success using the board in their classes. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun for nonstudents. It’s packed with sensors and features that make building projects engaging and straightforward.

Read Getting Started with Micro:bit, Episode 1 via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Industrial Indicator Makes the Move from PLC to FPGA via hack a day

I agree..big, chunky industrial controls and displays bring a flashy element to nearly any build. This article gives us a starting point to include more of them in your own projects. Build it…and build it BIG! (SMILE) — Douglas

Industrial controls are fun to use in a build because they’re just so — well, industrial. They’re chunky and built to take a beating, both from the operating environment and the users. They’re often power guzzlers, though, so knowing how to convert an industrial indicator for microcontroller use might be a handy skill to have.

Having decided that an Allen-Bradley cluster indicator worked with the aesthetic of his project, a Halloween prop of some sort, [Glen] set about dissecting the controls. Industrial indicators usually make that a simple task so that they can be configured for different voltages in the field, and it turned out that the easiest approach to replacing the power-hungry incandescent bulbs with LEDs was to build a tiny PCB to fit inside the four-color lens.

Read Industrial Indicator Makes the Move from PLC to FPGA via hack a day


Arduino Boards and Components via Amazon

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Monday, April 24, 2017

On YouTube: DIY Soldering Station via Great Scott

A really cool. if more advanced project, that might be best accomplished by a group go varying skill levels. It is Arduino-based, but there are a lot of other parts, soldering and assembly. Watch the video for an overview of the project and click the Instructables link below for the full story. — Douglas

DIY Soldering Station via Great Scott

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In this project I will show you how to create an Arduino based soldering station for a standard JBC soldering iron. During the build I will talk about thermocouples, AC power control and zero point detection.

Read the entire Instructables project


Learn more about Arduino with these kits and books from Amazon

Arduino Boards and Components via Amazon

Arduino Boards and Components via eBay

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

10 more killer Raspberry Pi projects (Collection 2) via Network World

Another great collection of Raspberry Pi projects to get you going. Some of my favorites include a Rubik’s Cube Solver, a flying drone with a Raspberry Pi for a brain and  Pi-based Information Dashboard that can also control your home automation devices. — Douglas

Killer Raspberry Pi ProjectsIn the last installment of Killer Raspberry Pi Projects, the focus was on projects that produced a final device or system. In this installment, I’m going to cover a few cool projects along with some tools used to build other projects. I've also included some Raspberry Pi Zero projects that are becoming more numerous as the board and its successor, the Raspberry Pi Zero W, become more available (the latter is still much like hens' teeth).

Read 10 more killer Raspberry Pi projects (Collection 2) via Network World


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

64 Online Resources to Learn to Code for Free via Business Insider

My goal in life is ABL — Always Be Learning. Here are 64 sites to help you get coding today. Add some more skins to your career toolkit. — Douglas 

If you’re brand new to the world of web design and web development, it makes sense to get started learning to code by utilizing all the free resources available online. This way, you can discover what you like (and more importantly don’t) before financially investing in a certain set of courses.

However, there are so many free resources, classes, and books to pick from! It’s easy to become overwhelmed. (Ever hear of too much of a good thing?!)
To make things easier, I compiled a list of 64 FREE web design and development resources. The list is based on a previous article I wrote for Learn To Code with Me. However, it has since been updated and expanded to include more resources. It is a compilation of courses, written tutorials, blogs, YouTube channels, ebooks, online communities, and even in-person workshops
.

Read 64 Online Resources to Learn to Code for Free via Business Insider


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Arduino Rain Sensor Module Guide and Tutorial via Henry's Bench

Another great component to add to your weather station. Use it to track weather data, automate sprinkler systems and more! — Douglas


This module allows you measure moisture via analog output pins and it provides a digital output when a threshold of moisture is exceeded.
The module is based on the LM393 op amp.
 
It includes the electronics module and a printed circuit board that “collects” the rain drops.  As rain drops are collected on the circuit board, they create paths of parallel resistance that are measured via the op amp.
Read Arduino Rain Sensor Module Guide and Tutorial via Henry's Bench

Learn more about Arduino with these books and build with these components



Arduino Boards and Components via Amazon
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Portable Arduino Lab via hyperRitual

What a great idea and a great way to make use of these older electronics kits. I would love to do this with my Arduino Yun as it has built-in wifi and a Linux computer that can bridge with the Arduino to allow easy access to Internet of Things (IoT) projects and use all the components of these electronic kits. — Douglas

I have hot-glued my Arduino Duemilanove to the battery compartment lid of my Maxitronix 500-in-One electronics lab, making for a portable Arduino lab that includes:

  • 8 LEDs
  • Photo-transistor
  • CdS cell
  • Antenna coil
  • Tuning capacitor
  • DPDT swtich
  • 665-hole breadboard
  • 8 SPST switches
  • 8-digit LCD display
  • 7-segment LED display
  • 4-bit embedded microcomputer w/ keyboard
  • Speaker
  • Transformer
  • 50kΩ and 100kΩ potentiometers
  • Compartments and trays for loose components

The Arduino aligns with the spring terminals of the 7-segment display, such that the case closes perfectly.

Read Portable Arduino Lab « hyperRitual via hyperRitual


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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rash of in-the-wild attacks permanently destroys poorly secured IoT devices via Ars Technica

While I’m all for taking basic security precautions with IoT devices, this seems way over the top. Send me a note. Drop me an email. Don’t just zap my Arduino or Raspberry Pi and leave me wondering what happened. Ouch! Prepare yourself and your IoT devices so you don’t get burned. — Douglas

Researchers have uncovered a rash of ongoing attacks designed to damage routers and other Internet-connected appliances so badly that they become effectively inoperable.

PDoS attack bots (short for "permanent denial-of-service") scan the Internet for Linux-based routers, bridges, or similar Internet-connected devices that require only factory-default passwords to grant remote administrator access. Once the bots find a vulnerable target, they run a series of highly debilitating commands that wipe all the files stored on the device, corrupt the device's storage, and sever its Internet connection. Given the cost and time required to repair the damage, the device is effectively destroyed, or bricked, from the perspective of the typical consumer.

Read Rash of in-the-wild attacks permanently destroys poorly secured IoT devices via Ars Technica


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

PIR Motion Detector With Arduino (simple and Easy Demostration) via Instructables

A quick lesson on using a motion sensor with your Arduino. A great learning exercise that gives you a good "jumping off" point for more Arduino exploration -- Douglas



in the following video we are going to see how we can integrate the passive infra red sensor or simply PIR sensor with an arduino uno board and how you can get seral data through it.the pir sensor basically works on the thermal radiation which are being emitted by the body of humans as well as animals.

Read PIR Motion Detector With Arduino (simple and Easy Demostration) via Instructables

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Book – The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware – by Bunnie Huang via Adafruit Industries

One for my “To Read” shelf. — Douglas

For over a decade, Andrew “bunnie” Huang, one of the world’s most esteemed hackers, has shaped the fields of hacking and hardware, from his cult-classic book Hacking the Xbox to the open-source laptop Novena and his mentorship of various hardware startups and developers. In The Hardware Hacker, Huang shares his experiences in manufacturing and open hardware, creating an illuminating and compelling career retrospective.
Our very own LadyAda (Limor Fried, founder and engineer of Adafruit) scored a review copy and even gives her recommendation on the back cover! Here’s what she had to say:

“Bunnie is the ultimate tour guide of hardware hacking as it stands today, with an eye towards the sublime art of how things are really made. The Hardware Hacker will take you on a journey through the factories of the world, covering both technical & ethical implications of the ‘stuff’ we manufacture and buy.”

Read New Product – The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware – by Bunnie Huang via Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!


Buy “The Hardware Hacker” from Amazon

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nifty MIT Software Lets You Design and Test Your Very Own Drone via WIRED

Want to geek out on drones? Here is a cool project from MIT that will allow you design your own drones with a variety of options. Complete software coming in June 2017. — Douglas

Now, anyone who knows which end of a screwdriver to hold can design a drone and test it virtually using software developed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and test it virtually. “It can help you explore and try different shapes and different controllers,” says Tao Du, who led the nine-month project.

Read Nifty MIT Software Lets You Design and Test Your Very Own Drone via WIRED


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