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Showing posts from June, 2016

Hardware: NextThingCo’s Pocket C.H.I.P. Review via CNXSoft – Embedded Systems News

Hardware: NextThingCo’s Pocket C.H.I.P. Review via CNXSoft – Embedded Systems News New hardware has been coming fast and furious lately - with new Raspberry Pi 3, New Arduino and Arduino Compatible Boards many more permutations of shields, add-ons and more. I hadn't heard much about the Pocket C.H.I.P before, but it sounds like quite a little powerhouse. "It’s not that easy to describe PocketC.H.I.P in a couple of words, as it’s so versatile. It’s a Debian based portable Linux computer with a resistive touchscreen and battery, but also a retro gaming console thanks to PICO-8, as well as a hardware development platform for IoT application with expansion header providing access to I/Os including GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART…, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Furthermore you can easily dismantle the device, in order to use the CHIP board, based on Allwinner R8 Cortex A8 processor, for a different project." You can find a ton of screenshots and this video on the CNXSoft si

Education: What Shape of LED Should I Use for My Project? via Make

What Shape of LED Should I Use for My Project? via Make There are so many components you can use in your electronics projects, so a good overview of the pros and cons of each can be a great jumpstart for your technology education. This Make article give a great overview of the wide variety of LEDs available along with the pros and cons of each. Looking for a tiny LED for a miniature project? How about an ultra-bright pinpoint of light or a diffuse glow? Check out the article and keep it on hand for the next time you are adding LEDs to your project.   I’ve tested many LEDs and have found that there are limitations and advantages to each of them. In this post, I’ll share what I learned while making my paper LED creations. No matter what you build your projects with, I hope this post will help you choose not just any LED, but the perfect LED for your next project! *I will focus on the physicality of the LED, not the power requirements or electrical capabilities. Remember to also re

Education: Raspberry Pi Releases Free "Learn To Code With Scratch" e-Book

I’ve often messed about with the visual Scratch programming language and similar apps like Hopscotch (mentioned earlier in TechnologyIQ  and  Scratch: Multimedia programming kit for kids ) and love how it can help introduce anyone, of any age, to the concept of programming. It offer immediate gratification to the user as they can see interactive and animated results of their coding from the very beginning. With an end to spreading the word about Scratch and giving people yet another reason to buy a Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi foundation has released a new ebook, Learn to Code with Scratch. If you are looking to get started coding then a new free e-book which has been released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation as part of their MagPi Essentials selection might be worth more investigation and downloading. The PDF eBook has been created to teach you the basics of learning to code with Scratch the world’s leading visual programming language that is used throughout schools worldwide to

Join us for A Summer of STEM at Hackerspace LA - Wed, June 29 @ 7pm

With summer in full swing you are going to need all the help you can have trying to keep your kids active and interested in activities that will spark an interest in science.   This free meetup/workshop is for those of you looking for ideas and programs that will help your kids spark an interest in science or at the very least keep them active during the summer.  You will be presented with free resources that you can use to best fit your kids level of skills and interest in science stuff.  Wednesday, June 29, 20167:00 PM to 9:00 PM 6262 Van Nuys Blvd. 2nd Floor - Room 2A, Van Nuys, CA RSVP HERE  

Utility: Razzmaster Configures Raspberry Pi Over the Network (And It’s Free!)

Razzmaster Configures Raspberry Pi Over the Network (And It’s Free!)  Here is a nice little, useful utility that helps you configure a number of Raspberry Pi boards quickly, say in an educational or hackerspace environment. No need to hook up keyboards and monitors one at a time to get them running. Utilities like this are always quite useful as someone else has gone through the trouble of automating the process. All you have to do is use it. Sometimes, we can all go "down the rabbit hole" of taking so much time to create a utility it actually takes more time than it saves. No worries here. PubNub is a startup, and like many startups we use a lot of open source software. We are also huge fans of the Raspberry Pi. We’ve even built a Pi workshop because it’s so flexible and easy to get started with. Setting up Raspberry Pis for workshops and projects can be a pain, though, especially if you have a lot of them to set up. To address this I created a small open source

Project: Otto - build you own robot in two hours! (Advanced/3-D Printing)

Here’s a more advanced tech project for those of you with access to a 3-D printer and looking to stretch their skills a bit. Making your projects move is another great step to both fun and learning, just like the use of seniors and lights I mentioned in previous projects. Who is Otto? An interactive robot that anyone can make! What can Otto do? Otto walks, dances, makes sounds and avoids obstacles. Why Is Otto special? Otto is completely open source, Arduino compatible, 3D printable, and with a social impact mission to create an inclusive environment for all kids. Otto was inspired by another robot instructable BoB the BiPed and programmed using code from another open source biped robot called Zowi. Read and Watch More

Reuse/Recycle: Connecting a Garmin eTrex GPS to Your Arduino Projects

I have an old Garmin eTrex GPS device sitting around, left over from my early Geocaching days. As I started learning more about Arduino projects, I had the thought of using the eTrex as a GPS input for some project instead of using one of the neat, tiny, GPS modules already out there. I thought this might be a great way to recycle this unit back into something useful and fun. Turning to the internet, of course, I found several articles on doing just this, including this one  (Interfacing RS-232 GPS to Arduino) from  Bot Thoughts . One of the first things I learned, thank goodness, was that RS-232 uses a 12v logic and not the 5V used in most Arduino project. Just connecting the 2 together via serial would probably have shorted out my Arduino board. That said, there are ways of stepping down the serial voltage and making it more compatible with Arduino. In the article linked about, the author decided to build his own circuit to accomplish this, although they also mention an IC

Education: Computerphile on YouTube: Technology History and More!

I have found YouTube recommendations to be a great source of new videos on all sorts of topics and this week I started to see a selection of videos from the channel Computerphile out of the School of Computer Science in Nottingham, UK . The first I saw had to do with the early days of computer science including teleprinters, 5-bit paper tape codes, Enigma machines, Bletchley Park code breaking and more. Learning about the technology that preceded our current day is greatly enlightening and can give a deeper understanding of modern technology than you might expect. Along with the technological education comes great stories from history on how technology was discovered and the effect it had on society. My favorite videos so far have been those with Professor David Brailsford. He gives clear explanations of early technologies and how they functioned and how they affected the technology that followed. Here are a couple videos on early programming and data storage technologies

Project: Hotspot Poet via Adafruit

I love when you can combine technology and art and this project highlighted over at Adafruit is a great example. Using a little Arduino tech, important poems and a big dose of creativity, this project turns the ubiquitous WiFi SSID into a poetry delivery platform. If you have your Wifi selection screen open, you’ll see a new line of the poem every few seconds.  What a great repurposing of existing technology in the service of art! You can see a great demonstration in this video. ::vtol:: hotspot poet from ::vtol:: on Vimeo . Autonomous micro-device which distributes wi-fi masked as wireless network, visible at any gadget such as a smartphone or a laptop. The device is automatically renaming its network every 10 seconds, taking as its name various lines of poems by famous poets. The device is using an information channel which is accessible and visible to everyone through mobile devices, thus being a non-standard transmitter of poetry. There is no possibility to connect to this n

Arduino Uno closeup #Arduino #electronics @hackerspacela #hackerspacela #technology via Instagram [Photo]

Arduino Uno closeup #Arduino #electronics @hackerspacela #hackerspacela #technology via Instagram Follow me on Instagram

Amazing remote control animated LED matrix last night at @hackerspacela #technology #arduino #electronics #fun #meetup #hackerspacela via Instagram [Photo]

Amazing remote control animated LED matrix last night at @hackerspacela #technology #arduino #electronics #fun #meetup #hackerspacela via Instagram Follow me on Instagram

Education: Hobby Servo Tutorial via Sparkfun

Education: Hobby Servo Tutorial via Sparkfun Here is some more information on building some movement into your projects using Hobby Servos, like those used in remote control airplanes and vehicles. Learn how servos work, how they can be modified and how you can use them in your projects with this excellent tutorial. Get Hobby Servos at Amazon Get Hobby Servos at eBay Introduction Servo motors are an easy way to add motion to your electronics projects. Originally used in remote-controlled cars and airplanes, they now crop up in all sorts of other applications. They’re useful because you can instruct these small motors how far to turn, and they do it for you. A typical hobby servo You ordinary, small DC motor has two hookup wires and simply turns continuously when power is applied. If you want it to spin in the opposite direction, you reverse the power. If you want to know how far it has turned, you’ll need to devise a way to measure that. Read the entire tutorial on Sparkfun

Join us for Arduino NIght at Hackerspace LA! - Wed, June 8, 2016

I'll be at this upcoming Hackerspace LA meetup showing off what I've learned about Arduino in the last few months. Join me for demos and discussion. Bring your own projects to share! Join this free meetup as we learn about more and tinker with the Arduino electronic microcontrollers and learn about building all types of circuits. Arduinos are small electronics boards that can be used to create easy to sophisticated circuits with wires and sensors. Bring your own laptop, Arduino and bread board.  This is for anyone, at any level, to come and have some fun tinkering, learning, and showing off your own projects. RSVP for Arduino Night via Meetup RSVP for Arduino Night via Eventbrite

Education: Arduino Bluetooth Basic Tutorial via

Education: Arduino Bluetooth Basic Tutorial via Getting your Arduino to talk to you is always a great idea — whether you want to receive sensor data from your project or send commands to your Arduino remotely.  This is a great introduction to using the HC-05 Bluetooth module to communicate with your Arduino projects. Read about the entire project here.   Components used in this project: Arduino Uno via eBay 1pcs HC 05 Wireless Bluetooth RF Transceiver Module Serial RS232 TTL for Arduino via eBay

Project: Voice-Activated Patrol Lamp via

Project: Voice-Activated Patrol Lamp via This is a great little project using a number of components including Arduino board, motor driver, LEDs, microphones and more. I am going to take a lot away from this one. One idea is to have it drive an 8x8 LED matrix to create a variety of designs when responding to the ambient sounds around it. There are a lot of ways that this can be adapted to any number of projects of your own. I’m not looking to animate anything with a motor, but just seeing how they detect the ambient sound and turn it into an action was useful for me. Project: Voice-Activated Patrol Lamp via Components used in this project: Get your own Arduino Gear via Amazon Get your own Arduino Gear via eBay

Education: Interfacing Motors with Arduino by Flavian Pegado via Instructables

Interfacing Motors with Arduino by Flavian Pegado via Instructables It is only a matter of time before you want to start using motors in your Arduino projects and Flavian has a great overview, including parts and code on how to connect all sorts of motors and make them do you bidding, Each type of motor has a unique way of being controlled and some, like DC motors, require a little extra hardware, too. Learn about all of this in this Instructable. Check out the entire article on Instructables Get your own Arduino Gear via Amazon Get your own Arduino Gear via eBay