Primo: Instruction blocks and interface board

Currently working on painting the parts, glueing the interface board and putting the copper tape to it and also to the instruction blocks. To make it more difficult, the laser cut slots of the instruction blocks are slighlty narrower than the 5mm copper tape. So I need to cut off a bit from the tape so it goes through the slot. Fortunately I don’t have this problem with the too narrow slots on the interface board.

Another thing that was too small were all the holes for the 5mm LEDs on the interface board.

Can’t wait to finally start soldering!

DigiSpark with RGB shield

DigiSpark helps monitoring a log file

At work there was a problem with a tool that archives documents. Whenever that tool failed doing its task it would write an error code into a database table.
So some unfortunate user had to check that table for that error code about three times a day, would open that document in Word, save it and update the error code.

I got the order to write a program to automate the whole process. I used c#/.NET for the whole thing. The Task Scheduler would call this program every five minutes and would write its findings into a log.

Because I tested it I was pretty confident it would work smoothly. But what happened now was this: I would check the log regularly if my program picked up the wrong documents and corrected it. Instead of somebody checking the database for errors I would now check the log for the error indications!

So I wrote a second program – again in c#. It would check the log file and if it detected that the tool picked up and fixed a defect document it would then blink the DigiSpark‘s RGB led and turn from green to red. For this I used DigiStump’s DigiRgb.exe basically the same way I used it in my Minecraft mod.

I love it: It saves me a big amount of time of checking a log for something that hardly ever happens. Plus: It looks really cool on my desk :)

DigiSpark with RGB shield

DigiSpark indicating that all is good. If it detects an error log it blinks red ten times and then stays red until manually reset.

 

Primo Part I: Lasering the stuff

A while ago I backed the amazing Primo project on Kickstarter. Right on schedule, the source files were available by the end of February.

Went to the local FabLab today to laser all the components.
Their lasercutter is second hand and has its hiccups. I ended up lasering all the components twice for best results. So it took me twice the time.

But I’m happy having everything at hand and start assembling. Lots of guidance is also available on Sjoerd Dirk’s Blog.

Rainbow mode

A weather moodlight

To create a moodlight using Arduino was always in the back of my mind. When I came accross the Spark Core on Kickstarter I also wanted it to be connected to the internet. Spark’s onboard wifi chip would make it easy to have the moodlamp reacting to outside events (apps, web sites, etc.).

In a first step I created a .NET web application that pulls weather data from OpenWeatherMap and according to the condition and temperature it would return two color codes. For example for temperature of 0 to 5 degrees celsius it would return Blue and for condition “Few Clouds” it returned Light Green.

Temperature range is from Purple (very cold) to Red (very hot) and condition is from Purple/Red for severe conditions (Thunderstorm, Hail, Tornado, etc) to White (Snow, etc) to Green (Few/No clouds) and Blue (Rain). Continue reading

Minecraft Lifebar

Hacking Minecraft, adding output using Arduino

With the future/career day coming up I was wrecking my brains on what to do on the day my son visits me at my workplace. There will be stuff organized for him in the morning but I will have to entertain him for about four hours in the afternoon.

I was thinking I would bring my laptop and let him do some Scratch programming, something he already did and enjoyed. Thinking further I thought I could bring my Arduino Uno and he could blink some LEDs. The most important thing for me is to bring him into programming and not to bore him so I searched further. I thought connecting Arduino and programming to something he is really into… like Minecraft!

I came across this blog post where Rozz decompiles, hacks and recompiles Minecraft to output the health status via a connected Arduino! DONE! This project had all the ingredients I was looking for!

Continue reading

Connecting to Arduino using Processing and bluetooth (HC-05, HC06)

USB bluetooth dongle

USB bluetooth dongle

The other day I bought myself a USB bluetooth dongle for my HP laptop and a HC-05 bluetooth adapter for the Arduino.

When I connected the dongle to my laptop running Windows 8 it appeared like it would install the default drivers for it. I connected the HC-05 to an Arduino and I could locate it from my laptop. I could even pair the dongle with the adapter. (Default code: 1234.)

HC-05 bluetooth module

HC-05 bluetooth module

But when checking the HC-05 in Windows’ device manager its status would say “Offline”. It took me several hours of googling until I came across a suggestion by another user that bought the same dongle on amazon: I installed the Toshiba Bluetooth Stack! Even though it says it’s only for toshiba laptops it worked on my HP like a charm.

I also had a HC-06 adapter lying around. Optically they look very similar. As far as I know HC-05 can work as master or slave whereas HC-06 is slave only. If you use them as slaves you can use either of them using the same pins. HC-05 came up under COM40 and HC-06 identifies itself as “linvor” under COM41.
Continue reading

I won a GPS Bee Kit from Seeed!

*retweet*

wooohooo!

The kit is on its way, can’t wait to test it…

Featured on freetronics.com!

I daily scan the internet for some inspiration and just to see with what awesome ideas other Arduino lovers come up. A page I regularly visit is Freetronics and their blog. I am also following their twitter account @freetronics and was very happy to see their tweet on Feb 22 mentioning one of my projects:

Thanks guys!

Nikon Intervalometer with a Digispark

Years ago I bought myself an IR remote for my Nikon D40. That worked ok, but of course I wanted to build my own using a Digispark.

There’s lots of tutorials for IR remotes out there, like LuckyLarry’s. I then later came across the nikonIrControl library which basically allows you to trigger a photo with a single line of code! Best of it is this library will work for every camera supported by ML-L1 and ML-L3 such as D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D7000, D5000, D5100, D3000, Coolpix 8400, 8800, P6000, P7000, P7100, Nikon 1 J1/V1.

And because the intervalometer should be as tiny as possible I was using a Digispark to control everything.
Continue reading