Archive for the Gadgets Category

Delayed, but not forgotten

Posted in Blog, Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2014 by sethkoberg

Another weekend has passed and I have neglected to post anything; however, this time around, I have been busy working on a little side project that will ultimately interface with the Anemometer. In my last post, I had mentioned the use of KiCad, which I’ve been working on learning to take my mind off of the anemometer for a bit so when I do continue work on it, it will be with a pair of fresher eyes. One of the things I hate is working on a single project and essentially getting burned out before its completion – one of the reasons, I’m sure, I fail to complete many of my projects.

I had decided to move onto learning KiCad so when a project gets to the point of fabrication, I’ll be able to tackle the schematic and PCB design without delaying the process any further than necessary. Eagle cad, a schematic and PCB generating software I’ve used before, is still a superior piece of kit, in my opinion, however, the limitations in the free version was something I wanted to break away from. If I ever do decide to sell anything I design, I would have to purchase a licensed version of Eagle. On top of that, using KiCad will support the open source community by using open source software to develop open source hardware.

So, onto my little side project…

 

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Checkout Registers

Posted in Blog, Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2014 by sethkoberg

After wiring up the DS1337 RTC with its respective crystal to my Arduino, I needed to learn how to communicate with slave devices over I2C – which is a serial bus designed by Phillips to allow a master device (Arduino) to communicate with a multitude of slave devices with only two wires. The benefit of this protocol is the preservation of I/O pins, both analogue and digital, to communicate with up to 100+ devices while only occupying two pins on the master device, either the Arduino or other micro controller. Another added benefit to the I2C protocol is the ability to a) hot swap devices, and b) add in more components without having to re-wire or change the code already being used.

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It’s Just a Matter of Time…

Posted in Blog, Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2014 by sethkoberg

Last time I wrote a post, I had gotten to the point where my anemometer reads pulses from the Hall Effect sensor, calculates the wind speed, and prints that data to a serial monitor (either the built-in monitor in the Arduino IDE, or a third party monitor like PuTTy). Since then, I’ve finished the next hurdle in the programming which is storing that data to a MicroSD card.

Wiring up the MicroSD card is relatively straight forward, and writing to the card is as simple as writing to the Serial monitor, so it wasn’t a difficult hurdle to overcome, but getting one of the necessary steps taken care of gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I’ve also included in the Arduino Code a rudimentary checking system to verify if the Arduino can communicate with the MicroSD card, and if not, skip writing to it and just print the data to the Serial Monitor. This way, if the end user isn’t worried about historical wind speed data, they don’t need to stick one in and they can just hook it up with a USB cable to view the data.

Maybe I need to think about integrating some sort of monitor to the Arduino, like an LCD screen, so a computer isn’t needed if you don’t want to store the data.

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Lampyridae

Posted in Blog, Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by sethkoberg

Finally finishing, or, rather, mostly finishing a project, I figured it would be a good time as any to update my almost forgotten blog.

My firefly project, for my sisters wedding, has been completed as far as the technical portion goes.  All that is left is to put the board and dangling LED’s into a pretty container and dress it up to make it look good.

Getting this thing to work took a long time to figure out.  It goes without saying that I also got a lot of help online from the Adafruit forums.  Without the help from those kind people, I would have been dead in the water.

The wedding is this Saturday, and I will take some photos and some video of the finished product to post so I can show off my labor of love.

One other thing I’d like to add to the project is an LDR, or Light Dependent Resistor, more commonly known as a light detector, so the LED’s will begin flashing after the sun sets.  Once I get this put on and added to to the code, I think I’ll stuff the birds nest of wires into some paper lanterns and hang them up around town, guerrilla style.

Teaser

Posted in Blog, Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2011 by sethkoberg

In an attempt to keep things moving along here, I’m going to expand a little bit on the last post I made.

In my previous post, I had said that I had some pretty cool things to talk about, so here is one of them:

Now, I can’t tell you too much, just enough to (hopefully) get you interested and invested in whats going on. So, for now, I’ll tell you these few points about the project:

  • It involves a stepper motor
  • Two limit switches
  • A 16 x 2 LCD screen
  • Two push buttons
  • One potentiometer

Thats about as much as I think I can tell you without giving away too much. I have mentioned this project in posts on other websites, so if you are reading this and you think you know what this is for, please don’t spoil it for everyone else. Also, if you do think you know what it is, you can email me if you want to ask about the project.

Long time.

Posted in Blog, Gadgets, Photography, Video on August 31, 2011 by sethkoberg

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog, even thought its been somewhere in the back of my mind, nagging me to update. So here I am, updating my blog…

Lets get a quick run-down as to whats happened since my last confession:

  • San Francisco was awesome!
  • I got married (YAY!)
  • The place I got fired from wanted me back, so I have a job again!
  • School started!

I think those are the four major events that have happened. Forgive me if I’m forgetting something.

That’s about it for this post. I just wanted to post SOMETHING so the blog didn’t end up here feeling neglected. Although, I have some (I think) pretty cool things to talk about in the days/weeks/months to come.

Stay tuned for what could end up being a pretty fun ride.

Electronics

Posted in Gadgets with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by sethkoberg

As you may have noticed, one of my hobbies is photography.

Another hobby of mine is electronics.

Ever since I was young, I’ve had great pleasure in destroying things, specifically electronic devices, and trying to figure out how they work.

Until recently (3 years ago), I had no idea how to break out into the world of hobby electronics, or hacking, as it can be known. Then I heard about this wonderful thing called Arduino.

An open source, educational, prototyping platform designed, in my mind, for people who need a kick in the pants to get up and make stuff.

Anyway…

I’m working on a project based off of the Arduino, which I’ll be posting a lot about once I get rolling with it.

Like I said, I’m new to electronics and this is a learning experience, so bear with me.