September 13, 2014

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I was deciding if I should plunge into 3D printing or drones.  I’ve been completely distracted by quadcopters and am now attempting to build one.

A quadcopter combined with a GoPro camera is a great way to take aerial photos.

I am trying to build a Hoverthings Flip FPV Pro Gimbal using a Pixhawk from 3D Robotics as the brain.

For those just getting started in quadcopters or drones, DIY Drones or Drones Are Fun are good places to start.

Below is a sample picture of a quadcopter from Flickr.

FPV quadcopter

Photo by Steve Lodefink from Flickr


Digital RGB LED Strip

February 6, 2014

Using 2 meters of Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip from Adafruit I am making some artwork for our dining room. Also using a picture frame with a 12″ square opening, I cut the LEDs into 8 strips with 8 LEDs on each one and began soldering them together.

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Jeenodes Weather

January 5, 2014

Yesterday I deployed a Jeenode and a tmp36 temperature sensor.

To power this setup , I used a lipo 1200 mAH battery and a lipo solar charger from Adafruit. I already had a 6 W solar panel.

I am receiving the data inside on a receiving Jeenode with a real time clock and a 20X4 LCD screen.

I still have to add the rain and wind sensors and also plan on setting up a room node (inside temp and humidity along with a PIR sensor).

I wonder how long the battery will last with the solar panel?  Update- 12 days, see below.

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November 21, 2013


I’ve been working on a holiday present for my sister which is a temperature monitor for her greenhouse.  Originally I wanted to use  Xbee radios as I had tried them before and have Rob Faludi’s book Building Wireless Sensor Networks.

I recently discovered JeeNodes and decided to give them a try instead as I had found Xbee radios not the easiest to work with.  What you get for roughly $22 is a small Ardunio based on the Really Bare Bones Board with a radio.  Made by JeeLabs with an extensive library that can be found on Github. Read the rest of this entry »


Eat Sign Done

October 1, 2013

Finally finished my EAT sign. It has 3 modes you can click through using the button on the side. Mode one lights up one led at a time, mode 2 blinks all the led’s and mode 3 fades all the leds up and down.

I used a standalone arduino and 2 TLC 5940 chips plus 23 leds.
Here is my complete parts list.

1. 3 letters from junk store
2. plywood for base of sign
3. 2 Adafruit proto boards.
4. 2 TLC5940 chips
5. 1 photocell to know when it is dark enough.
6. 1 momentary pushbutton
7. 23 10.3CD leds
8. led mounts
9. Some resistors
10. Lots of wire
11. Paint
12. Wooden Dowel Pins

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Eat Sign

August 10, 2013

EatRecently while on vacation I picked up two plastic letters and one metal one spelling EAT.

I am starting to make a sign for my kitchen using 2 TLC5940 chips and roughly 15 – 30 leds.  The exact number of leds I need is still to be determined. How to wire up the TLC5940 can be found here.

The letters will be slightly raised off the backing panel, allowing light from the leds to show.  I will be drilling holes through the backing panel and inserting the leds from behind.

The general idea is to use a photo resistor so the sign automatically comes on when dark enough.

I will also have a push button on the side so you can toggle through different modes.  Right now I have 3 modes.  Normal mode turns on one LED at at a time until all are lit up.  Blink mode blinks all the lights. Fade mode fades the leds up, down and up again, finally leaving them on at full brightness.

Check out the short video for the set up and the 3 modes.  In the video I am covering the photo resistor to get the lights to go on and then pushing the button to toggle through the modes.

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April 18, 2013

FLORA ExperimentI’m starting to experiment with FLORA from Adafruit and clothing.
The platform is easy to use so far, but for some reason I have to unplug it from my computer and plug it back in before a sketch will upload.

The idea here is to use a light sensor to turn on an LED in the suit jacket pocket when it is dark outside.  Potentially I might put more LEDs under the collar.

Some random thoughts or ideas in this vein. Can you use snaps as an on/off switch?  Can zippers conduct electricity and if so, can they be used as switches as well?  How about metal buttons? Assuming you can by waterproof LED strips, how about making a bicycle turn signal jacket with buttons / activators in the garment cuff?  Or a running jacket that lights up at dusk so drivers and other people can more easily see you? How do you make any of this removable so the garment can be washed?

Another vein would be to include GPS and Adafruit does make a GPS sensor for use with FLORA.  We especially like the No Place Like Home Shoes.  The GPS is activated by a heel click and indicates the way home through LEDs.


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